2017 is a special year for Infinite, South Korean boy band, as it marks the seventh year since their debut on June 9, 2010. This also means that their seven-year contract with Woollim Entertainment, the agency supporting the idol group, expired on the same day of this year. However, on June 12, Woollim entertainment explained the group’s contract renewal was under discussion in a positive direction.
“It was quite a shock at first since Infinite had a well known reputation of being a tight knit group,” said Catherine Cho (11), a fan of the iconic boy group. “I already miss their happy smiles and heartfelt songs, along with going to most of their concerts. Nevertheless, I will be supporting all of them because I know that they will still do well, and I wish Hoya, a member of Infinite, the best in his individual career path.”
Woollim entertainment officially announced that, with the exception of Hoya, Infinite members Sunggyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun, Sungyeol, and Sungjong have completed their contract renewals. The agency is working to reorganize the six members into a new group and plans on actively supporting both their individual and group activities.
“Although I was not an avid fan of Infinite, I do remember seeing countless fans chanting their songs at different K-pop concerts,” said Eugenie Seok (11), a fan of numerous K-pop groups. “I am sure that the fact that the original seven members would not be able to perform anymore from now on will have a big impact on their fans and will leave a hole of emptiness for future concerts.”
Recent years have seen disbanding K-pop groups becoming increasingly prevalent, and unlike Infinite, many have parted for good. For example, iconic and influential girl group, 2NE1, disbanded this year, as members of each group wanted to pursue their careers as soloists, while another member of Girls Generation has also left the group. As old contracts expire, and new groups form, K-pop artists may be having less incentive to renew their contracts, and may instead, decide to shine as solos.
“Although there are intentions behind K-pop groups disbanding that I might not be completely aware of, I still think entertainments are mega minds,” said Yoon Lim (11). “They control the futures of twenty year olds and I just feel bad for members of K-pop groups because they are not left with much choice after being disbanded.”