Bb2 ~ F5 (2 Octaves, 3 notes & 1 semitone)
E3 ~ F4/F#4
- Second strongest vocalist in 2PM
- Able to consistently support his voice up to F4/F#4
- Shown very good improvement with support over the years
- Shows a good control of his lower range to about E3
- Has a consistent flow of air, breath support is present
- Able to lift his soft palate when belting
- Pitch has improved quite a lot
- Vibrato has become more even throughout the years
- Good placement present in the upper mixed voice
- Vibrato is very wobbly and unstable
- Voice is often too airy
- Vocal runs are always sloppy and pitchy
- Does too many vocal runs
- Lower range is generally airy and unsupported
- Larynx raises above F#4
- Nasality present in his singing
- Voice becomes thin and shrill above F#4
- Mixed voice lacks power, normally quite head-dominant
- Lower register: Under explored as a register overall, Jun.K barely actually sings below E3. Tone around E3 and F3 is generally well produced, connected and more full, but as he descends below E3, his voice starts to lose power, volume and becomes muffled.
- Mixed register: A register where improvement can be heard quite easily over the years. His voice has become more stable and he’s able to eliminate nasality in this register, however so he still strains with a high larynx anywhere above F#4.
- Upper register: The falsetto register may not be used often, but it’s developed well enough in terms of projection, even if stability and control may still be issues.
Jun.K is a vocalist who specializes in singing more R&B oriented pop music and when he is able to release solo music and choose what songs he likes to perform, he shows clearly that he is influenced by R&B vocalists in his stylistic approach and musical ideas. One of the most prominent aspects of R&B music is vocal agility, ornamentations, melismas and trills. These vocal runs are often done to better explain the message of a song and highlight certain parts of a song. For less experienced R&B vocalists, runs often come as a way to show off, which is mostly what Jun.K does. However so, in Jun.K’s case his runs are yet to be fully developed and therefore most of his attempts end up sloppy and pitchy. In order for one to have good vocal agility, one must hit every note in a vocal run smoothly, clearly and well separated, while still connecting every note properly in one breath, but in his case he mostly sings runs with random note choices without a singular musical direction often resulting in runs that are more like slides from one note to another without any precision pitch or clean separation of note by note. This can be heard in performances such as “Love“, “아! 사랑아“, “I Can’t” and “이별공식“. Even in more moderate to slow tempo runs, his overall flow can lack smoothness, such as in “Stick Up Kid“.
Debuting in 2008 as the main vocalist of 2PM, he is part of one of the longest running idol groups active today. As the main vocalist of a group whose image and music was never meant to be about being exceptionally technical vocalists, Jun.K had to come a long way in order to improve himself as a vocalist and being able to showcase the best out of what he’s worked on over the years. Vocally speaking, Jun.K’s voice is light and bright in tone, without much chest-resonance or chest voice development, resulting in an even softer vocal approach mixed in with the “half-air half-sound” technique JYP focuses on, his overall tone is often soft and does not carry much weight. His voice lies somewhat higher in terms of range and it can be assumed that he’d most likely be classified as a light lyric tenor.
The lower part of his voice is one that’s not often explored and quite underdeveloped. The tone in his voice has actually shown improvement from his debut days, whereas he’d struggle to project and keep a stable tone around E3, such as in “무조건” and “Love“, more recently he’s shown that he’s able to project in his lower range with more clarity in tone and better placement, such as in “Shiny Girl“, “What Friends Are For” and “대지의 항구“. However so, his chest voice overall lacks good chest resonance and ends up often sounding soft and somewhat airy even within his supported range, possibly due to stylistic choices he’s made throughout the years that resulted in the specific sound his voice has. Due to that, below E3 his voice loses tone and becomes more muffled and airy and the vocal cords become less connected, resulting in quiet and unsupported notes in his lower range below E3, such as the D3 in “아! 사랑아“, C#3 in “편지를쓴다” and Bb2 in “No Love“.
