Pinoy pop

‘We’re doing this out of passion’: 1Z Entertainment on forming a new girl group

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‘We’re doing this out of passion’: 1Z Entertainment on forming a new girl group

1Z ENTERTAINMENT. COO Yani de Dios and CEO Pablo Nase sit down with Rappler.


1Z Entertainment sits down with Rappler to talk about SB19 mentoring a new batch of idols, artists’s mental health, and the rise of P-pop

As one of the pioneer trailblazers of P-pop, SB19 has always expressed their desire to see it reach greater heights. And now, they’re set to contribute to its continued growth as SB19—tthrough their own established agency, 1Z Entertainment—kickstarts their search for a new girl group. 

“One of the main reasons why they want to establish 1Z Entertainment is really for SB19 to leave a legacy in the industry. They want to impart their knowledge and their skills,” COO Yani de Dios said in a Rappler Talk Entertainment interview. “The plan to create a new group was really there; it’s just that we were waiting for the right timing.” 

‘We’re doing this out of passion’: 1Z Entertainment on forming a new girl group

This might be a huge leap to take for a company as young as 1Z Entertainment, which was only founded in 2023, but the people behind the label recognize that the P-pop landscape is currently making strides. “There’s really an audience for it. So there’s an opportunity for everyone—for all P-pop artists and even the upcoming ones,” De Dios added. 

SB19’s leader Pablo, who also serves as the CEO of 1Z Entertainment, disclosed that the plans to create a girl group first surfaced in 2021—jjust three years since SB19 themselves made their official debut and way before they established their own label. 

While they’re aware of how others might think that they’re pursuing the management path too soon, Pablo assured fans that they’re confident in this particular path. “Masasabi namin (we can say that), we’re stronger than ever. Mas okay na ‘yung team namin. Right now, we can say na kaya na naming panindigan kung ano man ‘yung project na gusto naming gawin,” he said. (We have a better team, which is why we can say that we can commit to any project that we’d like to do.)

‘We’re doing this out of passion’: 1Z Entertainment on forming a new girl group
SB19 promises to be hands-on mentors

From being the ones onstage, SB19 will stay on the other side this time around to guide their upcoming girl group to the limelight. “They will have the best of the best,” Pablo promised.

As someone who’s been in charge of composing and producing songs for SB19 – may it be through group and individual releases – Pablo also pledges that he’ll be active behind the scenes for their upcoming girl group. 

“This is the first artist na ilalabas ni (that will be handled by) 1Z Entertainment apart from SB19. We’ll build them from scratch. Talagang tutulungan namin i-hone ‘yung skills nila, ibubuhos ko [‘yung knowledge ko] for them (We’re really helping them hone their skills, that’s why I’ll pour all that I know for them),” he added. 

While they’re still in the process of coming up with the group, Pablo shared that he’s already excited to meet their “baby.” He also recalled how SB19 had a tough time when they entered the scene and declared that he’ll make sure that their upcoming group won’t go through the hardships that they did. 

“When we were starting as SB19, we didn’t have this kind of set-up. We don’t have someone to guide us to create music and all. But them, they will have the best of the best), he said. 

The road to being 1Z Entertainment trainee

Auditions to be a trainee under 1Z Entertainment are fully underway. Aspiring applicants should submit one-minute singing or dancing video requirement for the initial screening. 

In the Rappler Talk Entertainment interview, De Dios disclosed that they haven’t had the time to go through among all entries yet as there was a surge of applications. He, however, vowed that SB19 will be hands-on on selecting the auditionees who will advance to the second stage of screening. 

After thorough reviewing of the videos, 1Z Entertainment will call those who passed for a  face-to-face screening wherein applicants will be asked to sing, dance, and basically do anything that they require. After that, a deliberation will follow as to who will continue their journey in the last step before launching: their training.

While the two have said that there really are no specific requirements to be chosen, they have also revealed that the girls will be undergoing a complex curriculum to ensure a high level of quality when their official debut comes. Their singing, dancing, and even their songwriting skills will be honed by professionals – SB19 themselves and other experienced mentors under 1Z Entertainment. 

If there’s a particular trait that their label is looking for, Pablo shared that he’d like their trainees to be self-sufficient. “They should be able to produce their own music, produce their own choreography, and practice their own talents,” he said.

As an artist himself, he explained that he’d advocate for a work environment where ideas are honed and created. He got candid about not being able to express his creative input feels like his life is being “taken away from him.”  Which is why he’s also hoping that their upcoming set of artists will also be assertive and proactive in terms of the trajectories of their careers. 

Both De Dios and Pablo also agree that it’s going to be a rigorous process. As a way to create a safe space for these aspiring idols, 1Z Entertainment will also incorporate a mental health checkpoint for every stage of their trainee program. 

“We value the wellness of our artists,” De Dios said. “We really want to hear from them. Kumusta ka na? Ano ang mga struggles mo? Paano natin siya maiimprove? Saan ka nahihirapan? (How are you? What are you struggling with? How can we improve this?) We want to give value to those aspects of training.”  

It’s a huge responsibility to be in charge of other people’s lives and careers, De Dios and Pablo admitted. But rather than being pressured, 1Z Entertainment wants to face their new venture with excitement. “We’re doing this out of passion and not to compete,” they said. “It’s really an activity or a project for us to learn the whole process. Since we also want to establish our own footprints when it comes to building and helping new artists.” 

It’ll still take a while before their girl group makes its official debut, yet Pablo had nothing but high hopes for them already. 

“Gusto ko mag-fly sila, eh. ‘Yon naman ang sinasabi ko palagi. If SB19 weren’t able to make it, I want the other groups to make it. Siyempre, our baby, ito, papasok. Siyempre gusto namin talaga ma-achieve nila ‘yong heights na talagang ‘di namin na-reach. Kumbaga kung ‘di man namin naabot, sana sila maabot nila. Pero ayon nandito lang naman kami to help them, definitely.” 

(I want them to fly. That is what I always say, ‘If SB19 wasn’t able to make it, I want other groups to make it. And now that we’ll introduce our own baby, we want them to achieve greater heights than us. Say for instance, whatever we were not able to reach, I hope they do it themselves. But rest assured that we will definitely be here to help.) – with additional reports from Fore Esparanza/

Fore Esperanza is a Rappler intern.

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