C#3 ~ G#5 (2 octaves, 3 notes and 1 semitone)
B3 ~ G#4
Light Lyric Soprano
- Strongest vocalist in KARA
- Some breath support is present in the voice
- Able to keep a fuller sound in her voice
- Nasality is not too apparent
- Lower range can keep support down to B3/Bb3
- Mixed voice has some support up to G#4/A4
- Pitch can be quite nice
- Lowers larynx for her lower notes to overcompensate for tone
- Becomes easily shouty in her mixed voice to overcompensate for power
- Vocal runs are generally sloppy and uncontrolled
- Notes below Bb3 are weak and lack in support
- Notes above A4 become weak with a high larynx
- Voice becomes whinier as she goes higher in range
- Presents a lot of jaw tension in her singing
- Breath support is generally weak
- Tone lacks roundness, sounds generally flat and lacks in color
- Falsetto is very airy and disconnected
- No register in her voice is truly developed
- Lower register: Very weak in terms of tone and clarity, but can at times project considerably well even if with a lowered pushed larynx. Generally support is not present below B3.
- Mixed register: A somewhat balanced mixed voice, although still lingering more towards the head-dominant side. She often pushes her voice out more when trying to create power and lacks support above A4.
- Upper register: The falsetto is generally weak, airy and unsupported. The voice often becomes weak when transitioning and loses projection and at times becomes pitchy.
Compared to the other members of KARA, Seungyeon takes the most risks vocally. She is one of the few members to actually attempt solo songs where she’s challenged to sing vocal runs in her vocal performances. As such, she’s also more exposed in terms of weaknesses and presents herself as a less careful vocalist. When approaching her vocal runs, Seungyeon often becomes weak in tone, her runs becoming quite sloppy, where notes are not hit precisely and the general sense of pitch is lost almost completely. Not only that, but her runs often cause her voice to be lighter and airier where she uses even less breath support to guide her voice and instead lets her voice become shallow and uncontrolled, such as the runs in “하얀 겨울“, “Love The Way You Lie” and “Strong Enough“.
Debuting as KARA’s main vocalist alongside the group’s strongest vocalist to date, Sunghee, in 2007, Seungyeon has kept her place as the group’s main vocal for years always being the member to take on the most challenging lines in their songs. Much like the rest of KARA, she has a light, bright and girly voice with a high pitched sound and a range that generally sits quite high, classifying her as most likely a Light Lyric Soprano.
The lowest part of her range has been explored and showcased a lot more than any other vocalist in KARA, extending as low as C#3. When singing below her supported range, Seungyeon tends to let her voice become soft and airy and lose support, or at times she’ll try to lower her larynx to create tone and project in her lower range overcompensating for the lack of proper breath support and vocal cord connection. This creates a more unclear tone with an artificial darkness that her voice does not generally possess, such as in “거위의 꿈” from A3 down to C#3 and the G#3 in “Love The Way You Lie“. Apart from that, it’s possible to hear that when not trying to lower her larynx, her voice generally becomes airy and unclear below B3, where she mostly loses tone and can’t project, such as the F#3 in “Guilty“, G3 in “혼자 사랑할까요” G#3 in “Rock U“, A3’s in “STEP” and Bb3’s in “Love The Way You Lie.”
Her mixed voice is another part of her voice that’s quite underdeveloped when it comes to proper vocal technique but also shows a considerable extension up to G5. She has many times shown that compared to the other vocalists in the group, Seungyeon is able eliminate the most nasality and use the most amount of support in her mixed voice, even if said support still is mostly quite shallow and weak, she still shows the fullest tone with the best balance of chest and head voice out of all the 4 members of KARA. One example of where her voice still shows support as she ascends in range would be the F#4’s in “Guilty“, the G4’s in “Love The Way You Lie” and the G#4’s from “둘 중에 하나 (Runaway)“, where compared to the weaker tone production of Youngji, or the more shrill and whiny tone production of Gyuri, Seungyeon keeps more openness and balance in her voice overall. As she ascends in range, she generally makes an effort to produce more power in her mixed voice as well as keeping more tone, but usually that power is met with both throat and jaw tension, as she’s singing often pushing her jaw forward when trying to sing higher notes. The tension in her voice is clearly heard in the fifth octave, where she produces more powerful notes than the rest of the members of KARA, but still does so by shouting them out with a high larynx and no breath support, such as the C5’s in “Mister” and “혼자 사랑할까요“, the D5 in “Pandora“, the E5 in “Guilty” and the G5 in “Mamma Mia“. This tension is still heard at the top of the 4th octave, even though to a lesser degree for it being less challenging in range. Examples would include the Bb4’s from “” and “Strong Enough“, and the B4’s from “숙녀가 못돼“.
Her upper register, in comparison to Gyuri’s, is less stable and less connected and is more like a falsetto than a true head voice. Her voice often becomes less projected and weaker as she ascends in pitch up to her falsetto, and oftentimes her overall pitch becomes less stable. Times where she tries to sing in her falsetto but her tone becomes weaker and more airy with less connection in her vocal cords include “Strong Enough” and “그땐 그냥“. Even then, there are times where her transitions are smoother and done very quickly, as passing notes, such as in “혼자 사랑할까요“, and other times where they’re too quick for her voice to become unstable or shaky, such as in “Mamma Mia“. Thus, it’s possible to conclude that Seungyeon has neglected developing a close connection between her vocal cords in order to produce a more stable and true head voice and is therefore unable to feel head placement and produce resonance in her upper register.
Generally, Seungyeon shows a better understanding of dynamics than the other members, attempting to add more power to her voice by using more and less chest in her mix and controlling her nasality to add or use less of it in her singing, but never truly grasping the idea of an opened, relaxed throat, a neutral larynx or a lifted soft palate, thus still producing a whiny weak tone overall in her voice. Her vocal registers are all fairly underdeveloped but she has shown the potential to be able to extend her range quite far down and up in her chest and mixed voices, but due to the underdeveloped breath support she possesses, she’s yet to fully understand how to support her voice.
As a whole Seungyeon is the one vocalist in KARA, alongside Youngji, who produce the best tone overall, with the least nasality and the best balance of chest voice and head voice. Having said that, both still lack in terms of breath support and placement, being generally a 4 membered group where every single member is nasal, lacks in terms of development of registers and tone production. Seungyeon has shown the most risk taking out of all members and seems to truly want to develop herself as a vocalist and if she wishes to branch out into other genres of music, such as pop rock or ballads, she should find a vocal instructor who can teach her how to develop the true potential of her voice from scratch. For now, her sound matches the music KARA releases and overall is an appealing style that helps sell well as a cute high pitched female unit in Japan and Korea, more closely matching the vocal stylings of many J-pop girl groups.
Musically, again Seungyeon is the riskiest member of KARA. She’s the only member who really tries to implement more musical changes to her singing, as well as trying harder to keep a more interesting and original vocal approach to her covers. Even then her lack of control in her voice often causes her to become pitchy and not truly apply her melodic ideas as well as she would originally hope to, such as in “Strong Enough“.
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: Viettien81212
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)