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Malaysian pop artist alextbh just released the “Between” single from his forthcoming The Chase EP, a sensual song about queer intimacy. We chatted about all that, plus Pride and more…
L.A. WEEKLY: When did you start writing, singing and performing, and when did you realize it could be a career?
ALEXTBH: I started toying with the GarageBand app on my iPad when I was around 14, but I never took music seriously. It took me a while to understand sound design and songwriting but my ethos is mostly to throw everything to the wall and see what sticks. I then sort of found my niche sound and that’s when I felt comfortable enough to put my stuff up on SoundCloud. Alextbh has always felt like a passion project to me. The thought of this being my career does not come as an “aha” moment, but more of a gradual process. Being on tour, having a solid team on board, learning the financial side of things — these little attributes bolstered my confidence to establish myself as an artist.

Describe your sound…
I’d say it’s both R&B-infused pop and pop-infused R&B at the same time, if that makes sense. These are the two genres that I grew up in, so naturally they find their ways into my music and songwriting.Tell us about “Between” — what is it about? Is it representative of the vibe on the EP?
I wanted to write a song that boldly expresses my sexuality and that’s how “Between” came about. I know that my songs have always been unapologetically queer, but Between is on a whole new level for me. It’s raw and raunchy, and I don’t feel the need to hide anything. It’s also really gritty, and that’s the sound direction I’ve always wanted to go for. I think the rest of the EP reflects that sonically. It comes from a place of darkness, and that’s the theme that my EP is centered around.
How will you be celebrating Pride in June?
Gosh, I’ve no clue. I had this huge summer plan with my friends to celebrate Pride in London, but I guess that’s going down the drain. Not the end of the world though, I just have to figure it out. The sooner I let go of my summer plans and be content, the better I’ll feel. I know a Zoom party isn’t the best thing, but we’re in a middle of pandemic so at least I’m grateful to just be here.
What else do you have coming up?
My EP’s coming out very soon, which I’m very excited about. I can finally have a proper body of work to showcase what Alextbh is all about, and the stories that I want to share over the past year. I really want the world to hear what I have to say.
“Between” is out now. The Chase EP is out Summer 2020.