B2 ~ F6 (3 Octaves and 3 notes)
E3 ~ G#4/A4
E3 ~ C5/C#5 (with head voice)
Light Lyric Tenor
- Strongest vocalist in 2AM
- Voice is opened and placement is good even outside his supported range
- Resonance is present up to G4/G#4 consistently and at times up to A4
- Lower range has good placement and support down to E3
- Doesn’t try to sing far outside his supported range
- Able to produce a connected head voice
- Vocal runs can at time have good rhythmic separation
- Healthy vibrato is often produced
- Pitch and dynamics are well executed
- Good harmonization skills
- Speed of the vibrato can create constriction and reduce size of resonance
- Vocal runs are often slides and sloppy/pitchy
- Head voice may be connected but is under-explored and often weak in support
- Lower range is weakly supported below E3
- Mixed voice becomes tight and squeezed above A4
- A4’s can show much inconsistency in support
- Head voice becomes strained above C5/C#5
- Shown little to no improvement throughout the years after his debut
- Lower register: His weakest register, very underdeveloped and not well explored. Shows issues with stability in pitch, development, extension and larynx position.
- Mixed register: Resonance and openness are often kept up to G4 and resonance can be achieved up to A4, although with less consistency. Support is still present up to G#4/A4. Above A4 voice becomes shrill and shaky.
- Upper register: Head voice register is produced but with inconsistency in pitch and control. Head voice is connected in his range, but transitions may become sloppy and strain and shallow support become apparent in the fifth octave.
With a very light sound approach and a voice placed high in range and tone, Jokwon possesses the lightness that allows his voice to naturally flow with more ease in vocal runs as opposed to heavier voices with less flexibility. Having said that, Jokwon often shows ease with slow paced simple runs with accuracy in tone and separation of notes very well showcased, such as in “Slow Motion” and “U Got It Bad“. However, when runs become slightly more challenging with more added notes and a faster tempo, he has a bad habit of creating more or less pitch accurate slides around the musical ideas he has for his runs, often creating messy, sloppy or even pitchy runs in his vocal performances. This is due to his voice having an understanding of the muscle memory necessary to bounce off each individual note when doing vocal runs, but then struggling to speed that process up when trying to sing harder runs and often closing his throat in the process, such as in “Slow Motion“, “대낮에 한 이별“, “남과 여” and “10점 만점에 10점“.
Debuting as a member of 2AM in 2008 and standing today as the only member still active under JYP Entertainment, Jokwon has been a long time vocalist and trainee under the company. After years of experience and training, he has proven that he’s learned more than just the basics of singing as a vocalist. His voice also has always been a reason for his uniqueness, possessing a delicate and bright tone for a male, with a high tessitura and light sound, Light Lyric Tenor is the easiest to describe his voice fach. Although he may sing with a lighter tone than his natural fach, when he sings Musical Theatre, he tends to create a more true tone to his actual vocal weight, as opposed to the range where he usually speaks.
The lowest part of his range is by far the most unexplored part of his voice. By having a high sounding voice and generally speaking very high, Jokwon never truly speaks down in his chest voice low enough to allow freedom of tone and projection in his lower range. In most of his vocal performance, Jokwon stays in a E3 ~ A4 vocal range, very easily within his supported range, which causes him to not be challenged nearly enough in order to truly improve the weaker parts of his voice. As he descends in range below G3, Jokwon is able to keep a relaxed neutral larynx position and good projection down to F3, such as in “실감” and E3, such as in “죽어도 못보내“. The rare occasions in which Jokwon does sing below E3 is when we can clearly hear discomfort in that range, usually by the lack of tone present in his voice, such as the C#3’s and D3’s in “우리 사랑하게 됐어요” and “Anthem“, which should be well within a lyric tenor’s tessitura. Even as he descends lower, it is possible not to only hear but physically see his larynx dropping in his neck in order to produce lower notes, resulting in a strained and muffled sound in his lower range, such as the B2 in “Halo“. At times Jokwon even struggles to produce notes below C#3, such as when attempting to sing Seulong’s part in “죽어도 못보내“, which goes down to A2 and Jokwon ends up only being able to sing down to C#3 instead.
