Jeon Somi is really *that* girl. The K-pop star won a survival competition out of 100 other trainees at just 14 years old, switched music companies and now makes music on her own terms. Keep reading for details on Somi’s life, her long journey to debut and so much more.

Who Is Jeon Somi?

Somi, 22, was born in Canada on March 9, 2001, making her a Pisces. The K-pop singer has a tight-knit family she often mentions in interviews and TV programs, which includes her Dutch-Canadian father, Matthew Douma, Korean mother, Jeon Sunhee, and her younger sister named Evelyn.

Originally a trainee at JYP entertainment, she joined the JYP survival show Sixteen at just 14 years old, which eventually created the girl group TWICE. While Somi eventually made it to the finale episode, she did not end up making the final cut. JYP Entertainment founder Park Jin-young stated she had star quality but lacked preparation.

One year later, Somi competed in yet another competition show, Produce 101, and finished in first place out of 101 other trainees. The show then created a group called I.O.I. that included Somi and the other top 10 contestants. Since Somi placed first place, she was the center of the band that was active for one year.

Why Did Somi Leave JYP Entertainment?

After the girl band wrapped up their 1-year promotions, Somi returned to JYP to continue training for an official debut. However, after one year of TV show appearances and no word on her debut (it was rumored she was supposed to debut with JYP group ITZY in 2019), Somi left the agency in August 2018 and signed with YG Entertainment’s independent label THEBLACKLABEL. She (finally) made her debut in June 2019 with “BIRTHDAY.”

“In a group, it was harder to express all of my creative sides because the focus is on the collective,” she told Elle Singapore in 2022 of switching music label.

“It was finally an opportunity for me to voice my opinion in my music,” she explained. “At THEBLACKLABEL, everything from songwriting, producing, album covers, to outfits, and music videos — I was able to partake in the creative process. It was such an exciting transition for me.”

Click through our gallery to uncover more details on Somi’s life.

Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.