EXID’s Vocal Analysis: Solji


Vocal Range

D3 ~ G6 (3 Octaves, 2 notes and 1 semitone)

Supported Range

G3/G#3 ~ C5

Voice Type

Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • Strongest vocalist in current EXID
  • Well developed extension in the mix voice
  • Consistent pitch and well controlled voice
  • Able to show resonance up to C5, even if inconsistently
  • Support is existent up to C5/C#5 with enough consistency
  • Able to keep a full and connected well placed sound in her lower range down to G#3/G3
  • Falsetto can be well controlled and relaxed up to F#5
  • Voice is somewhat agile
  • Possesses a strong sense of musicianship and often makes songs her own
  • Strong sense of dynamics
  • Voice projects very well due to placement and natural vocal weight

Weaknesses

  • Has a very bad habit of pushing her voice
  • Mistakes power for strain, creating distortions in her higher notes
  • Lower range below G#3/G3 is often quiet, unstable and airy
  • Falsetto is very airy and disconnected, never shows a head voice
  • Mixed voice can sound pushed and tense even within her supported range
  • Larynx raises above D5, where her voice becomes more strained and throaty
  • Voice can often sound whiny when strained above her supported range
  • Falsetto becomes pushed and tight above F#5
  • Runs can often be pitchy and lack control
  • Often sings in a range that’s outside of her supported range, causing vocal damage

Registers

  • Lower register: This register has shown improvement over time from her debut up until now. Her tone is present as low as F#3 and F3, but the support only truly starts on G3 and more consistently on G#3.
  • Mixed register: A register she has developed well in terms of muscle coordination in order to always be able to stay in a very high range, however this register is also where she shows the most pushing, strain and lack of support. Notes above C#5 are strained and below from Bb4 ~ C5 can often be pushed.
  • Upper register: A very delicate register that does not carry the weight her voice shows in the rest of her voice. It lacks connection of the vocal cords and often sounds airy and does not project well, but can show a relaxed approach up until F#5, where above that the voice becomes quite tight and pushed.

Agility

Due to having a slightly thicker voice, Solji’s voice is often a bit too heavy for vocal runs and therefore presents less advantages when it comes to vocal runs. That is not to say, however, that her vocal runs are bad. When it comes to vocal agility, she has shown improvement from her debut up until now, with how she sings runs and how she separates them. If one is to put vocal agility into a scale of inability to slow, to medium tempo to fast tempo, Solji has acquired enough vocal agility and ornamentations skills to be able to sing slow to mid tempo runs with enough accuracy and precision. Back in 2008 when she was still a rookie, she would often simplify vocal runs in order to sing them more accurately, such as the vocal runs in “Listen“, and if she were to try any more extravagant vocal melismas, her runs would come out sloppy, messy and all over the place with pitch and separation of pitch, such as in “시계태엽“, “눈물이 안났어” and “뻔한여자“. More recently, however, Solji’s agility has become more accurate and her separation of pitch is more clear, where one can hear every single note in a run she would do without her sliding through the notes without a center of pitch. She’s now able to sing more slow-mid tempo quick runs that don’t require long phrases or too many gaps in pitch, showing fair control of the basic skills in vocal agility, such as in “너 나 좋아해, 나 너 좋아해” and “Maria“.

Overall analysis

EXID’s current main vocalist and former vocal trainer, Solji is an idol who has debuted long ago and taken a long road in order to achieve fame and success. She is a vocalist with a very powerful and big voice, more due to the fact differently from most other females in K-pop, Solji’s Soprano voice possesses a more mature tone with more weight and volume which, although not certainly, indicates that Solji’s voice would more likely be classified as a Full Lyric Soprano, although true characteristics of a Full Lyric Soprano have yet to be 100% shown. For the most part she has a full sounding voice, which is reminiscent of other idol vocalists who are Full Lyric Sopranos, such as Brown Eyed Girls’ Jea, APink’s Eunji and former SeeYa main vocalist, Yeonji.

