#Exclusive: Kim Woojin and the Road to Vindication
RollingStone India|September 2021
How the trials and tribulations in the young South Korean soloist’s life inspired a cathartic album full of self-reflection and hope

Kim Woojin is no stranger to fame. As a former member of JYP Entertainment's popular boy band, Stray Kids, Kim--known by the mononym Woojin-- has enjoyed his fair share of success. Being part of a group that would pride itself on introspective and self-produced songs, Woojin expressed himself as composer and songwriter on several tracks before terminating his exclusive contract with JYP Entertainment in October 2019. Citing personal circumstances with no further explanation, Woojin parted ways with the group, leaving fans wondering about the vocalist's future.

Of course, what no one knew at the time, was how ugly it was all about to get.

That plain face makes me more afraid,” are lyrics from Woojin's 2021 debut single, Ready Now,” The phrase may not be of any significance to those unaware of the events that pushed the 24-year-old singer into the darkest time of his life, but to those who are cognizant, this seven vocable syntax can be analyzed as a story of perplexities and strain that presented itself in the form of an anonymous tweet. In September 2020, right before Woojin could begin a solo career, a tweet posted by an anonymous Twitter account went viral. In a series of now-deleted Tweets, the account’s user accused Woojin of sexual misconduct, alleging that the singer had met them in a bar in Seoul and harassed them by touching them inappropriately.

Despite trying to clear his name from the accusations with a formal statement on his personal social media platforms, every passing day saw the scandal compound. With his words being misconstrued and a new anonymous account backing the accusations, Woojin experienced the wrath of hearsays and rumors throughout 2020, with several fans and non-fans alike climbing aboard the ‘cancel’ train. His reputation was decimated and his debut delayed--he remained silent on the matter and mostly under the radar until June 2021, when his label 10x Entertainment dropped a powerful documentary titled Finger Killer.

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