Sabrina Bahsoon, aka Tube Girl, on the London Tube

On The NYC Subway With TikTok’s Tube Girl

The it girl of transit reveals her secret to channeling IDGAF energy.

We just missed the uptown 6 train in Manhattan, and Sabrina Bahsoon — better known as TikTok’s Tube Girl — is making the most of the six minutes until the next one. While I warn her manager about subway rats, Bahsoon is strutting up and down the grime-covered platform, holding her phone out in front of her at .5 zoom to capture every coordinated head tilt and lip-synced lyric. “I listen to songs that make me feel like I’m that girl,” the 23-year-old says. Now, with nearly 800,000 followers and 28 million likes on TikTok, Bahsoon has more than embodied *that* girl — and it’s not just because of her playlist.

The London local is best known for her videos from the city’s Tube: While wind from the moving train artfully blows her hair, she lip-syncs and dances to her latest bop of choice (often the “Ayesha x Righteous remix”), shifting her camera angle in time with the music. It’s a bold niche that has won her plenty of fans — most of whom share a common goal. As one commenter puts it, “i want this confidence so badly.”

Now, the #tubegirl hashtag has over 1.8 billion views, with thousands of videos featuring people copying Bahsoon’s unique method of filming. Despite her growing virality, Bahsoon doesn’t often encounter her followers in the real world. “I’ll be sitting on the Tube in London, and no one notices or says anything,” she says. “But when I whip out my phone, everybody is like, ‘Oh, that’s her.’”

Keaton Rich, @Keaton_Rich

During our trip uptown, that exact scenario unfolds, 3,459 miles (5,567 kilometers) away from Bahsoon’s hometown. When she starts filming, two girls in our car realize the person causing a scene on the subway is Tube Girl. They giggle to each other and eventually get up the nerve to say, “I can’t believe you’re in New York now!” Once Bahsoon recovers from her baffled surprise at being recognized, she is eager to chat with them. A discussion about the city’s subway system (what else?) quickly gets underway. And as the subway doors open for our stop, they’re still talking, Bahsoon only saying goodbye when the doors are ready to close again.

Here, Bahsoon talks about having the confidence to film in public, her favorite comments from celebrities, and why the NYC subway isn’t too bad after all.

Elite Daily: Your Tube Girl videos started going viral this summer. When did you first get the idea for this niche?

Sabrina Bahsoon: I’m from Malaysia, and my whole family went back there to visit some relatives this summer, so I was alone in London. I stayed behind because I just graduated and I had no job lined up. I studied law, and I knew if I kept with it, I would become like those lawyers who cry all the time and are just trying to get by.

I needed to figure out how to get myself closer to where I wanted to be career-wise. I love music and fashion, and I knew TikTok was a great platform to get reach. I tried filming at home, on the streets, on the bus, and then I finally did it on the Tube. At that point, I was like, “Actually, this hits.”

ED: Did you have any idea how viral your videos would become?

SB: I did not expect anything out of it. It was just a way to be more creative and get comfortable with it. I had to ditch the fear of being cringe — the fear of being seen as something besides a lawyer and a student. The videos were made to become more of the person I wanted to be.

That confidence is all Tube Girl. She’s like a character. I’m Sabrina.

ED: Your “that girl” energy shines through in your TikToks. Have you always felt so confident?

SB: No, it was definitely a fake-it-‘til-you-make-it kind of thing. I was very shy growing up and super insecure about who I was in this world. I was struggling with the idea of, “Am I doing what I need to do?” — just constantly questioning my choices. I had to shift my mindset to gain confidence.

You have to wake up and remind yourself who you are until you believe it. A playlist helps, too. I find the sauce in the music. I don’t think I could make these videos without it. My Tube Girl playlist is what you listen to when you’re getting ready with your girls — songs that make you believe you’re that girl.

ED: Besides wherever there’s vibey music, in what setting do you feel the most self-assured?

SB: With my siblings or my friends. My friends are my No. 1 champions, and my siblings are my No. 1 supporters. With them, I feel like I can do anything in public and people won’t care.

Keaton Rich, @Keaton_Rich

ED: You’ve received a lot of love on your content. What’s your favorite type of comment to receive?

SB: I love seeing people say that they’ve tried the Tube Girl trend and loved it. Anyone who collaborates with me realizes how fun it is. So it’s nice to see that other people have tried it and that it’s made them feel better about their day.

ED: You’ve had plenty of star-studded collabs, even filming one on The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ red carpet. Have you gotten any celebrity comments that your fans might not have seen?

SB: Over the last three months, so many people have. Tinashe commented once, and Jason Momoa is the most recent. Shay Mitchell also did the Tube Girl trend. Shay is the biggest slay of life. The coolest girl ever. I have screenshots of her hair from Pretty Little Liars on my vision board. I want my hair to look like hers.

I haven’t gotten my favorite celebrity, Ross Lynch, to notice me yet. I’ve had a crush on him for ages. Getting his attention would be for my teenage girl self because The Driver Era is my favorite band.

ED: Logistics question: Do you film your videos right when you get on the train, or do you wait until you’re about to get off?

SB: I film from the time I get on until I get off. Because of how the Tube works, I can’t film when the train is stopped. There’s no wind. I have to film it while it’s going, and there’s only a minute between stops or even less. So as soon as the Tube starts, I go. When it’s stopped, I’m just sitting there, bopping to my music again.

Keaton Rich, @Keaton_Rich

ED: I know you’ve only been here for a few days, but what do you think about the NYC subway so far?

SB: People painted it to be way worse than it actually is. It is a bit stinky — I can’t lie. But everyone is so calm. No one looks at you in New York. The other day, we were using a leaf blower on the subway, and nobody blinked an eye. People were so unfazed. I was like, “This is perfect. I should move here.”

ED: What’s the wildest reaction you’ve gotten to filming in real life?

SB: I was filming with Troye Sivan, and this girl recognized him, but her friends were gaslighting her. They were saying, “No, it’s not him. Why would he be on the Tube?” I feel bad for those girls if they ever see the video we did together.

ED: Where did the Tube Girl nickname come from?

SB: Michael, my manager, was the one that put it in my head. He told his friend he had a meeting with “Tube Girl,” and I thought, “That’s actually cute.” I think the name is really why it became a trend. That confidence is all Tube Girl. She’s like a character. I’m Sabrina. I’m still a human. I have my struggles, and I get nervous.

If anyone comes up to me and says, “You’re Tube Girl. I don’t know your name,” it doesn’t bother me. The nickname’s easier to remember, and it’s gotten me to where I am.

ED: Watching your videos, I convinced myself you were a Leo, since you seem so comfortable and confident filming in public. What is your zodiac sign?

SB: I’m not a fire sign. I’m a Scorpio, a water sign. I’m very sensitive. My rising and my moon is Capricorn. But my first Tube Girl video was August 13, so it’s true that she’s a Leo.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.