Meet Sophia Laforteza, the only Filipina in girl group search ‘The Debut: Dream Academy’

Luna Coscolluela

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Meet Sophia Laforteza, the only Filipina in girl group search ‘The Debut: Dream Academy’
In her introduction video, Sophia shares that she's been singing since she was three years old: 'Singing is definitely my first love'

MANILA, Philippines – Sophia Laforteza is the only Filipina vying for a spot in HYBE and Geffen Records’ next global girl group. 

On August 29, it was revealed that she would be one of 20 contestants from all over the world who would be taking part in The Debut: Dream Academy reality show. Other candidates hail from South Korea, Japan, United States, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Belarus, Sweden, and Slovakia.

A video introducing Sophia was shared by HYBE LABELS+ on Saturday, September 2, to let fans know more about this up-and-coming star.

Meet Sophia Laforteza, the only Filipina in girl group search ‘The Debut: Dream Academy’
A natural perfomer

Sophia — also called Sophie, Fifi, and Sopheezy by her loved ones — is passionate about performing. She shared that she has been singing since she was three years old.

“I love to sing, I love to dance,” she said. “Singing is definitely my first love. It’s the one thing that gives me comfort.”

A proud Filipina

The 20-year-old is proud of her Filipino roots. In her introduction, she shared how her values and beliefs align with Filipino culture.

“One thing about my people [is that] they’re very nurturing,” she explained. “I think that’s a big part of who I am.”

An unstoppable force

Over the course of the audition program, Sophia experienced an ankle injury.

“That really impacted my confidence,” she shared. However, she refused to let the setback stop her.

“I told myself that ‘I need you to give your everything’,” she recalled. “And the month right after that ended up being one of my strongest months in the program.”

She refused to back down.

“I pushed myself,” she said. “I said, ‘You know you deserve to be here.’ That self love is such an important thing…it really did help me a lot.”

A multi-talented family

The daughter of singer-actress Carla Guevara-Laforteza and Resort’s World executive chef Godfrey Laforteza, talent runs in Sophia’s family.

She shared how her family has supported her throughout the entire audition program and was there when she needed them.

“My parents always told me that I could come home no matter the circumstances,” she said.

Beauty and brains

Aside from being a performer, Sophia is a diligent student. She graduated from Multiple Intelligence International School in June 2021 with several awards for her performance in high school.

A K-pop fan

An avid K-pop lover, Sophia supports groups like BTS, TXT, and Le Serraffim. She has posted multiple song and dance covers of her favorite groups across her different social media accounts.

To snag her spot in HYBE and Geffen Records’ girl group, Sophia will be participating in the different Dream Academy missions. 

In a video posted on September 2, three missions for the audition program were unveiled. They have been introduced as a “showcase,” a “team mission,” and a demonstration of “artistry.”

For the first mission, contestants have been divided into four different groups and have been assigned different songs to perform. Two groups will compete based on their vocals and the other two will be based on their dancing abilities.

Meet Sophia Laforteza, the only Filipina in girl group search ‘The Debut: Dream Academy’

Sophia will be demonstrating her vocal abilities along with contestants Lara, Celeste, Samara, and Nayoung. They will be performing Paramore’s “Still Into You.” Other groups will be performing BLANKPINK’s “Pink Venom,” NewJean’s “OMG,” and a mash-up of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own” and Billie Eilish’s “Happier than Ever.”

Two contestants will be eliminated after the first mission.

The audition program started airing on Youtube and the Japanese streaming platform Abema on September 1. New missions will be released every two weeks. The finale, where the final members and group name will be revealed, will air on November 18.

Fans will be able to select the members of the group through TikTok and Weverse. – Rappler.com

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