While we've heard of Western singers covering classic Mandarin songs, few have released their own original song in Mandarin. Once a dream for British singer- songwriter, Kashy Keegan (祈家恆), he is now making his dream a reality after taking Mandarin classes and reworking the English lyrics of his hit song into Mandarin.
The song ‘This is My Dream’, originally recorded in English, was previously a chart topper in Hong Kong where it outsold the likes of Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Now, the Hong Kong-based British singer is setting his sights on furthering his dream by recording the song in Mandarin and hoping to conquer the mainland market.
"I was so surprised and pleased by the success of the song in Hong Kong," says Keegan. "But for it to really connect in the rest of Asia, it made sense that I should record it in Mandarin as it's the most spoken language here. I hope that with the Mandarin version, more people will be able to connect to the song and hopefully be inspired by it and use it as motivation to achieve their own dreams."
Keegan relocated from London to Hong Kong in 2014, shortly after his song topped the Hong iTunes chart. Since then he signed with Hong Kong-based record label Evosound and released his debut English album in the special administrative region. On his own initiative, he took up Mandarin classes earlier this year with hopes of being able to master basic conversation. He’s since been working hard on writing and recording his first song in Mandarin.
The song, titled (堅守我的夢) with its uplifting melody and empowering lyrics tells the story of fighting to keep your dream alive against all the odds. It’s a song, Keegan says, that was written from his own experiences of fighting to be heard in the music industry.
“Every time I perform the song I sing it with real passion because, really, it tells the story of my life,” he says. “I tend to write songs with a message of encouragement because that’s the type of music that I have turned to over the years.”
Keegan is no stranger to perseverance, it took him a total of 15 years before he got his break. Now he hopes that, with this Mandarin version of his song, it will mark the start of the next chapter of his story and his dream to spread his music and inspire the rest of us to go after our dreams too.