Champion Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte, below, has a saying he’s mentioned to me over the many years I’ve known him: “You can count your real friends on one hand minus a few fingers”.

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And in the highly competitive and high stakes game of horse racing in a money-riddled, rumor-mongering city like Hong Kong where the top riders are treated like Rock stars, being level-headed enough not to be swept up in the tidal wave of compliments, promises, deals, truths and half-truths and watching out for back-stabbers waiting to bring you down, is a full-time job.

It requires having had to have been burnt to get to that point where you can see past the bullshit.

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All this came to mind when receiving an email last week by a part-time songwriter who’s decided to take that large step of leaving the UK and settling in Hong Kong on the strength of the success of one of his songs- success, Hong Kong-style which is really no success at all.

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Still, it hasn’t stopped even the UK’s Guardian from writing about Kashy Keegan and how his song, This Is My Dream, has outsold Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and other big International names on the Hong Kong iTunes chart.

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The truth is that international sales in Hong Kong are tiny. And when even a Canto-pop diva like Joey Yung, below, can sell only 2,000 downloads of her new record and another Chinese diva in Sandy Lam has seen her latest record flop- sad as Sandy Lam is a very good talent- being number one on Hong Kong’s iTunes charts is really nothing to even get mildly excited about.

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Still, for Kashy Keegan, after years of sending out his songs to A&R people and music companies in the UK and getting nowhere, this sudden brush with fame- albeit small and, perhaps, fleeting- is something- something better than sitting around waiting for the postman to ring twice. Or once.

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So, from what I was made to understand, despite a rather bewildering “deal” with the local office of a major music company where he was signed to them along with his hit song to their publishing division, he was let go.

Why? Well, this one song somehow became the theme and voice for a well-orchestrated “protest movement” involving a television channel- HKTV, the brainchild of television executive Ricky Chan-not being granted a broadcasting license by the Hong Kong government.

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The odds say that the music company smelt an opportunity to sell a few records and signed up Kashy Keegan thinking that if the “protests” were successful and the government had a change of heart and granted the television license, this song could perhaps have a sync value attached to it.

Alas, none of this happened despite kinda weird protests with very mixed messages in shopping malls where Kashy sang the song in his heart and the rent-a-crowds hung about waving candles and the staged farce fed the local news media with a story.

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But what now for Kashy Keegan?

Well, he’s already spoken to the usual suspects in Hong Kong who speak so knowingly about knowing what to do without having any hits on the board for themselves and will be just another one-hit mall guy who will flog his one song until The Fat Lady appears very quickly and bursts into song.

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Would anyone care about any of his other songs?

Without the interest of “a background story”, I fear not and Kashy Keegan will realize that the initial enthusiasm and star treatment- all with an agenda attached to them- a one-sided agenda- has come and gone along with the dreams of television executive Ricky Chan ever opening anything other than the exit door.

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