Henry Lau, who is known as a member of Super Junior-M, a solo singer and an actor, will be leaving SM Entertainment, his home for the past decade, following the expiration of his contract.
The 28-year-old debuted a decade ago as part of Super Junior-M, although he appeared in Super Junior’s “Don’t Don” music video a year prior, where he was seen playing the violin.
Although Henry is known for his immense musical talent – he studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music – it was only in recent years that he gained fame in South Korea through variety shows.
In 2014, Henry was a permanent cast member on variety show Real Man, which featured celebrities undergoing military training. During the show, Henry gained newfound fame for his naivety and quirky way of speaking (being a Chinese-Canadian, he wasn’t familiar with Korean military terms), which got him into plenty of trouble.
On an episode of Life Bar, he revealed that he felt stressed because he became famous as a variety show star instead of for his musical talents. He said, “I want to do music but I got well-known as an entertainer instead. But one day, when I was walking on the streets at night, a woman grabbed me and said, ‘Henry, I overcame my depression because of you.’ She watched my programme Real Man where I did the ‘neck slice’, and while waiting for the programme to air [every week] and then watching it, she overcame her depression.”
He said that it made him realise that while he can bring joy to people through music, he can also do the same through variety shows. It made him decide to work harder whenever he appears on variety shows.
In December 2016, he uploaded a post on Instagram, asking fans to speak on his behalf to his agency, SM Entertainment. In the now-deleted post, he wrote, “It’s hard. It’s tiring. Now I can’t do this on my own. It was a mistake from nine years ago. Now it’s gotten so big and there’s no support. What should I do from now on?”
He added that he only had his fans on his side and appealed for them to speak on his behalf because the company wasn’t listening to him.
Since his solo debut in 2013, he has released two solo EPs, but has also worked on various collaborative tracks and even wrote songs for fellow SM Entertainment artists such as EXO.
Henry will be setting up a one-man agency. Many were wondering if he would join Label SJ, an exclusive label set up by SM Entertainment for Super Junior. However, that would be he would still be under SM Entertainment, in some way.
Images: Henry’s Instagram