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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

Kashy Keegan finds fame away from home

Posted: 05 Mar 2014 08:00 AM PST

Englishman's song becomes anthem for free speech in Hong Kong.

A BRITISH singer-songwriter whose ballads failed to make a mark at home has become an unlikely hero in Hong Kong, where his anthem to overcoming adversity has galvanised free-speech protesters.

Kashy Keegan has found fame in the southern Chinese city with This Is My Dream, which has became the unofficial soundtrack to protests against the government's refusal to grant a licence to an upstart television network.

"As a singer-songwriter it's what you aspire towards," he said as he returned to the city for a concert recently.

After years of trying to break into the music industry by performing in small venues and recording song demos at his own expense, Keegan had almost "given up" on a pop career until he received a call asking him to perform at the rallies.

When new network HKTV had its licence application blocked, footage of the protests with This Is My Dream playing in the background emerged on YouTube, spawning an instant hit that topped Hong Kong's iTunes singles chart.

Last October Keegan electrified thousands of protesters with two performances of the song.

"It's quite a dramatic song and quite defiant. It captured the emotion and the spirit of the time," he told AFP.

Keegan spoke of his admiration for HKTV chairman Ricky Wong, who he said was trying to push the boundaries of television in Hong Kong.

"(Viewers) are very limited," he said. "They hardly have any choice and the programmes are very generic and inane.

Wong "wants to create this network where you can be more creative," he said.

There have been mounting concerns that China is seeking to tighten control over the semi-autonomous region and rein in its free-wheeling media.

Thousands joined a demonstration for press freedom organised by journalists in Hong Kong last month.

Keegan, originally from the town of Worthing, Sussex, has been working on better connecting with his Hong Kong fans through Facebook and YouTube.

"I've had some attempts at learning Cantonese. I've done a few video messages, like for Chinese New Year," he said.

Keegan's day job is as a celebrity journalist in London, but he previously worked in a succession of low-paying roles including as a cleaner, data entry clerk and in telesales – singing in small venues for family and friends in the evening. — AFP

K-pop group 2NE1 releases two music videos

Posted: 04 Mar 2014 05:45 PM PST

New album Crush in stores on March 7.

KOREAN girl group 2NE1 has shared videos for two songs off just-released album Crush.

Videos for Happy and Come Back Home are both available to stream on YouTube, having already racked up well over a million views.

Watch the video for Come Back Home above. Here's the video for Happy.

The group's new album, Crush, is available on iTunes, with a physical release set for March 7. Meanwhile, the girls have just kicked off an international tour, "All or Nothing", starting with two dates in Seoul and moving on to Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Japan through July 13. – AFP Relaxnews

Related story:

2NE1 brings hallyu to Malaysia

2NE1 brings hallyu to Malaysia

Posted: 04 Mar 2014 09:30 PM PST

The K-pop group is set to perform in a concert here.

GET ready to say annyeonghaseyo ("hello" in Korean) to 2NE1 when the group stops by Kuala Lumpur for a concert as part of its highly-anticipated All Or Nothing 2014 World Tour.

The four-member all-girl group – made up of CL, Minzy, Dara, and Bom – is scheduled to perform on May 24 at Stadium Negara. The girls are set to visit countries, including Japan and China, as part of the tour.

2NE1 is set to kick start the world tour in South Korea and will be performing 17 concerts around the world, during which they will meet fans in 13 cities.

It is confirmed that renowned American choreographers and directors Travis Payne and Stacy Walker – who have worked with the legendary Michael Jackson – will once again join the South Korean group to create a memorable concert experience for the audience.

This time around, the girls are expected to show more individual strengths and promise to give stronger performances. Gil Smith II, the music director of Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and many other big names, is collaborating with 2NE1 for this concert series as well.

IME Production is the lead promoter of 2NE1 All Or Nothing 2014 World Tour in Malaysia.

Ticket sales launch will be held at Sungei Wang Plaza in KL on March 9 from 11am to 3pm (early birds may get the chance to score some freebies). Tickets can be purchased online at from Sunday, too. You can also call the TicketCharge hotline at 03-9222 8811, which will begin its operation on March 10.

Tickets are priced at: VVIP (RM599); Rock Zone RM499; RM399 and RM199. For more information, go to the IME Production official FB page

Related story:

K-pop group 2NE1 releases two music videos


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