The bottom of Solji’s range is a part of her range that has shown some improvement from debut. Back in the day, she used to show a lack of support and projection in her lower chest voice, such as her F3’s and G3’s in “Listen“. Now, she’s able to more consistently keep her vocal cords connection and produce acceptable vocal tone around F3, such as in “체념” and F#3’s, such as in “잊지말아요” and “행복한 나를“, where even support may be present at times. She can then show a more consistent support in her lower range starting on G3, such as in “Lucky” and more consistently above G#3, such as in “가수가 된이유“, “안되나요” and “소주한잔“. This has shown that her consistency of pitch, control and projection in her lower range are quite full and consistent, allowing for her vocal cords to come together properly and for her voice to project with a fair amount of ease above G#3. Notes below G#3/G3 still lack consistency and generally become airy, disconnected and unstable. Her lowest extreme is an airy quiet E3, in “해줄 수 없는 일“.

The mixed voice is where the voice shows the most signs of strain but also is the most popular part of her voice. As the main vocalist of any group and a soprano, Solji is usually in charge of singing the highest notes present in songs. For that reason, she usually has to sing constantly very challenging lines that do not match up with her current skill level when it comes to vocal technique. Back in the day, Solji was able to show consistent support up to Bb4, such as in “미워서“, as well as being able to sing more relaxed and well placed C5’s, such as in “한남자“, but would still show signs of strain above C5 and would often become throaty. With time she has developed bad vocal habits that take away from the ease a soprano should have in the fifth octave. Although her support is still very consistent and present up to C5 and even on C#5’s, such as in “너 나 좋아해, 나 너 좋아해” and “아주 흔한 말“, she has a terrible tendency of pushing the sound of her voice without as much resonance and placement, but instead of an excessive use of air pressure from her diaphragm and throat tension, causing her to often sound distorted in sound and become very raspy and husky, which isn’t necessarily a natural trait of her tone. Comparing the way she used to approach her upper mix to now, it’s very easy to hear that she used to have a more clean sound than now and as she ascends in her, sometimes even as low as Bb4/B4, such as in “8282” and “잊지말아요“, pushing can be heard in her voice and an excessive added pressure from her throat muscles can be heard, which not only takes away from her resonance but also makes her voice sound less opened, less free and tighter in quality. Due to that tightness and improper use of breath support, her voice can often become fatigued and throaty when singing for an extended period of time.

This problem exists mostly within her supported range where she has been able to show resonance and good placement, as well as support. However, as she ascends higher than C#5, her voice changes in tone, becomes thinner, whinier and the larynx generally raises on D5 and above. This is very noticeable in many of EXID’s songs where Solji generally takes the higher notes, such as the F#5’s from “Ah Yeah” and “Up & Down”, where Solji’s voice becomes more pushed, less stable and generally almost yelled in quality, as well as back in 2008 where she hit a G5 in a performance of “Hot Stuff“. This strain can also be obvious early on in her range around D5, such as in “친구라도 될걸 그랬어” as well as the Eb5’s in “Maria“and the E5’s in “Goodbye“. This inconsistency of support and pushing of the throat can often be heard very clearly when she starts to sing above C5 and sings C#5’s, where her support is present but then so is the pressure and tension from her throat, such as in “끝사랑“. This kind of pushing generally happens from a psychological idea that power comes from more vocal effort, as opposed to the true power that can be achieved through a relaxed vocal technique, no tension and openness in the throat, as opposed to pressure and distortion caused by tension.

Her most underdeveloped register would be her falsetto register, where her voice is mostly used to simply switching in order to sing softer versions and passages of her songs, as well as simply adding more fragility and vulnerability. Her falsetto register can be used quite well to create the right mood and allow for more ease, such as in “I Feel Good”, but it is rather underdeveloped as Solji never shows a true connection of her vocal cords and proper support of her voice in order to create a more connected sounding head voice. For that reason, one can say she does not possess a connected head voice and uses an airy, disconnected falsetto most of the time. This falsetto can often be well switched into and relaxed, such as the F#5 from “행복한 나를“, but as she ascends above F#5, a similar bad habit happens in her falsetto register. The same kind of strain that exists in her mixed range also happens in her falsetto register, where her throat closes and her voice uses more throat tension, glottal muscle tension and excessive air pressure in order to hit higher notes with strain, such as her G#5 and B5 from “해줄 수 없는 일“. Therefore notes above F#5 are generally less controlled and seem to be mostly avoided from her vocal performances.

