BTS‘s new “Permission to Dance” music video introduced us to a cast of fresh faces, including an idol-in-training.
Meet Leo, a trainee who played one of three high school students. The other two students in the music video are rumored to be members of HYBE x Source Music‘s new girl group and/or contestants on Mnet‘s Girls Planet 999. Girls Planet 999, a K-Pop competition show, will be the female version of I-LAND, the show that formed ENHYPEN.
Leo was born in Sydney, Australia in 2002, making him 18-19 years old. At the age of 17, he traveled to Korea on his own to follow his dream of becoming an idol. He speaks both English and Korean fluently.
Earlier this year, Leo was quietly introduced to the public as one of six “Trainee A” trainees: Leo, Sangwon, James, Jihoon, Junil, and Inhyuk.
Trainee A’s official Instagram account is followed by HYBE producers Slow Rabbit, pdogg, hissnoise, and FRANTS, leading fans to believe that the Trainee A members will debut in a new boy group.
Sangwon describes Leo as a “pure,” “fashionista” foreigner…
…while maknae Jihoon describes Leo as someone who gave a “scary” first impression.
Although Leo hasn’t debuted yet, he has already proven himself to be a skilled singer, rapper, and composer. His self-composed song “Move On” is said to have been written about his friend, a former trainee, leaving the company.
Who do I have to laugh with now?
As if waiting for you needlessly, I can’t move on
— “Move On” lyrics, English translation
For more behind the scenes, here’s an introduction to Leah Kim Thompson: