How My Song Became an Unlikely Protest Anthem—in Hong Kong
I'd given up on a music career when a song I posted online took on a strange new life. Suddenly I had a #1 hit, and an entire new life on the other side of the world.
In 2007, when I was 24, I wrote a song called “This Is My Dream.” It was a defiant song about fighting to keep a dream alive against the odds. I’d spent almost 10 years trying to make it in the music industry — working any odd job I could in order to afford time in a recording studio, sending out demo after demo — but I’d gotten nowhere.
I uploaded the song to ReverbNation, a site where unsigned musicians could share their work, and thereafter forgot about it. The only people who really listened to the song were a few family members and friends.
Meanwhile, I was working at the local hospital in Worthing, a retirement town on the south coast of England, preparing patient notes for clinics. One day, when I’d returned to the clerk’s room after collecting notes from all over the hospital, there was a knock at the door. A lady in her early 50s entered, dressed in a white lab coat. I’d seen her once or twice before and knew that she worked in the neighboring microbiology lab.
“Hi, I just wonde…