In his mixed voice Jokwon shows more freedom in tone and a very good habit of keeping an open throated sound with little to no nasality and very consistent resonance within his supported range. Although again this area may also be unexplored and as the lead/main vocalist, he is not given as many challenging parts in songs and does not show the same kind of extension in his mixed voice as Changmin does. For that reason, there are very rare occasions in which he sings above his supported range, which in one hand makes him a smart vocalist, but on the other hand throughout the years little to no improvement has been made in his vocal technique due to this cautious approach to his singing. Resonance and good mask placement are always a part of his mixed voice, where he shows no issues with consistently bringing that up to F#4, such as in “어느봄날“, G4’s such as in “Material Girl” and “행복한 나를” and even G#4, such as in “U Got It Bad”.
The issues with consistency generally start happening around A4, which seems to be peak of his supported range and may at times be there or at times not. This has been an issue that wasn’t really improved much over the years, considering he was able to produce resonance up to A4 even in 2009, such as in “That’s What Friends Are For“, and even more recently in his musical performance of “Anthem“. This resonance and support were never a consistent occurrence throughout his career. At times he would have issues with closing his throat and causing the pitch to go flat, such as in “Fantastic Baby“, or other moments having a slightly yelled sound, with a high larynx and glottal tension, such as in “나타나주라“. This however still isn’t the biggest issue, since support is still present with relative consistency up to A4 even on closed vowels like “ee (이)”, such as in “너도 나처럼“. Support above A4 however was never part of Jokwon’s technique, showing signs of yelled strain as often as he ascends above A4, such as the Bb4’s in “우리 사랑하게 됐어요” and “Slow Motion“.
As for his upper register, Jokwon has the ability to produce a connected head voice, something many males and females in pop music struggle with. However, although a connected head voice is produced, his head voice shows signs of strain and issues with consistency in support and stability, making this his second most unexplored register after his lower register. When transitioning, at times he might have issues making a smooth even connection from his mixed voice up to his head voice, but still being able to produce a relaxed sound, such as the Bb4’s in “너도 나처럼“, B4~ C#5 in “10점 만점에 10점” and C5 in “오늘따라“. His head voice may be connected, but it isn’t nearly as used as he could. Jokwon is nonetheless the tenor in K-pop with the highest head voice note, able to sing up to F6 with his head voice, matching the range of Brown Eyed Girls’ Gain. Above C#5, his throat generally becomes more closed causing Jokwon to either have a small sound due to his high larynx or a pushed loud sound in his head voice, such as the Eb5 in “난 괜찮아“, or the F5 in “길” or the F#5 ~ C6 section of “난 괜찮아“. Therefore, although being able to produce a connected head voice, the head voice is still underdeveloped and generally weak in tone.
Musically Jokwon is not a vocalist who lacks an understanding of vocal dynamics or even his own voice. He is able to switch his vibrato on and off at will and control when it’s used. He uses dynamics to his advantage, doesn’t generally try to over sing by adding higher notes than he can hit comfortably or straining his voice without needing to. Within his supported range he is able to perform with control, good pitch, good onsets, good vocal effects and style. Due to not being challenged enough out of his comfort zone, Jokwon has yet to fully develop the full potential of his wide vocal range.
Considering that potentially now 2AM will have less group activities, Jokwon should be given more opportunities to fully explore the potential of his voice and to be able to really venture into a solo career. His voice may develop well if given the right training and so that focus is given to his lower range in order to develop a fuller tone in his overall sound, and by exploring the potential of his head voice and his vocal agility. As a long-term trainee under JYP Entertainment and older artist, Jokwon has shown that he is a developed vocalist and has the potential to go even further in his career, if given the right training.
As a vocal unit 2AM might not have a set of 4 strong evened out vocalists but much like SPICA and TVXQ!, 2AM possesses a group with strong senses of vocal harmonization skills, able to blend in their voices well and keep very good pitch and blend. The issue caused by Jokwon when harmonizing is mainly his vibrato, which is a very fast vibrato and since he doesn’t necessarily control its speed, he can often lose the ability to fully blend his voice in with the rest of the group when the vibrato creates an uneven sound in the overall harmony of the group, such as in “미친듯이” and “대낮에 한 이별“. As for melodic and rhythmic changes, Jokwon doesn’t attempt much out of the ordinary and instead the most risky changes he adds to his own vocal performances ends up being vocal runs which, as previously discussed, can often be an issue for him.
Above Average Vocalist
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: Hawaiipups and kpopvocalists
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)