D3 ~ A5 (2 octaves, 3 notes and 1 semitone)
A3/Bb3 ~ Bb4/B4
Light Lyric Soprano
- Good improvement done in pitch and support since pre-debut
- Mixed voice shows consistency in tone production and support up to Bb4/B4
- More roundness in placement can happen occasionally in the voice
- Lower range is supported down to A3/Bb3 usually
- Even with strain, she’s able to handle high passages for long periods of time
- Mixed voice is generally head-dominant, which allows it to have more ease
- Falsetto is generally easily accessed and relaxed up to E5/F5
- Good rhythmic bounce in singing
- Strongest vocalist in Girl’s Day
- Nasality and whininess are very present in the voice
- Issues with proper placement in her lower range lead to unprojected low notes
- May at times let her low notes turn into air or lower her larynx
- Voice is generally pushed and throaty with a high larynx above B4
- Falsetto is very disconnected and often airy
- Voice lacks evenness and roundness in tone
- Vocal runs are sloppy and messy
- Bad habits of cutting off her phrases with sudden pushes of air
- Voice can often be airy
- Often sings in a range much higher than her supported range
- Does not sing with a connected head voice
- Does not possess a natural vibrato, uses jaw to create a fake vibrato
- Lower register: Improved register over the years but has seen very little true improvement in terms of support or placement, whereas just range and tone have been added to the voice. Support is pretty much inexistent below A3 with lots of airiness and oftentimes a lowered larynx to push tone out.
- Mixed register: Very uneven mixed voice, where placement is often whiny and overly bright. The mixing is more or less head dominant but pushed with the throat and yelled out in the fifth octave. Support is present up to Bb4/B4 however.
- Upper register: Like the rest of her voice, this register shows signs of strain and pushing, as well as an underlying airiness in tone throughout. Her voice does not connect into a full head voice and instead she sings with a falsetto.
Minah has previously stated that she draws influences from R&B music and that she grew up listening to it. R&B-style may come off in her singing to an extent, due to her very “bouncy” rhythmic approach in her phrasing but when it comes to actual vocal runs, Minah’s light and bright vocal approach don’t really help her accurately sing through complicated vocal melismas. She tends to sing R&B songs as covers and when she does, she generally seems to lack the ability to accurately separate her runs note by note and to properly smoothen out the rhythmic passages throughout the runs. Examples include performances such as the older version of “Irreplaceable“, as well as recent performances like “Cry Me Out“, “Something” and “사랑했잖아“, where she has shown little improvement in this particular part of her voice, still struggling not to slide through her vocal runs.
One of the top idol groups of this generation, Girl’s Day, houses their main vocalist who debuted in the group in 2010, Minah. As a younger idol who’s been around for a few years, Minah has successfully created a name for herself as a soloist as well. Possessing a very bright voice, with a light volume output and a high tessitura, her voice is a perfect example of a Light Lyric Soprano in contemporary music.
For a Soprano at a young age, Minah has a somewhat extensive lower range, able to bring her voice down to D3. Even then her overall support and sound become quite airy very early on in her lower range. She’s generally able to vocalize well with a supported well placed chest voice down to B3, however as she descends lower the placement becomes more muffled and her overall sound starts to lean towards an airy approach. Her support is still consistently present down to A3, such as in “날 버린 남자” where she’s able to keep a neutral larynx in her singing, but as she descends in range, she begins to strain her voice by pushing her larynx down in order to keep the tone present in her voice, such as the G#3’s in “나와 같다면“, G3’s in “날 버린 남자“, “가로수 그늘 아래서면” and the F#3 in “Someone Like You“. Below F#3, although she has some range, most of the tone is lost in her voice and she begins to rely on an almost purely air-like tone to descend in range, such as the E3’s in “가로수 그늘 아래서면“, Eb3 in “보고싶다” and D3 in “If I Ain’t Got You“. This however is still an improvement if compared to her early pre-debut singing where she’d show difficulty in keeping tone even as high as A3, such as in “혼자하는 사랑“.
