The Filipina talent joins Lara, Megan, Daniela, Yoonchae, and Manon in the 6-member group formed by HYBE and American record label Geffen Records.
It’s official: the 20-year-old Filipina is debuting with HYBE Labels and Geffen Records’ first international girl group, KATSEYE. Over the weekend, the talent competition reality show, The Debut: Dream Academy, announced in a live broadcast the names of their most-anticipated lineup.
From a pool of 120,000 hopeful trainees worldwide, 20 aspiring idols were meticulously selected—and out of them all, Sophia Laforteza emerged as the first member of the KATSEYE, making her the first Filipina to join HYBE, Korea’s leading entertainment powerhouse known for managing prominent K-pop groups like BTS, New Jeans, and Le Sserafim.
Say ‘Hi’ to Sophia Laforteza, the First Member of the HYBE x Geffen Girl Group, KATSEYE!
Consistently ranking in the top spots throughout the show, with 45,184 votes in the final round, Sophia had an exceptional run and eventually secured the first spot among the top 10 finalists in the survival reality series where trainees undergo a development process using the K-pop training system, Dream Academy. Slaying her way with talent, skills, and drive, she clinched the top spot in early and live voting. It’s no surprise she was announced as the first member of KATSEYE.
As the young Filipina idol puts it:
Now the world is getting a taste of Sophia Laforteza’s incredible talent, and it’s no surprise when you’ve got the genes of a Filipino stage actress and singer like Carla Guevarra-Laforteza and a former dancer and executive chief like Godfrey Laforteza III. Beauty, talent, and stage presence? It’s all in the family for Sophia, and she’s bringing that unique mix to the global stage with style and flair.
Although the specifics of KATSEYE’s debut are still under wraps, fans are eagerly anticipating how the girl group, featuring members Lara Rajagopalan, Megan Meiyok Skiendiel, and Daniela Avanzini from the US, Jeong Yoon-chae from South Korea, and Manon Bannerman from Switzerland, will make their mark on the global stage. As they continue their training, their preparations are set to be documented for a 2024 Netflix series directed by Nadia Hallgren and produced by HYBE, Interscope Films, and Boardwalk Pictures.
This exciting venture, a collaborative effort between HYBE and the American label Geffen Records heralds the emergence of a barrier-breaking, culturally significant global girl group—one that is not merely about creating music but a transformative journey set to captivate audiences worldwide.
Cover image credit: Sophia Laforteza Instagram