These are exciting times. A Korean POP group could soon win at the Grammys—and anyone has a chance to be seen and heard on TikTok, including a Malaysian K-POP cover dancer who champions gender fluidity, men's beauty, and big unicorn energy.
Jacket and pants: Both Hugo; Necklace and shoes: Both Alex's own
You may not recognise the name Alex Ho, but there's a chance you're already following @Alexhkf on TikTok or have seen one of his videos, where he's dancing to popular K-pop songs or putting his own spin on a trend. It's a fact the man himself acknowledges: "People know me as just Alex," he says, nonchalantly.

But with 6.4 million followers on TikTok, one million YouTube subscribers, and 146,000 followers on Instagram, it's his face that people first recognise—yet another similarity between him and the K-pop stars he's often told he resembles.

At the studio where our cover shoot is underway, his presence doesn't go unnoticed by two Gen Zers who are excited to see oppa in person. It's something he's gotten used to and rather than letting social media fame get to his head, it's kept him grounded.

"Honestly, nothing much has changed, my drive and passion remain the same. But I have a bigger support system now, and being able to receive so much love from my fans truly inspires me to do better," he reveals, when asked about the impact being a public figure has had on his life.
Leather jacket: AllSaints; T-shirt, necklace and ring: All Alex's own I Makeup: Pure Shots Hydra Bounce Essence-In-Lotion, Touch Eclat Le Teint Crème Foundation in B20, Couture Eyeshadow Palette in #9, Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Velvet Radical in #304 / All YSL Beauty
There's a special name for his followers, in tandem with fandom tradition: they're known as "unicorns", a reference to his love for the mythical beings. "Unicorns are magical creatures who roam the skies, in rainbows and glitter," he laughs, before adding, "That's absolutely me." Fun fact: Off-camera on the set of this shoot, he walked around in a pair of adorable, fuzzy Adidas X Jeremy Scott Adilette Teddy slides.
While this side of Alex is very evident in his videos, casual viewers may not notice the grit and determination beneath his youthful exuberance. Before achieving success as a full-time content creator, he was just one of the many people affected by the pandemic.

"I used to teach K-pop choreographies to students at dance studios. When Covid first hit us, many of these studios had to close down and classes were put on hold for an indefinite time. I suddenly found myself losing both my job and also my passion," he recalls, sombrely, of the bleak period when he felt stuck and uncertain about the future.
Jacket, shirt and shorts: All Moschino
With all this extra time on his hands, he stumbled upon TikTok and saw it as an opportunity to channel his talents elsewhere. "I told myself I'd create 100 videos for TikTok, one every day for 100 consecutive days. It truly kept me going as more followers began to recognise my passion and hard work."

Now that those 100 videos have become so many more, burnout is a looming job hazard that he must guard against. To keep the ideas flowing and maintain his enthusiasm for the craft, Alex switches between different content formats including vlogs and transition videos. This adaptability also ensures he learns new skills to keep up with fast-moving trends.

It's paid off handsomely as he hit one million followers in half a year, and six million in two years. The people who love his content aren't just from Malaysia, but also from places as diverse as Indonesia and Latin America, where Korean pop culture—and the social media app—has a massive fan base.
Part of his popularity might also have to do with his interest in different cultures and languages. To date, he speaks English, Mandarin, Malay, Korean, as well as some Indonesian and Thai. He's also naturally expressive, has a sassy sense of humour, and dances very well while inspiring people to try out dancing and have fun doing it.
This begets the question: did his interest in dance begin before or after he became a fan of K-pop? "I've always had an interest in dance, all the way back to the days of Backstreet Boys and Nsync, but K-pop was definitely the main push in kick-starting my dance journey," he reveals, explaining how Korean pop groups have concepts—a term referring to the look and feel of every song they perform and their overall identity—that is expressed through their choreography.