Her mixed voice is the area of Minah’s voice where she shows the most vocally demanding parts in the group. Minah is able to vocalize with adequate support in her mixed voice within the fourth octave, being able to carry support and a relaxed sound, to an extent, up to Bb4/B4. Examples of this would include her phrased B4’s in “비밀번호 486“, as well as A4’s and B4’s in “날 버린 남자“, where she’s shown that she can produce a somewhat well placed sound with support in the fourth octave. Minah may at times produce small resonance in her mixed voice, but the biggest issue lies in her overall placement and throat tension. Minah has a very bright and light approach to her mixed voice, mostly using a head-dominant mixed voice which allows her voice to handle higher passages with less strain to her vocal cords. Even then vocal strain isn’t absent in her singing and her whole mid to upper mixed voice is produced with a heavily compressed vocal cord approach, creating a tight, throaty and pushed out sound which lacks freedom and proper support. Girl’s Day’s repertoire generally lies quite high in range, with many of the songs going well above Eb5 and having multiple notes in that range throughout the song. Although a loud sound may be produced, the sound is often yelled out, whiny and strained. Examples of this kind of vocal strain include her C5 in “Nothing Lasts Forever“, C#5 in “Let It Go“, Eb5′ in “All For You“, E5 in “영“, F5’s in “여자대통령 (Female President)” and F#5 in “Problem“. If she keeps singing the way she does, she will see a decrease in range over the years due to the damaging vocal technique she uses currently.
Her upper register is generally a disconnected falsetto. Minah does not show the ability to fully connect her chest voice up in range to create an evened out sound with a head voice and instead uses a light approach to her vocal cords and produces an often throaty, airy and raspy falsetto. Her transitions into falsetto can at times lack good flow, such as in “한번만 안아줘” or “보고싶어”, but she generally shows ease with her falsetto without trying to push much volume out and relaxes her falsetto up to about E5/F5, such as in “Show You“. Above F5, her falsetto begins to become very tight and somewhat pushed, lacking volume, good placement and still keeping a disconnected airy approach, such as the A5’s in “Darling“.
Despite the faults in Minah’s technique, she does have an ear for vocal dynamics and is able to perform fairly well musically given the correct style of songs, such as ballads, pop or R&B. Her pitch has shown good improvement since pre-debut, such as in “혼자하는 사랑“, alongside a better breathing technique. A stylistic approach she often uses in her singing is adding a compressed push of air through her vocal cords, that cause her to intentionally crack her voice mid-phrase, something very common in her singing but that’s done a bit too often and does not always suit every genre of music she intends to sing. Technically speaking, Minah has a very bright, nasal and airy sound to her singing. She has the bad habit of always pushing her vocal cords too tight to create a louder sound and thus creates more tension in her voice and loses in terms of freedom. This lack of freedom is what causes Minah to be unable to produce a healthy relaxed natural vibrato and instead she has to resort to a fake vibrato, by using her jaw as a shaking device in order to create a vibrato, such as in “날 버린 남자“.
As a member of an idol group and a soloist, Minah has shown passion and professionalism over the years by creating a name for herself as a singer. Although still young, Minah has years of future career to further improve not only her singing but her reputation and establish a name for herself long term. If she is to stay in the K-pop industry for long, better breathing technique, as well as a less airy or compressed vocal approach and straining should be looked into in order to keep her voice healthy throughout years, if not she could experience vocal damage further along her career as a singer.
Vocally speaking, Minah would not really be classified as a risk taker when it comes to adding her own flair to her vocal performances. She does not tend to add intricate vocal runs or melodic changes to songs, although she’s able to add her own style which may at times be caused by her bad vocal habits. Melodically, examples of vocal changes include her avoiding the vocal run at the end of the bridge of “Irreplaceable” and instead adding a falsetto descending run. Another example would be her singing the bridge of “Someone Like You” up the octave in order to create more dynamic tension and a peak in the song, vocally. These changes are generally small and don’t require a high amount of musical ear to process, although she’s able to do them without much trouble and adds her own small style to her covers. Harmonically, she’s able to match her voice well with fellow Girl’s Day member, Sojin, when harmonizing such as in the performance of “Someone Like You”.
Vocal Range Video(s)
Videos by: Hawaiipups and kpopvocalists
Best Vocal Performance
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)