"It's Alex, to be honest." Alextbh is Malaysia's R&B crown queer, and rightly so. Embodying his unambiguous moniker, Alextbh is pushing boundaries by fearlessly expressing his sexuality and quirky identity both on- and off-stage. We had the pleasure of sitting down with him as he dissects love, emotion, and authenticity through his sultry, spellbinding music.
Q: What's your favourite thing about being a queer pop star?
A: I can be whoever I wanna be, I feel free in expressing myself, I feel at home, it feels great to have a community that backs you up as well
Q: If you could pick any artist to work with, who would it be and why?
A: Jess Connelly. Her voice, I just fell in love with her voice, so *she’s right there* It’s been great, we never really met before, but the first five minutes that we met our chemistry was just like, right there. I just think she’s genuinely a super fun chill person and yeah I really needed a person like that at this point.
Q: What does "tbh" mean?
A: It’s up to interpretation to be honest, but I guess in general it’s To Be Honest. I just use that moniker a lot because I am an open book, I do tell my life stories a lot, not just in the form of music, but before I made music I like to write, I like to, you know, express myself in like many different ways, but I just like to make songs, I feel at home the most when I write songs so yeah
Q: Which is the most heartbreaking song you've ever written, and what was it like getting through that heartbreak?
A: Walls, I wrote that when I was denied my US tourist visa, it’s so sad, I didn’t write it based off of that, but there were a lot of different... I went through a lot, I suffered through a lot of depressive episodes, and that really hits me, it’s like a nail in the coffin so I wrote 'walls' after that.
Q: If you weren't making music, what would you be doing?
A: I just feel like we’re in this matrix and I happen to be in the right glitch, you know what I mean? If i weren’t making music right now, i honestly wouldn’t know what i’m gonna be, or who am i gonna be
Q: What are your pre-show rituals?
A: *gasp* do you know Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa? Yeah, the little cough medicine thing, I chug it like a champ every time before I go on stage, which is not exactly the healthiest thing to do but it’s the Chinese side of me. It just soothes me. It’s what my mom asks me to do.
Q: How do you deal with stage fright?
A: Going through around the spaces help me a lot, like physically walking and like, getting to know and recognize the spaces and then know the people as well, not necessarily know them but understand the dynamics of the crowd and what they want, that makes me more comfortable because I feel like most of the time people get stage fright because they don’t know what to expect. Imagine you’re at an audition and there are 4 judges, you don’t know who those 4 judges are, but if you do know their backgrounds and what they’re looking for, you can prepare most of it and you’ll feel more comfortable.