KATSEYE Debut music video teaser

KATSEYE Gives a Taste of What’s to Come in “Debut” Single

Less than a year after ‘Dream Academy’, KATSEYE officially made their debut with an energetic (and fittingly titled) anthem, “Debut.”

In 2023, record labels HYBE and Geffen partnered up on a search for a new global girl group. As a result, the experimental music survival program The Debut: Dream Academy premiered on YouTube and Weverse on September 1. Every week, viewers (like me) watched performances from the contestants in various groupings and solo focuses before voting on who they wanted to see make the final cut. Industry judges also weighed in with their professional insight to further shape the lineup. The culmination of that work led to the formation of KATSEYE, a six-member pop group featuring young women from around the world. Leading up to the release of their new music, the group interacted with their fanbase (known as EYEKONS) through media content, challenges, and livestreams. Less than a year after Dream Academy ended on November 23, 2023, KATSEYE officially made their debut on June 28 with — drumroll, please — “Debut,” their first single.

Starting the music video “in” Manon’s mouth was certainly a choice, but it got my attention if nothing else. “Debut” is a confident anthem that follows the standard formula of hyping up yourself and your circle. It’s also surprisingly short, wrapping up just after the two minute mark. Considering the group’s individual talent, the track underwhelms in general, but it definitely feels like a teaser for what they’ll bring to the table.

The strong points of “Debut” by far are the hook and choreography. It was also nice to see each member get their turn in the spotlight, and neither song nor video plays favorites. I personally thought there would be more singing, but I can see what they were going for with the energetically assured vibe. Though impossible due to the format, if this song had been teased on Dream Academy, such as its theme song, I believe it could have had a stronger impact. But in no way does that burden fall on the group.

The issue with “Debut” isn’t even that it’s been done before because it’s a classic theme that came before KATSEYE premiered and will surely come after. (In fact, I can think of a very popular first single from a legendary girl group that has a similar format.) There’s just a challenge in creating something that appeals to a pre-debut fanbase that knows what KATSEYE is capable of and introducing them to a new audience altogether. That being said, there are moments in the song and video where their charm really sparkles: Lara’s ferocity, Yoonchae and Daniela’s dancing, Manon’s eye-catching aura, Sophia’s sweetness, and Megan’s down-to-earth appeal.

Viewing it from a perspective of “not revealing too much too soon,” the brevity of the track makes sense. Still, I think having a bridge would have been beneficial. Having them rap-sing when there are killer voices in the group was unexpected, but it was great to see them shine through their energy and dance. With choreography contributed by the ultra-talented Sienna Lalau and Rie Hata, that area was bound to be a win. KATSEYE’s visuals and dancing nearly balance out the ordinariness of “Debut.” But if the goal was to leave us wanting more, they certainly succeeded.

What’s next for KATSEYE? After the group’s second single drops in July, you can look forward to the release of their first album, SIS (an acronym for “Soft Is Strong”), on August 16.

Header: KATSEYE “Debut” Teaser

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