Rowoon says it was “not an easy decision” to leave K-pop boyband SF9

South Korean singer and actor Rowoon has opened up about this departure from K-pop boyband SF9 for the first time.

Rowoon spoke about his recent decision to leave K-pop boyband SF9 during a press event for his new K-drama series, The Matchmakers. The actor had been a member of the group for seven years, from their debut in 2016 until September 2023.

“I left the group because I wanted to become more serious about acting, and I wanted to get better at it,” Rowoon explained, per SBS Star. He made his acting debut in the 2017 K-drama School 2017, and has since appeared in popular shows such as The King’s Affection and A Time Called You.


“I understand that some people might be disappointed by my decision. But I think such disappointments are part of the weight of my decision that I would have to face. If I could make people understand my choice through my acting, it would be a big step forward for me,” Rowoon added. “Please understand that it was not an easy decision for me.”

However, the actor also touched on how he is “rooting for SF9 with all my heart” and is still close with his former bandmates, such as Hwiyoung, who has a role in The Matchmakers.

“Hwiyoung is also in the drama, but we don’t feel awkward around each other at all,” Rowoon said. “We chat and tell jokes to each other like we always have.”

Soon after news of Rowoon’s departure from SF9 broke, the boyband’s leader Youngbin spoke about how he was “conflicted” over the situation while revealing that he had “spoke[n] with Rowoon at length” prior to him leaving.

Meanwhile, A Time With You star Ahn Hyo-seop has opened up about what it was like filming romantic scenes with close friend Rowoon for the K-drama, saying that it was “strange but quite refreshing”.