News — March 12, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Kashy Keegan This Is My Dream: We Reveal The Incredible Story Behind The No.1 Song

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Kashy Keegan is a British singer who’s incredible story is an inspiration to millions of singers worldwide. In 2013 one of his songs, “This Is My Dream”, that he wrote 7 years ago, achieved the iTunes Number 1 slot in Hong Kong thanks to a combination of talent, good luck and perseverance. We asked Kashy for more details on his remarkable story:

1. Your story is a vivid example of how the internet can present unexpected opportunities for artists. Looking back, what do you think you learnt from the experience?

An unexpected opportunity it really was for me. It came at a time when I had virtually given up on pursuing a career in the industry as a singer/songwriter. I had been trying to get a break for over 10 years to little avail. However, my song ‘This Is My Dream’ was discovered on the website ReverbNation.com by a music supervisor who works for a television network in Hong Kong called HKTV. The song ended up becoming like a theme song for the TV network and it got a lot of exposure and finally ended up going to number 1 on the Hong Kong iTunes chart, outselling major international artists like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. I have learnt never to say never; life can surprise you in the greatest of ways when you least expect it! I thought the internet was saturated with too many independent musicians and that my music would never get heard. However, I was proved wrong and, rather incredibly, the dream that I had virtually given up on after years of struggle and trying eventually came true. Perseverance pays off. If you keep on persevering, something has to give eventually. My story is living proof of that.

2. What has happened subsequently?

My song ‘This Is My Dream’ went to number 1 on the Hong Kong iTunes chart and my most recent album ‘Looking In’ which I released independently reached number 7 in the album charts. That alone was phenomenal for me, considering that I literally came from nowhere without any label or management involvement. I also went to Hong Kong last October and performed ‘This Is My Dream’ at a huge protest that was organised to help campaign to get HKTV a broadcast license. I performed in front of a crowd estimated to be 30,000! I also organised and staged my first headline concert in Hong Kong at the end of February this year which was a huge success and I got to perform 17 of my own songs in total which was another dream come true for me.

3. Did ‘This Is My Dream’ hit anywhere else?

The song has also been well received in neighbouring places like Macau where it also charted in the top 20 of their iTunes chart. I can tell that the song is spreading to other parts of South East Asia too as literally hundreds of people have used the song at events and performed it in singing contests and in school choirs across the region, many of which have uploaded videos of their performances to YouTube. My plan and hope is to visit places like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and do some promotion there. I really think that there is a market for my music in South East Asia.

4. What could other artists learn from your story?

I hope that the main thing that other artists can learn from my story is the value of perseverance. In total, it took me 15 years before I got my first break. For most of my life songwriting has been an all consuming passion for me. I didn’t socialise as a teenager; I literally spent all my free time in the living room at my parents home writing songs on my Casio keyboard. I would be locked away in that room for hours. Songwriting was my life – I invested all my time and all my money into it. I worked every kind of odd job that you can imagine in order to be able to afford studio time to record demo after demo. I believe that if you keep on persevering, something has to give eventually. It’s the law of averages. You might get a thousand people tell you “no” before someone gives you a break and says “yes”. I believe that a lucky break will come if you keep on keeping on. Luck gets you in the door and hard work and talent keeps you there. Of course, it’s not easy, it takes a lot of inner strength to persevere and a thick skin to withstand all the rejections, but If you want it bad enough you will find a way to make it happen, if you don’t you will find an excuse to give up. That’s what I believe.

5. I’ve read mixed reports about why the song was originally played in Hong Kong – whether it was used for an advertising campaign or as a protest song for a TV network. Can you shed any light?

It’s a bit of both. The song was originally used for an advertising campaign for Hong Kong Television (HKTV) in their bid to be granted a free to air broadcast license from the Hong Kong government. The song was also used as a theme song for a documentary series called ‘The Challenge’ that HKTV showed highlights of on their YouTube channel. However, the news broke last october that the Hong Kong government had refused HKTV a licence (the government are yet to issue an explanation as to why the license wasn’t granted). This sparked a series of huge protests from the public in Hong Kong. They started playing my song ‘This Is My Dream’ at these protests that were attended by hundreds of thousands of people. I was invited to perform at the final protest at the end of October last year and so the song ended up being the theme song for the protests as well.

6. What are your plans for your singing career? What can fans expect from you over the next 12 months? Do you plan to return to Hong Kong?

I am looking for a record deal at the moment and have some interest already. I would love to partner with a label who can help me release my new album (most of which I have already recorded) and then promote the new music in Hong Kong and hopefully take it to other parts of South East Asia too. I am moving to Hong Kong at the beginning of April in order to give my music my full attention and commitment. I don’t want to be forgotten and so it’s crucial for me at this stage to partner with a label who can help me promote my new album and to perform at every opportunity that I can get. I love Hong Kong, it will always hold a special place in my heart because the people there are the first people to truly support and embrace my music.

7. How is your Cantonese coming along?

Haha! Well, admittedly it’s not the easiest of languages to learn. However, I have already posted a few videos on my YouTube channel of me attempting to learn some Cantonese and I also did a short video of me wishing people a happy Chinese new year. Some of my supporters in Hong Kong left comments to say that my Cantonese is improving. So I think there’s hope for me yet! After all, if life has taught me anything this past year, whether it’s to do with my music or even learning a whole new language, it’s to never say never.

Kashy Keegan This Is My Dream

 

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