Musically speaking, Solji’s voice is one that’s able to carry emotion to the listener very well through the correct use of dynamics. Since she is very used to pushing her voice in order to create more power, Solji is often aware of how to properly switch her voice into a softer falsetto in order to create weakness and then use a more powerful mix in order to create power, agony or pain, even if said mixed voice is done with improper vocal technique. She has a sensitive ear to music and is able to correct use dynamics from the beginning to the end of a song in order to create the proper mood for a performance.

As a vocalist, Solji is generally regarded quite highly and could easily be compared to a vocalist like Jea of Brown Eyed Girls, who not only shares a similar tone and similar voice type to Solji, but also similar vocal habits, bad and good. Although she is regarded as EXID’s formal vocal trainer, that does not mean Solji can’t have more room for personal improvement in order to better herself as an artist, vocalist and trainer, as well as a professional musician. The most important thing that Solji should fix in her singing is her bad habit of pushing and adding too much tension to her voice in order to create power, and to be able to understand that power comes from proper voice placement in the mask and an opened throat, with a lifted soft palate, in order to create true powerful notes without any strain that would not damage her voice in the long run.

Musicianship

An ability that is less common amongst Korean-born vocalists, generally those who stick to Karaoke singing, in other words, singing the song exactly as it was originally sung, Solji shows a tendency to add her own vocal runs, ornamentations and melodic ideas to songs she covers at times, without always being precise but mostly being daring and accurate. Her musicianship can at times be heard when singing covers of original artists, where she not only shows accuracy in pitch but also shows that she thought through before adding the new ideas she had. Although such ideas are nice, many times they can be done by trying to sing higher into her upper mixed range, where she mostly strains which shows musicianship with damaging vocal technique, such as her F5’s in “손대지마” and her F#5 in “Maria“, as well as her pushed falsetto B5 in “해줄 수 없는 일“.

Rating

Above Average Vocalist

Vocal Range Video(s)

Videos by: Hawaiipups and kpopvocalists

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

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About ahmin3

kitsunemale from YouTube, AhMin33 from Twitter and Ahmin from OneHallyu! https://www.youtube.com/user/KitsuneMale

429 thoughts on “EXID’s Vocal Analysis: Solji

    1. Yes that is correct. Her throat shaping is really tight and her placement really nasal. Hani has sung this before, she tends to push in the chorus and she always uses too much air.

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    1. No, unfortunately I believe she’s singing exactly how she always sings. Too raspy, too disconnected, not enough stretch from her vocal cords and a high larynx on her mix voice above A4 in this specifically.

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  1. Hi! Have you seen any of EXID’s recent performancestudy as four? Like this from KCON Mexico

    How is Hyelin doing here if it’s not too much trouble?

    It’s sad, we were all wanting more stuff from Hyelin so you could analyze her a bit better and we got it with Solji getting sick… careful what you wish for ig. Well with Solji still in our prayers, do you see anything from Hyelin that’s different or improved anywhere? With Solji being sick and unable to be with the group this comeback (bless) Hyelin will be getting to do a lot more than normal for their songs plus she’s singing Solji’s parts in older ones like that one ^ so hopefully she’ll do really well!

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    1. I remember hearing one performance where Hyerin was singing her part in L.I.E., but that’s about it. I am not sure I’d say this performance is live or lip synched. The main melody of the chorus revolves a lot around G#4, but there are some C#5’s in falsetto and B4’s in mix, the Nal at the end of the first line is a tight B4 for her 1:03, after the falsetto C#5. Her G#4’s are just fine though, she is relaxed there. 1:04 ~ 1:09 A4 B4 C#5 B4 A4 B4, she pushes a lot on her C#5’s and B4’s. The A4’s don’t sound bad, they seem to have support. 1:12 D#5 and E5, very tight and strained. This is definitely lip synched but the strain from B4 ~ E5 is still there, which is no different than what I already know for her. She pushes and tightens up her throat just like Solji, which may be cause Solji taught her to sing. She just does it a lot more. She’s a lot more closed than Solji.

