The Real Reason Why Hoya Became a Solo Artist
Hoya decided to leave INFINITE and Woolim Entertainment and become a solo artist and also an actor. There are a lot of reasons behind Hoya’s departure. Although he is active alone, Hoya still contacts his former band, INFINITE. Let’s find out more about Hoya’s departure.
Hoya’s Departure From Infinite
Woolim Entertainment announced that Hoya’s exclusive contract ended on June 9th, 2017. Hoya decided to leave his agency of 7 years and the band after discussing contract renewals in June in order to take another path in pursuing his dreams. Woolim Entertainment made the announcement on August 30th, 2017.
In an episode of MBC’s Radio Star, Hoya revealed the real reason for his departure from Woolim Entertainment and INFINITE. It has already been around one or two months since he left them. One of the MCs of the show, Kim Gura, asked, “When you left, didn’t the members hold onto you (which means asking you to stay)?” Hoya then answered, “Even before it happened, we had a lot of discussions about it, so they all knew about it. The things that I wanted to do and what the company wanted to do were different, and the contract expiring happened to be around the same time, so I left.”
At the time he left Woolim Entertainment, Hoya admitted that he almost quit from being a celebrity in an interview. It’s because being a celebrity made Hoya spend more time doing other things rather than focusing on his activities in singing and dancing. When Hoya thought about continuing his music career, he had a hard time choosing the music the public will like.
In the end, Hoya continued to pursue a career in the entertainment industry and pursued a music career because of his love for dancing and also considering his fans love for him as a singer. Hoya chose Glorious Entertainment, the agency of actor Ji Chang-wook and Hyun-woo, because he was able to gain freedom with his music after talking with the president of the agency. Hoya revealed that he was able to work as both an actor for the agency and keep pursuing his music career with the agreement they signed.
Hoya’s Recent Interaction with Other Members
When INFINITE made their comeback as a 6-member band with the TOP SEED album, they talked about Hoya’s departure on their showcase. Dong-woo shared that he was really sad and even felt like crying when he was on the phone with Hoya. Another member, Woo-hyun, revealed that he couldn’t contact Hoya because he changed his phone number when he left Woolim Entertainment. Fortunately, Sung-gyu was able to contact him and Woo-hyun wishes he and Hoya could go drinking together as they have already promised before. It seems that they maintain a good relationship even though there are no news surfacing online about them meeting after Hoya left the band.
On August 30th, 2017, on Instagram, Hoya posted a heartfelt letter as a follow-up to the news about his leaving INFINITE and Woolim Entertainment (the original post already deleted, thanks to allkpop for the news).
“Hello, this is Hoya.
Firstly, I’d like to apologize for causing worry to so many people with the sudden news.
I also want to apologize to the fans who are probably tired from waiting so long.
In my heart, I wanted to let you know first, but I thought the official statement should come before. I ask for your understanding for not being able to let you know for a long time.
I thought a lot about what I can say to share my thoughts.
First of all, to my INFINITE members…
Sungkyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun, Sungyeol, Myungsoo (L), and Sungjong.
I want to tell them I’m sorry and thank you once again through this letter.
I know very well that the reason I was able to receive such great love from INSPIRIT was that I was with INFINITE. I won’t forget that in the future. I’ll hold onto the precious heart that INSPIRIT gave to me with their sincere love. Thank you, and I’m sorry.
I also wanted to say once again in this letter that I sincerely thank Lee Joong Yup and the Woollim family for supporting me to grow from nothing to where I am now.
From now on, I’ll live with a humble mindset and work hard. I apologize for worrying so many people.
Thank you for reading this long letter.”
Hoya’s Solo Activities and Latest News
After Hoya’s departure from the band in 2017, he made his solo debut on March 28th, 2018, with his first mini-album Shower. Hoya is also active as a solo artist in many TV show programs, such as KBS’ Immortal Song 2 and KBS’ Dancing High. In 2019, Hoya will be cast for an upcoming SBS hip-hop drama with APRIL Na-eun, CROSS GENE Shin, and model Han Hyun-min.