In a recent interview, Woohyun revealed that he had contemplated leaving the music industry due to a series of challenges. His decision stemmed from changing agencies, declining health, and a decline in self-esteem.
Woohyun's journey in the past year has been marked by dramatic changes. In October of the previous year, he parted ways with Woollim Entertainment, his agency for 14 years, when his exclusive contract ended. He was the last remaining INFINITE member to stay with Woollim Entertainment. In March, he signed an exclusive contract with JFlex, which later merged with Blade Entertainment. "Whitely" is his first album release under Blade Entertainment.
Amid these rapid transitions, Woohyun also faced severe health challenges. Last April, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as cystic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), which affects only 10 in 1 million people. He underwent surgery to address this condition.
Despite his health struggles, INFINITE released an album in July, and Woohyun, not fully recovered, made a determined comeback. The members and the hospital advised him to delay album activities for his recovery, but he had already committed to the plan and wanted to see it through. His comeback was successful, with Woohyun giving his all in performances, even though he experienced difficulty breathing and came close to fainting. His illness remained undisclosed to fans during this period.
Woohyun's first full-length solo album, "WHITREE," carries the messages he gathered through pain and adversity. The album, which includes 11 tracks, is scheduled for release at 6 PM KST.