ENTERTAINMENT

Singer teams up with HKTV to make his dream come true in Hong Kong

British entertainer links up with HKTV again to help launch network's latest venture with his chart-topping song - and boost his album

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 November, 2014, 7:07am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 November, 2014, 1:38pm

Kashy Keegan can't seem to avoid his fate intertwining with Hong Kong Television Network.

After everything the aspiring singer and the TV station have been through, their dreams will finally come true in the same week.

"[My journey] is somewhat parallel to the HKTV story," said the 31-year-old journalist-turned-singer.

After having its free-TV licence application rejected a year ago, followed by another blow to its mobile TV plan because of technical issues, HKTV will finally launch its internet entertainment and shopping services on November 19.

Keegan will release This Is My Dream the following day, an album produced under local record label Evosound - a goal that he has finally reached after trying to get his music out there for more than a decade.

"If I hadn't come to Hong Kong, there wouldn't have been such opportunities," Keegan said. "I've had more opportunities here than in my 30 years of existence in the UK."

Keegan, who has been playing the piano since the age of seven, said he had made music in a studio converted from a bathroom in his hometown of Worthing, England.

His efforts were never a success, however, and he was on the verge of ending 15 years as a self-financed musician when he got a call out of the blue from Hong Kong last year.

His song This Is My Dream - originally a 2012 London Olympics motivational song - was hand-picked by HKTV chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay as the theme song for the launch of the network in 2012.

Watch: How Hong Kong TV's theme song resurrected Kashy Keegan's music career

But last October, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his Executive Council denied HKTV's application after a three-year application process and HK$900 million investment in the project.

Although licences were granted in principle to i-Cable's Fantastic TV and PCCW's Hong Kong Television Entertainment, tens of thousands of TV viewers fed up with TVB's dominance and ATV's lacklustre programming took to the streets for a week-long rally outside the government headquarters, chanting Keegan's song.

Keegan was asked to perform the song in Hong Kong, a city he says was "out of my radar". But he hopped on the next flight and sang the song at the protest. "I had no idea what I was getting into," he recalled.

His bold move paid off. His song became a chart-topper on Hong Kong iTunes, beating Lady Gaga and Katy Perry at the time.

In February, he returned to the city to stage his debut concert and in March he quit his journalism job in London and moved to Hong Kong.

A month later, he got a record deal with Evosound and just last month he made it to MTV Asia's Aloft Star competition in Beijing and came second.

Keegan said half of the songs on the album were newly written, and the rest were updated versions of older material, including This Is My Dream.

He will be performing This Is My Dream at HKTV's launch on Wednesday. "I'm glad they haven't forgotten about me," he said.