G#2 ~ A5 (3 Octaves & 1 Semitone)
C#3/D3 ~ A4
- Strongest vocalist in MYNAME
- Consistent column of sound present up to A4
- Resonance is very consistent up to A4, rarely happens up to Bb4
- Support is well developed and consistent
- Able to sing through vocal runs with good technique
- Lower range shows support down to C#3 with consistency in tone and volume
- Able to keep tone below A2 even if support is lost
- Voice is never truly nasal
- Able to produce a connected head voice occasionally
- Musicianship is well developed and explored
- Lower range below C#3 becomes quiet and lacks support
- Vocal runs can often be over exaggerated and pitchy when too fast
- Mixed voice above A4 generally becomes throaty and strained
- Falsetto is mostly produced, often pushed and strained
- Shows issues with keeping an opened throat on vowels Aye (애/에), Ee (이) and Oo (우) in his mixed voice
- Lower register: Although an under explored register in the repertoire given to MYNAME, he has developed his lower range well enough to be able to almost handle the bottom of the lower tenor range with good support. Issues with volume may happen below Eb3 though.
- Mixed register: Very consistent support and resonance produced in this registers. Shows very little issues with consistency in keeping his throat opened in his mixed voice, mostly due to vowel shapes. Above A4, he often becomes throaty.
- Upper register: Rarely able to produce a head voice. Mostly uses a relaxed falsetto even up to Eb5/E5 at times. Other times produces a strained screeched pushed falsetto when attempting ascending runs.
As a lyric voice, Gunwoo presents the natural lightness and ease to have enough flexibility in his voice to perform accurate vocal runs. He uses the natural ease he has added with how influenced he was by his mentor and shows one of the best runs amongst idols in the K-pop industry. He shows very good note separation and an ability to create good flow and rhythm in his runs. Most of the time this ability is shown in slower tempo runs, such as in the one in “너무 very 막“, or in more mid to faster tempo runs such as in “Hello & Goodbye“, “남자답게“, “체념” and “지울 수 없는 (Memory)“. However, when he is not given the luxury of singing runs with pauses in between and tries to sing with more notes and with more complexity, he tends to lose his musical ideas and becomes very pitchy, such as in “Instagram video #1“, “Instagram Video #2“, “As Long As You Love Me” and “Message (Acoustic Version)“.
Debuting in 2011 under the mentorship of former SM Entertainment artist and Fly To The Sky’s Main Vocalist, Hwanhee. Under such mentorship, it would come as no surprise for their main vocalist to be of a high vocal level, with a developed tone and technique. Although it may seem that Gunwoo’s sound is quite similar to that of Hwanhee, his voice is placed much higher than Hwanhee’s in tessitura with a much lighter and lighter weight sound, placing his voice where a Tenor’s voice would, most likely a light lyric tenor if to be classically trained.
The lower part of his range is one that he explores the least in the repertoire given to him as a member of MYNAME. Most of the time Gunwoo is highlighted by taking the higher notes and exhibiting his expertise with his mixed voice. That is not to say that Gunwoo isn’t capable of showing support and a consistent connection of his vocal cords with a neutral larynx, often done as low as C#3, such as the Eb3 in “안되나요“, the D3 in “You’re Waiting For Me“, and the C#3 in “지울 수 없는 (Memory)“. Below C#3, he is able to keep tone, such as the A2 in “취중진담“, however most of the time projection and tone below C#3 is lost due to the lack of proper vocal cord connection and lost support, such as the G#2 in “남자답게” and the B2 in “잠을 너무 못 잤나봐“.
As he ascends in range, Gunwoo keeps a good ratio of chest and head resonance in his mixed voice, mostly opting for a slightly darker and a bit chestier sound with more depth in tone. In the repertoire he sings, Gunwoo makes very good use of the power and good breath control he possesses, always keeping a stable larynx and consistent column of sound throughout his mixed voice with an open throat and proper mask placement, creating clean resonance. This can be heard very easily in the G4’s in “Replay“, “My Love“, G#4’s in “Stop The Time“, “지울 수 없는 (Memory)“, “” and the A4’s in “Shalala“, “Day By Day“, “What’s Up” and “My Love“. This consistency in resonance is usually kept well enough when singing with more opened vowels, such as Ah (아) and Oh (오), but he has shown inconsistencies with keeping an open throated shape in his vocal tract in order to produce resonance, creating more closed throated tight notes when singing the Aye (애/에), Ee (이) and Oo (우) vowels, such as in “Day By Day“. Resonance or support above A4 are rarely ever produced, one time was a live performance of “Hello & Goodbye” where Gunwoo was able to sing a resonant Bb4. However for the most part, his voice generally becomes tight and strained above A4, with a high larynx and a closed throat, such as the Bb4’s in “Message“, “Message“, “Tears“, “Message (Acoustic)“, the B4 in “Baby I’m Sorry“, the C5 in “Light (선물)“, the C#5’s in “체념” and the F5 in “Missing You“.
When going for his upper register, Gunwoo tends to favor using either a more falsetto-like tone, with softness and airiness or a mask placed pushed falsetto with a lot of vocal strain. Most of the time Gunwoo opts for his falsetto register, which is often relaxed and not sloppy in terms of transitions, such as in “Message“. At times however, he opts for a strained falsetto, such as in “Instagram Video #3“, which shows a more throaty sound with more vocal strain. There have been times where Gunwoo has been able to show a connected head voice, such as in “Light (선물)“, but he does not often sing with this register showing inconsistency in keeping a connected approach in his vocal cords and limiting the full potential of the development of a true head voice, thus hindering his ability to have a fully connected voice from the bottom to the top of his range.
Musically, Gunwoo has a good sense of sensibility in tone. He often sacrifices technique for a more emotional approach to his singing, being able to convey and express his feelings better in songs by adding vocal effects such as airiness in lower range, as well as adding softness and controlling his dynamics well throughout his range. Gunwoo doesn’t often get a chance to showcase his vocal abilities and therefore is limited in terms of solo vocal performances. He often shows a lack of understanding of musicality when it comes to vocal runs, opting for showing off runs and his ability to sing as many notes as fast as he can, without truly connecting the musical ideas with the songs he’s singing, thus taking away the true musical intention behind his vocal runs and being left with only a show off.
Although having debuted in 2011, Gunwoo’s vocal ability has yet to be truly recognized which can be attributed to a few reasons. MYNAME has received moderate success as an idol group, but their songs are never truly used to highlight Gunwoo’s vocals and this causes him to lack opportunities to sing songs that fit his voice the best. Not only that, Gunwoo seems to lack a sense of originality as an overall vocalist, almost sounding as though he could be labelled as a mini-Hwanhee. For future improvements as a vocalist, finding his true color would be the key way to go in order to achieve better success and stand out, as well as developing the lower part of his range and working to further improve his vocal agility.
Much of what Gunwoo does includes a lot of improvised vocal runs and musical ideas executed and applied into his vocal performances. These are usually very accurate in pitch, with the exception of badly executed vocal runs, and are done with a comfortable and secure sense of pitch and rhythm. At times he shows good musical ideas, but his runs seem to lack a sense of originality and his musical changes often sound like they’re highly influenced by Hwanhee. Examples of his musicianship include “My Love“, “체념” and “Replay“.
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: Edgar Cárdenas
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)