"When I first got into Shinee and Wonder Girls, they were already known for their catchy choreographies and I've been hooked ever since. It prompted me to join a dance crew with my sister, who was also an avid fan of K-pop. We have never looked back since."
Shirt and necklace: Both Alex's own I Makeup: Touch Eclat Le Teint Crème Foundation in B20, Touch Eclat High Cover Radiant Concealer in #20, All Hours Setting Powder in B10, Couture Eyeshadow Palette in #14, Rouge Volupté Shine in #45 / All YSL Beauty
The siblings still share a close relationship and the family is tight-knit. Throughout this photoshoot, his sister and mum offer their support between wardrobe changes, while also helping to capture photos and videos of the experience on his phone. Being the humble and considerate person that he is, he'd asked beforehand if it was okay for them to come along.

This awareness of others and of his surroundings also comes with being part of a dance team called Kueendom Kingsman. "Different dance concepts require us to focus on different skill sets and dance lines. So before we learn and execute the dance as a team, we would watch many live performances and fancams of the song, dive into the lyrics, and also study the original choreography just to understand it better."

Their dance covers are uploaded onto YouTube and they're often invited to perform at—and judge—K-pop dance competitions in Malaysia. Some years back, they were even selected to be Malaysia's representatives at the KBS K-pop World Festival in Changwon. Achieving such high standards involve countless hours of gruelling research, training, and managing aches and pains. Having experienced this firsthand, he's supportive of other dance teams, even taking a few under his wing.

"I love seeing dance covers from other countries. The K-pop dance cover community always inspires me with how creative they can get," he muses. To date, Alex has dabbled in ballet, Chinese traditional dance and also hip-hop. What people sometimes fail to realise, he notes, is that K-pop choreographies vary in dance genres and styles.

"Some feature waacking, krumping, hip-hop and even Latin moves. So, I've actually tried a lot of dance styles thanks to K-pop and personally, I like the sassy ones a tad bit more," he quips. "I like dances with more flavour and zest!"
Blazer: Hugo; Bracelet: Alex's own
Unfortunately, there are critics who find this too fiery to stomach. "My team does covers of girl group choreographies from time to time and depending on the song's concept, I like to challenge my fashion limits. Sometimes we're met with criticism and hate. But I think it's all good as it is a step forward in normalising gender fluidity."
Likewise, he doesn't hide his love of skincare and makeup. "I feel like looking good is the main key to being charismatic and confident about yourself. It shouldn't be set aside just because of someone's gender. Everyone should be able to learn to look their best.

"There's no reason to see men's grooming in a negative light anymore in this time and age. Being a male beauty creator, I've received a lot of positive feedback and love, for which I am very grateful. I would say the public is opening up more to the idea of men in beauty," he affirms with a radiant smile.

In addition to looking good, beauty and fashion, to him, is also about self-expression. "I like to dress based on my inspiration of the week and what I vibe with. On some days, a splash of colour brings out my emotions, while on certain days I channel a mysterious vibe with a monochrome blazer and slacks. It's why I love dressing up. The ability to express yourself is limitless."
Denim jacket and jeans: Dior; Necklace: Alex's own
Life is also too short to dwell on what-ifs. If you think you're too "old" to learn TikTok and K-pop dances, he'd like to convince you otherwise as a multi-hyphenate born in the early '90s. "Do not let age deter you from doing what you like! I used to teach students from all age ranges—and what matters is that you're happy at the end of the day.

"If I'd worried about things being difficult or factored in my age, I would never get to where I am today. Just take the leap of faith and do it, you have my full support!"

As you're reading this, Alex is taking steps towards reinventing himself once again. "Dancing has always been a joy to me and it's my passion, but I am looking to expand into new territories such as modelling and acting. I've had a few opportunities to do this and while there is a learning curve, I'm very excited to diversify and to keep improving."
Watch: Alex Takes On The
'Dance My Feelings' Challenge
Editor & styling / sarah hani jamil
text & creative direction / ADELINA TAN
photography / edmund lee ASSISTED BY CHRISTINE CHANG | One3four STUDIO
videographY / Euri Erfe
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