INFINITE‘s contract renewals has been a months long source of drama and speculation. Yesterday it was revealed that Hoya was the member that was still in discussions and had yet to renew, and today Woollim Entertainment confirmed his departure from the company and group.
The agency wrote, “INFINITE member Hoya’s exclusive contract with us ended on June 9, 2017 after being with us for the past seven years.” They explained that while discussing contract renewals in June, he decided to take another path to pursue his dreams, and the company and members decided to respect his decision. “As it was a careful decision that had to be made, a lot of time was spent for consideration,” they continued. Woollim revealed, “With the exception of Hoya, INFINITE members Kim Sunggyu, Jang Dongwoo, Nam Woohyun, Lee Sungyeol, L, and Lee Sungjong have completed contract renewals. The agency is working on reorganizing as a six-member group, and we plan on actively supporting their group and individual activities as we are now.” They ended, “Lastly, we ask for your unchanging support for the futures of the six members of INFINITE and Hoya.”
They don’t say what exactly he wants to do now, but apparently he wanted to go solo in something.
It’s possible that with the debut of Golden Child he thought Woollim might be phasing them out, but boy groups usually don’t get treated the way girl group do as they age, so it figures to be creative related. Or just freedom related.