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      1. Thank you so much! Ig it makes sense since Solji was their coach and she’s doing Solji’s parts and all.. Hopefully she’ll get out of it and do better 😄. And what about this?

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      2. 0:22 0:45 Her G#3’s aren’t bad. Her Bb3’s and B3’s are connected, that’s good for her. 1:05 I hear a bit of tension on hr Bb4’s. Pushing for sure, too much air coming through at the end. 1:07 throaty and tight C#5. 1:14 quick phrased Bb4 was supported, her Bb4’s can be inconsistent when she sustains them and tries to add power by pushing air. 1:25 tight high larynx C#5’s again. (I think theoretically in this key, they’re Db5’s and the B’s are Cb’s, but that’s not relevant.) 2:38 again with pushing on the Bb4’s. 2:52 really closed Eb5. 3:18 ~ 3:22 too much pushing of air. 3:38 really squeezed Eb5. 3:43 her vibrato is really wobbly and somewhat forced it seems.

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      3. And so would you say her supported range is up to A4? You might have said before but I don’t remember so I’m sorry if you have.

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  2. Hi Ahmin! Have you seen this performance by Hyerin before? I feel like she’s straining a lot in the 5th octave like Solji but her Bb3s seem pretty relaxed and she starts losing support/straining towards the top of the 4th octave…? But if you don’t mind, would you mind giving your professional take on this? Thanks!

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    1. Honey, I don’t mean to be rude but you literally asked me if I had seen this performance before 2 hours after it was posted like.. lol
      Anyway someone asked about it an hour earlier than you, so here’s the response:
      “0:22 0:45 Her G#3’s aren’t bad. Her Bb3’s and B3’s are connected, that’s good for her. 1:05 I hear a bit of tension on hr Bb4’s. Pushing for sure, too much air coming through at the end. 1:07 throaty and tight C#5. 1:14 quick phrased Bb4 was supported, her Bb4’s can be inconsistent when she sustains them and tries to add power by pushing air. 1:25 tight high larynx C#5’s again. (I think theoretically in this key, they’re Db5’s and the B’s are Cb’s, but that’s not relevant.) 2:38 again with pushing on the Bb4’s. 2:52 really closed Eb5. 3:18 ~ 3:22 too much pushing of air. 3:38 really squeezed Eb5. 3:43 her vibrato is really wobbly and somewhat forced it seems.”

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  3. Has Hyerin improved with this comeback do you think? I feel like she surprises me with her voice in the new album especially in songs like Boy. She still seems to push quite a bit though but is it any better?

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    1. I have not noticed any improvement with her technique whatsoever, but I have been noticing some issues that are leading me to have a slightly clearer idea about her singing overall.

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    1. Ela começou falando para ele que ele tem problemas com a dicção dele. Depois ela falou que ele precisa de mais apoio, mas ao invés de ensinar o apoio correto para ele, ela ensinou ele a forçar a voz, empurrando o abdomen para dentro. Isso deve ser exatamente o que ela faz quando ela canta, porque fica evidente na qualidade da voz dela que ela força pressão de ar de mais nas cordas vocais dela. 0:23 isso. Depois em 0:31 ela falou que ele tem muita tensão nos ombros. 0:49 de novo ensinando a ele que ele tem forçar o ar. 1:38 usando Ha de novo, ela ensina ele a usar muito ar.

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    1. The F#5? No, it is far from relaxed. It was very shouty and very strained. Hyerin can barely support B4 if at all, there is no way an F#5 could come out relaxed from her at this point.

