Who needs tickets to a West End show when you have the chance to witness a world-famous live performance right in your Tube carriage? Sabrina Bahsoon has proven that she doesn’t need a grand stage to achieve musical stardom. She has turned the most mundane part of people’s day into a song-and-dance spectacle that catapulted her to overnight fame. The 23-year-old took TikTok by storm in August with a series of videos showcasing her dancing and miming along to viral tracks while riding the Tube. Her carefree self-confidence in an environment where most are afraid of accidentally bumping into someone has garnered her millions of views, a dedicated fanbase, and inspired similar performances on public transport systems worldwide.
Before becoming known as “Tube Girl,” Sabrina Bahsoon was a part-time math tutor and a law graduate from Durham University, originally from Malaysia. While using TikTok, she started experimenting with making music videos by dancing in her living room and using different camera lenses and perspectives to create a unique look. Eventually, she settled on the ultrawide setting, which captures her from a strikingly distorted, zoomed-out 0.5x view. She started filming her videos at home, on the streets, and on buses before one day deciding to film on the Tube. Her video sat in her drafts for a while before she mustered the courage to post it.
Sabrina Bahsoon’s performances have extended beyond London’s Underground, as she has also performed in New York City’s iconic subway. Her fame has led to brand deals, including modeling Hugo Boss fashion on a Tube platform. The hashtags #tubegirl and #tubegirleffect have garnered billions of views, with many inspired to put on their own public transport performances.
Fans admire Bahsoon’s audacious performances, which have sparked a trend of breaking confidence barriers among women. Her videos have also helped viewers combat their own anxieties and lack of self-confidence, encouraging them to let loose and embrace their true selves. However, not everyone is a fan, with dissenters accusing her of seeking attention or disrupting other people’s commutes.
Despite her rising fame, Sabrina Bahsoon remains humble and hesitant to describe herself as “famous.” She appreciates it when people approach her and say hello. She understands that the nature of TikTok and the internet means that today’s stars can quickly be overshadowed by others with new ideas and self-confidence.
Bahsoon’s advice to aspiring TikTok stars is to not overthink and to put themselves out there. She believes that one needs to accept the idea of being seen before wanting others to see them. Her success story is an inspiration, leaving others wondering if they too can make a life-changing impact by sharing their talents on social media platforms like TikTok.