Matthew Kashy Keegan is a Worthing-born 32 year old who first rose to prominence in late 2013, thanks to the uplifting This Is My Dream, a tune he had written some seven years previously. The anthem was picked up by a music supervisor who worked for HKTV (Hong Kong Television), who then opted to use it on the documentary series The Challenge.

This set in motion a fast-moving chain of events which culminated in This Is My Dream outselling the likes of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to reach number one on the Hong Kong iTunes chart and a subsequent move to the former British overseas territory. Keegan signed to Evosound in May 2014 and put out his debut album, This Is My Dream, seven months later. 

"I'm excited to be releasing my new album," says the star, who spent many years in a variety of jobs – including journalist, toilet cleaner and hospital clerk – while trying to break into the industry.

"It feels like a big achievement this time because I have written and produced every song."

"The past two years have been a crazy time for me – moving to the other side of the world and having a number one song. There have been so many highs and lows and sources of inspiration and I'm really looking forward to sharing the new music. I decided to call the album Inner Song because these songs are my account of all the changes from the inside out."

Keegan, a long-time fan of established names such as George Michael, Elton John and Tracy Chapman, began his musical journey with piano lessons at the age of seven, going on to write his first song at the age of 10. What themes does his new collection address?

"My intention has been the same since I first started writing 20 years ago," he replies, "and that's to try and write songs with a message of encouragement and empowerment.

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Those are the type of songs that inspired my deep appreciation for music and what have kept me going over the years. I think it's really important, especially in current times, that music helps us get through the day-to-day and gives listeners hope."

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The current single, released earlier this month, is called Need for Love. "The song is a little bit of a social commentary on modern society," explains the singer. "It talks about how our addiction to machines 24/7 is making us more distant from one another. I went from living in one big city (London) to another on the other side of the world, but the same was true."

"People seem so indifferent and disconnected from one another these days, as most people are looking down at their phones. However, in spite of our modern habits and how people appear and behave on the surface, deep down no one is above the need for love." He says the basic need for love is part of the human condition, and that modern contradiction is what the song is about.

"Do I believe it has the potential to be as successful as my previous single? Yes, I do - on the condition that people get a chance to hear it", he adds. "The real challenge as a songwriter is not writing the songs, it's getting them heard."

"It was surreal and totally unexpected," muses the recently married musician, who also writes for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. "The irony was that, after 15 years of knocking on doors and trying to get a break, I had all but given up on a career as a songwriter and had gone back to working as a journalist."

That's when it all happened for him: one song completely changed his life. He originally posted it online and there it sat for six years; all of a sudden, boom. It randomly got some exposure in China and ended up going to number one. "It was a crazy experience and really taught me the importance of keeping an open mind. Life can surprise you when you least expect it."