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  4. Hani’s vocal range video. She supports down till F#3 if I’m not wrong Lol? And is she comfortable up to G#4 in mixed voice? What do you think about her head voice/falsetto?

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    1. There’s too much airiness/raspiness throughout so I’m not sure where I’d start nor end her support off of this video alone. A3 and A4 seem okay, A4’s are inconsistent for her though. Below A3 she’s too raspy. Her falsetto is like most of her voice, too breathy. It’s relatively relaxed up to F#5.

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      1. So about hardly an octave of support. Hmm, I’ve noticed most kpop idols have relaxed falsettos up to at least F or F#. Cool! Thanks! (It’s quite amusing that there are more comments related to Hyerin and Hani on Solji’s analysis lol).

        Liked by 1 person

  5. With all due respect, I’m completely confuzzled why Solji is ranked so low? You I’m not even a fan of her but I personally think she is better than most idols out there. There are few vocalists above her that actually have poorer (a hundred times poorer) technique. I’m not convinced that this page is pure “analysis”. Sorry.

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    1. Hi there! You know what my problem with this comment is? It addresses nothing that the analysis says. It’s vague, it just says “I personally think she is better than most idols out there.” How? Just HOW is she better? That statement is very vague and general, it doesn’t say anything. “There are a few vocalists that actually have poorer technique.” WHO and WHY? Your statements are valid opinions of yours that you’re entitled to, but I can’t take your comment seriously as long as these statements aren’t being supported by critical thinking and analytical proof. 100 times poorer? That’s a very bold statement and again with no actual evidence nor explanation. “I’m not convinced that this page is pure analysis.” That I can guess why from your previous statements, it’s because she is not ranked as high as you’d expect her to, but as long as your comment addresses nothing within the actual analysis and only focuses on her rating, you’re not actually proving that the analysis is incorrect in anyway.

      Throughout your comment you’ve yet to address the actual content of the analysis. You don’t target any reasons why you believe she is better than many idols out there, including some above her. So although I appreciate your input, I must say that I hope that you’re able to respond with some actual critical ideas and constructive critique to the analysis. If all you can focus on is the rating without actually reading the analysis, then you can’t really say anything. Please target what points of the analysis are incorrect and exactly how her technique is better than anybody else rated above her. You shouldn’t apologize for disagreeing with the analysis, you should however apologize for stating a general vague opinion and not explaining why. So I hope that you can explain to me why if you do respond. Please actually read the analysis.

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  6. Hi, sorry if it bother you but I want to ask about Hani
    In general what do you think about the voice she usually use in EXID song ? And how she “really” sing ?
    Because i don’t like at all how she sing in EXID song but if her agency make her sing like that it’s not that bad ?
    I ask here because I don’t know where to ask
    “real voice” -https://youtu.be/MqGJ367beBA
    -https://youtu.be/bbwCMcxNs04
    -https://youtu.be/B-iDOfs4fAk
    And how she usually sings

    I’d like to know what’s the opinion of someone who knows about vocal
    I hope it’s not too much to ask sorry if it is 🙂
    Have a nice day

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    1. I’m sorry but what do you mean her real voice? What is the difference you hear? Because Hani sings with an airy approach and a husky quality on purpose to sound soulful and sexy, but she generally lacks support. Her placement isn’t strong, her voice lacks a ring so she barely projects. She often places the sound too low, she barely supports and so the sound is just slightly louder and more pushed when she’s not trying to sound soft and airy for EXID songs, but either way it’s just a difference of volume more so than support.

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  7. Hello, just thought I would let you know that I’m fairly certain that EXID’s company’s name changed from ‘Yedang Ent,’ to ‘Banana Coulture’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi!
    I’m this video of EXID at one of those karaoke rooms Hyelin sings some and I was wondering how she did? The other girls kept making her laugh and interrupting lol but she still sang a good bit of it

    At around 1:12 and onward she starts getting kinda tight sounding maybe? Idk I’m sorry I’m not good with vocal stuff at all correct me if I’m wrong

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    1. I’ve seen this actually. 0:23 F3. 0:37 that was already shouty. Yes 1:12 shouty C5’s and higher. Even B4’s can be tight. Lots of E5’s. So what’s your exact question about Hani? 22:41 Ive never heard her mix Eb5. The next one was flat at 22:53 though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I’m sorry I was just wondering how she did in general and has your ranking of EXID changed at all lately?