The airiness created by the technique often employed in JYPE, where artists are encouraged to sing with a half-air and half-sound approach is not an original JYPE idea and is often used as a stylistic device for many vocalists. However so, said technique can also be damaging to the vocal cords due to the excessive air passing through the vocal cords, causing irritation and dehydration if the vocalist is never taught to sing with a more full tone approach by connecting their vocal cords fully when singing. This kind of airiness and lightness in tone often carries over in Jun.K’s singing, specially in his mixed voice where he uses a much more head-dominant mixed voice than chest dominant, lacking depth in tone and more weight in his voice. Not only that, but his voice often sounds soft and lacks the true power it could have if he were to use a more fully connected vocal cord approach and more support in his singing. Support in Jun.K’s mixed voice is often present and has improved greatly overtime, whereas compared to early during 2PM’s debut where Jun.K’s voice would often be shaky, pitchy, airy and unstable due to the lack of support, such as in “눈의꽃” and “Last Christmas“, now his approach allows for more stability in pitch and a less wobbly vibrato overall.
Support in his mixed voice can be heard very often around E4, such as in “대지의 항구” and F4 such as in “아! 사랑아“. Support in his mix can still be heard with some inconsistency up to F#4, but as soon as he sings above G4 his voice starts to become more constricted due to the tension present in his throat and jaw tension caused by pushing his jaw forward when singing higher notes. This can easily be heard in the transition of the notes A3 ~ B3 ~ C#4 ~ D4 ~ E4 ~ F#4 ~ G4 in the beginning of “No Love“, where support is heard up until the second to last note, F#4 and then G4 comes in his voice becomes less opened and more throaty. Nasality is often present in his lower range and his falsetto, but in his mixed range he has shown that he’s able to correctly lift his soft palate in order to project his voice better, even though his larynx is also raised and therefore strain happens in his voice. Anywhere above G4, his voice sounds tight, shouted and uneven with a very bright light head dominant sound, such as the G4’s in “문득“, “Always” and “Step By Step“, G#4’s in “A.D.T.O.Y. (하.니.뿐)“, A4’s in “No Love” and “Empire State Of Mind“, Bb4’s in “대지의 항구” and “ALIVE“, B4 in “우리 사랑이대로“, C5 in “보고 싶은 얼굴” and “기다리다 지친다“, C#5 in “잠깜만” and D5 in “흐린 기억속의 그대“.
Jun.K’s airy style carries over up into his falsetto register. He has yet to truly show that he can produce a connected head voice and often sings with a light and airy falsetto. His song choices often don’t make him sing very high in his falsetto and one can assume he’s yet to truly show the limit of his falsetto range. Nonetheless, the times he’s used his falsetto register, one can hear that he’s able to transition somewhat well into his falsetto without losing his sense of pitch, showing only issues with keeping an opened sound, a head placed resonant sound and controlling his tone and vibrato, such as in “I Can’t“, “기다리다 지친다“, 편지를 쓴다 and “내 이름을 불러줘“.
Stylistically, Jun.K shows influences of old school R&B vocalists, such as R.Kelly, in his singing. He often uses vocal runs and a more high placed range, generally singing from E3 ~ A4 quite often. He has shown good improvement with support and pitch over the years, but still struggles to produce actual resonance and keep a stable larynx, as well as controlling the speed of his vibrato and using a natural vibrato. Not only that, but he also still needs help working on fixing the airiness in his singing. Musically he is capable of altering the sound of his voice well in order to express different dynamics and emotions through his singing. Having said that, the airiness in his voice limits just how much more power and dynamic changes he can have in his vocal performances due to the underdeveloped breath support he uses.
As a soloist, Jun.K has come a long way from a group that was once labelled the “beastly idols”, in order to prove himself as a vocalist. Jun.K is a musician who’s able to write music and play piano, as well as showing dedication to his craft. His style suits his repertoire for the most part, but instead of being a stylistic singer, it is possible to say that Jun.K would benefit from taking vocal lessons that could help him address his technical issues, such as jaw and throat tension, high larynx issues, shallow support, pitch issues in his vocal runs and most of all the airiness present in his voice. If he is to pursue a career in the future as a solo singer, going back to the basics with a vocal instructor who could help him improve his overall vocal technique would help him further his career as an artist in the long run.
Musically speaking, Jun.K is not a very precise vocalist and although he often likes to add his own flavor to his own vocal performances, he often likes to proper control of pitch to be able to accurately portray his musical ideas in the way he means for them to, in other words, he often tries to add his own melodic ideas to songs but they often come out pitchy. Harmonically speaking, he is able to harmonize well with others and keep his own note and not lose the harmony, even if he may have some issues with blending with others and he may become somewhat flat, such as in “Only You” and “우리 사랑 이대로“.
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)