Most Hong Kong people will know singer-songwriter from Sussex, Kashy Keegan, as the face of HKTV’s licensing protests, when his song “This Is My Dream” was championed as almost an “anthem” for the cause last year. We spent a diverse afternoon with Kashy, which involved drinks at a cafe, some degree of strolling through a lovely little park and invasion of a piano store so we could treat ourselves to a spontaneous Kashy performance. While our last endeavour was not quite as successful as we had hoped (apparently, piano stores do not like spontaneity), here are some things we did succeed in learning about Kashy.
Photo courtesy of Nicole Ng
1. He’s interviewed Beyonce before.
That’s right. Before Kashy Keegan ventured over to Hong Kong to start a singing career, he worked as a journalist for an entertainment magazine in the UK, where he got the chance to interview celebrities like Beyonce, Madonna, Celine Dion and more! It’s funny how the tables have turned, and Kashy has now ended up on the other side of the microphone. You’ve also really got to hand it to him for leaving everything behind and pursuing his dream in a completely foreign city.
2. He got paid £150 in his first job for writing 60 words.
He wasn’t just a writer…he was a pretty darn good one too.
3. His song did better than Lady Gaga’s
At the prime of the whole HKTV saga, Kashy’s single “This is My Dream” went to number 1 in the Hong Kong iTunes chart, doing better than pop queens Lady Gaga and Katy Perry!
Daily Mail / i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/11/11/article-2501431-195A992100000578-611_634x429.jpg/ dailymail.co.uk
4. He is kind of a Backstreet Boys fan. Just a tad.
…which makes a certain MadBuzzHK editor/ 90s pop fanatic very happy.
Here’s how the conversation went down:
Madbuzz: One Direction, or the Backstreet Boys?
Kashy: Backstreet Boys. One Direction is not really of my generation, is it?
MadbuzzHK: OK then, Backstreet Boys or Westlife?
Kashy: Still Backstreet Boys.
Ouch…It’s ok Zayn, no need to cry.
5. He doesn’t like Nandos (what?)
It’s unfathomable. We know. Kashy says he’s just not a particular fan of the busy UK fast food culture. That Peri Peri chicken though…
6. He was chased by the police three times in a day as a kid for a gloriously hilarious crime
Kashy admits he’s had some rather rebellious phases as a kid. He tried stealing garden gnomes from an old pastor’s retreat and even wrote some not so nice things on them. LOLZ.
7. He loves Hong Kong
Considering how he’s just moved here, we guess this is not really that surprising. We just felt the need to include this because of #852Pride. Kashy finds Hong Kong very lively, diverse and dynamic. Instead of feeling homesick, he enjoys the friendliness of the people here, the reliability of the transportation system and the ridiculously safe environment. Very true.
Here are more excerpts from our interview with Kashy:
Photo courtesy of Nicole Ng
MadbuzzHK: Please share with MadbuzzHK readers your journey to Hong Kong!
Kashy: It started last October when HKTV’s broadcasting license wasn’t approved. There was a series of protests for a week and I was invited to come and perform my song “This is My Dream”, which, I suppose, became their theme song. At the time, I was working as a journalist and literally that week, I got all these alerts on YouTube, and saw these videos of people playing my song in the loudspeakers and I was like …”What’s going on?” I caught up with the news and soon got a message from HKTV asking me to perform. It all happened very quickly. I came here within 48 hours and was performing outside the government offices in front of thousands of people. It was a twist of fate. If HKTV did get the license, it might not have worked out the same way. The whole thing gave [the song] a whole new life because of what happened. It was kind of a strange series of events.
MadbuzzHK: Were you disappointed that HKTV did not get the license?
Kashy: Yes! I was contacted a year before in 2012 and Universal Music in Hong Kong was pretty sure that they were gonna get the license. I was just holding out at home because they were considering bringing me out here when HKTV did their opening. The whole thing was just a difficult situation involving a lot of people’s careers and dreams. I do empathize completely with the journey that [HKTV] has been on and in a way it has mirrored my own experiences… all those years of knocking on doors and getting nowhere really. It was kind of bittersweet in a way.
MadbuzzHK: What keeps or has kept you motivated during all your struggles?
Kashy: I think it’s the fact that I love what I’m doing and I believe in what I am doing. I have a clear vision of what I want, to be inspirational and deliver messages of encouragement. So much of music nowadays has the same formula, and is so focused on selling sex. Like MTV! It’s almost become a soft-porn channel! There is so much going on around us, and sex and relationships should not be the only things that we talk about. If we go back to the 80s, music was much more socially-conscious.
Kashy Keegan will be performing live on 29/08 (Fri) 6 – 8 pm at Mira Mall for the Gimme Live 2014 Grand Finale, and his new album is set to be released in October. Stay tuned to his Facebook page for updates here .