Who is this TikTok star dancing at random MRT stations and why are the young people following him?

With over 151,000 likes Raymond's dance moves are a hit on TikTok.
PHOTO: Screengrab/TikTok/Raymondl88

Turning up at random MRT stations and bus stations all over the island, this middle-aged man films himself performing a series of uncomplicated dance moves.

With just this solo dance with always the same moves, TikTok user raymondl88 has managed to garner some 151,000 likes and over 12,000 followers thanks to his videos which have gone viral. 

To date, he has posted 170 videos of that very same dance, done in 10 seconds flat with a catchy accompanying Chinese song. 

In most of these videos, he can be seen dancing with fans ranging from giggly primary school kids to popular social media influencers who actively seek him out to dance with him. 

Raymond, who doesn't fit the profile of a typical TikTok trendsetter in a sphere usually dominated by young Millennials and Gen Zs, is a peculiar hit on that viral video app. 

But who is this unlikely TikTok viral star?

@raymondl88 Thanks for meeting. Be happy #MRT Punggol @lilys455 ♬ 百年孤寂 - 183😜

Known as Raymond, he has been active on the social media platform since 2020.

His initial posts were mainly skit videos, but Raymond started showing off his solo dance moves in January this year.

One of his videos on Jan 23 garnered over one million views on TikTok alone.

Raymond has also inspired a movement of sorts. Other local personalities, such as Nadia Ongkowidjaja of SGAG and comedian Royce Lee have taken to TikTok to perform the same dance routine.

In an interview with the National Youth Council shared on their digital platform Youthopia, Raymond, who said he came from China more than 20 years ago, shared that he started this dance trend three months ago "out of boredom".

"But now with the mask mandate being lifted, I thought it would be a good opportunity to go out and dance to make people happy. I also wanted to make new friends," he said in Chinese.

When Youthopia visited Raymond at Toa Payoh on May 4, they observed a constant flock of fans lining up to dance with him.

@raymondl88 @Kcup @lilys455 ♬ 百年孤寂 - 183😜

On his dance videos, most were strangers who had been informed of Raymond’s location through his earlier videos – just like how K-pop fans track their idols’ whereabouts. 

Youthopia wrote: "The minute we wrapped up the TikTok, there was already another fan running up to him to request Raymond to dance with him.

”It felt like a conveyor belt almost, a never-ending stream of youthful fans vying for a chance with the legend himself… as they patiently waited their turn with him."

In a more recent TikTok video shared by Sgpokegod on Friday (May 6), it showed a girl, dressed in a school uniform, offering her sleeve to the TikTok star, who signed on it without hesitation.

Describing how he "would like" for more people to dance with him, Raymond told Youthopia: "But (you) must be happy then dance. If (you're) not happy, why dance together?"

AsiaOne has reached out to Raymond for more information.

chingshijie@asiaone.com