This 20-year-old is the lone Filipina competitor in Hybe x Geffen’s ‘Dream Academy’
Are you ready for a new explosive girl group?
We’ll be able to witness the birth and evolution of one soon under a groundbreaking collaboration. In 2021, K-pop entertainment company Hybe and American label Geffen Records announced their “strategic joint venture partnership,” and part of this is coming up with a new international girl group from scratch, following the K-pop training system.
Now, it’s been announced that from over 120,000 hopefuls, 20 have made the cut to compete for Hybe x Geffen’s audition program called “The Debut: Dream Academy.” One of them is a Filipina named Sophia Laforteza.
The 20-year-old is the lone contestant from the Philippines, and the only one of two from Southeast Asia (the other one is Marquise from Thailand). The rest of the participating girls come from Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Argentina, Brazil, Belarus, Japan, South Korea, and the USA.
According to Billboard, the making of this global girl group will be documented in an upcoming series by Nadia Hallgren, which “will delve into the journey to global stardom while including insight into the extensive training and development program from Hybe and Geffen Records.”
To introduce these talented individuals (with a median age of 18.05), an art film posted on Hybe Labels was released today, Aug. 29, showing a peek into their personalities, talents, and group chemistry. In this preview, we also witness Laforteza’s sweet singing voice.
The young Filipina rep’s mother, theater and TV actress Carla Guevara-Laforteza, took to Instagram Stories to show how proud she is of her daughter’s stellar achievement.
Meanwhile in the program’s official Instagram, each of the trainees is given the chance to do a quick greeting and pick three words that will help get to know more about them. Laforteza described herself as “hysterical, caring, diligent.”
Billboard reports that the final members of the much-awaited collective as well as the group’s name will be unveiled on the Nov. 17 finale. “The Debut: Dream Academy” will premiere on Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT (11 p.m. in the Philippines) and be streamed on YouTube and Japan’s ABEMA. Voting begins on WeVerse on Sept. 6, so get those quick fingers (and internet connection) ready.
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If you’ve become more curious about our Filipina aspirant, heading to her TikTok page (@sophialaforteza) might just be the next best idea—especially given her song covers.
@sophialaforteza singing on here again after months 🏼 vanessa’s trick for ya #thelittlemermaid #vanessastrick #singing @halle ♬ original sound – sophia laforteza