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      2. It was new to me to hear her actually trying to mix in the fifth octave but as you see, she was struggling to mix and to stay in pitch. No, nothing’s changed.

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  9. And in this video it’s their full competition thing at around 21:30 Hani starts singing against LE bc one of them has to Get the punishment and she shouts a lot in it at first

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    1. 2:13 C5’s and Eb5’s throughout the chorus, not exactly the range that I’d expect her to sing comfortably in. Again I’m more interested in her consistency around Bb4/B4, but there are barely any Bb4’s for her since she’s mostly singing and straining higher than that. 3:20 Eb5’s, strained. 3:26 even a bit shouty on the Bb4’s, I wouldn’t outright call it strain, but I would say she’s tense. 3:40 again Bb4 and she still seems to have tension. 3:50 Eb5 3:54 Eb5 and F5, good for her for going for F5’s but yeah no none of this stays within a range she can support.

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  10. Hi! This is of Hyelin, do you see/hear ig lol any changes or anything in her singing from this, thank you.

    I put the 2 videos but they’re of the same performance.

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    1. This is a much song to judge her singing by! Ugh I wish there was a clean version without everyone singing along to her though. I can hear the strain on C5 and above but below that everyone is too loud so I can’t be sure but not bad!

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      1. Thanks! Yeah when everyone started singing I was thinking you probably won’t be able to hear her to judge her but thanks for trying and still doing what you could. Maybe we’ll get a better version on their youtube or something 😊.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. 1:00 Up, the Uh vowel can get a bit tight in her throat. The C5’s, aren’t supported but the Bb4’s aren’t bad. They are more relaxed than not. 2:01 her throat closes a lot around C5 and when she goes higher than that. There is no resonance at any point but this video is a lot clearer!

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  11. Hani did a cover for their YouTube!

    I was wondering when Hani’s was gonna come since Jeonghwa and Hyelin did one and I think LE’s Cream might’ve been hers. Anyway is there anything new here that you can tell?

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    1. She is singing at most up to G4 and G#4 in her mix, there’s that typical slightly closed quality coming from her glottal muscles pulling her larynx up a bit and making her sound a bit thinner. She also has that kind of breathy quality throughout, favoring falsetto in the fifth octave. I don’t necessarily hear anything new really. But nice, her English is pretty clean here too!

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  12. Do Hani and Hyelin have the same bad habits as her since she was their vocal coach

    Also how come you guys have her max out at a G6 while some other analysis end it at B5

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    1. Because when she was first analyzed we thought her highest note was a falsetto B5, but then they did a high note battle and Solji hit G6 there. Also no, not exactly since Hyerin may have some similar bad habits, but Hani is very stylistic and she sings breathy in a sexy way a lot, so it’s quite different style wise.

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      1. Ohhh ok ty!! Btw I just noticed that old comment LOL I think I meant to ask is her straining/screaming majority of her high notes the reason she has that thyroid thing?? And how come she hasn’t regressed since 95% of the time she’ll strain her way through notes

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  13. Hi! I found this video of Hani singing Just The Way You Are a little while ago. To me it seems that she’s not singing in her “sexy” style and is using a better approach (especially in the chorus) but I guess that could be because it’s in a comfortable range for her? Could you confirm whether or not she’s using better technique than she does now or is using the same technique? Thanks! She starts singing at 0:20.

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  14. Hi Ahmin! So Primary album featured Solji and I wanted to know if there’s something that changed about her voice after being sick and not singing for a long time (I guess). But anyway the video will be down below…

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      1. It’s not a good nor a bad sign, it’s just what it is. I suppose you could look at positively. G3s were fine as expected, E3’s with a low larynx and tight D5’s. Again nothing new.

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