F#2 ~ C6 (3 octaves and 3 notes)
C3 ~ A4
- Strongest vocalist in BtoB
- Consistent control of his mixed voice
- Resonance is produced consistently
- Able to keep support up to A4
- Lower range is supported and forward down to C3
- Falsetto is often relaxed up to C#5/D5
- Runs can at times be produced with accuracy in pitch
- Mixed voice is well balanced and healthy
- Good placement is kept even above his supported range
- Pitch is generally good
- Good control of dynamics
- Not usually nasal
- Uses a larynx vibrato
- Larynx is raised above A4
- Lower range below C3 is often airy and muffled
- Issues with airiness in his falsetto
- Runs can be sloppy and pitchy
- Can become whiny in his falsetto
- Sometimes bad posture in his singing can cause upper body tension
- Lower register: The lower range is full and produces consistent tone with clarity and projection down to C3. Chest voice is well placed with good resonance but generally loses tone below C3.
- Mixed register: The mixed voice is consistently supported up to A4 with a neutral larynx and good placement. Above A4, good placement may be present but the larynx usually is raised causing strain to the voice.
- Upper register: Under explored register but nonetheless developed to an extent. Most issues with pitch happen in this register and in the transitions. Can become tight above D5.
Generally not as inclined to sing with an R&B style as other vocalists may, Eunkwang still shows a necessary amount of control when attempting melismas in his vocal performances. When it comes to vocal runs, Eunkwang is quite adept at taking his time to hit every note with emphasis on rhythmic “bounces” that allow him to more accurately sing through slow to mid tempo runs, such as in “You Raise Me Up“, You’ll Be Alright and “가로수 그늘 아래 서면“, even though the right flow may not be present, he shows the care to carefully hit each note at a time. Whenever runs are sped up though, he has the tendency to rush through the notes with less accuracy in pitch, becoming sloppy in his delivery and somewhat pitchy, such as in “나비무덤” and “A Song For Mama“.
Debuting in 2012 as part of Cube’s boyband BtoB, Eunkwang always had the role of the main vocalist of the group. Generally taking the higher harmony and the higher notes, his voice was always a highlight of BtoB songs, always taking the most challenging vocal lines in the group. With a group whose vocal line consists of two tenors, Eunkwang and Changsub, and two baritones, Sungjae and Hyunsik, it can often be challenging to find songs that can properly fit the ranges of both voice types. However as a tenor with a much higher and lighter voice, Eunkwang finds himself mostly at ease with the range generally written for BtoB’s repertoire.
From the bottom of his range, Eunkwang has for a long time shown the complete control of his instrument within a reasonably low range for a tenor. Compared to most tenors in K-pop, the average limit for the bottom of a tenor’s supported range generally lies around D3 ~ E3. However so, Eunkwang has proven that he’s able to produce a well connected tone, with the true tone of his voice being brought out at the bottom of the third octave with ease, good chest placement and resonance and support, such as the E3’s in “울어도 돼“, Eb3 in “You Raise Me Up“, D3 in “忘れないで (Wasurenaide)” and “까치 까치 설날은“, C#3 in “소주한잔” and C3 in “보고싶다“, “내 길 더 잘 아시니” and “가로수 그늘 아래 서면“. However below C3, he either has the tendency to let his voice become airy and lose tone, such as the B2 in “기억을 걷다“, G2 in “소주한잔” and F#2 in “소주한잔 (Lower Key)“, or occasionally slightly push his larynx down in order to somewhat project better in his lower, causing minimal strain to his vocal cords, such as the “You Raise Me Up“.
His mixed voice is quite balanced in tone, having a good amount of chest and head voice distributed throughout his range. He is able to often keep a relaxed tone in his mixed voice without over compensating power by pushing his voice with his throat, but instead by using proper breath support allowing for a more steady approach in his upper range. He is consistently able to keep a lifted soft palate and support in his mixed voice up to A4, often producing resonance in this range, such as the F#4 in “For My Love“, G4 in “그녀에게 전해주오“, G#4’s in “오늘은 가지마“, and A4’s in “Heaven“, “아버지“, “끝사랑” and “니가 싫어“. Above A4 up to B4 generally he’s still able to keep a well placed sound with a somewhat balanced mixed voice, however he tends to let his larynx raise causing strain to his voice in that range, such as the Bb4’s in “Be Alright” and “Bolero“, and B4’s in “별“. Above B4, his voice becomes a lot thinner in tone and his throat becomes a lot tighter, with a lot more tension from his swallowing muscles constricting his larynx creating a more strained, throaty, muffled and screeched out sound with a more head-dominant mixed voice approach, such as he C5 in “흔한 노래“, C#5’s in “Mirotic” and “삼오야 밝은 달“, D5 in “서쪽하늘“, Eb5 in “잊혀진다는 거“, E5 in “천일동안“, and F#5 in “She’s Gone“.
His falsetto register is not as often used and he shows slightly less confidence in this register compared to the rest of his voice. Nonetheless, the falsetto register is generally produced with a better cord connection than most, producing a slightly fuller tone than the average airy falsetto and is often well placed in his head resonating chambers. However so, he still shows some issues with his transitions into falsetto, at times with pitch problems, or he may at times produce a more pushed out mask placed falsetto with a high larynx, such as the G5 in “The VIXX vs BtoB vs MYNAME high note battle“. Oftentimes, he has shown a more relaxed approach with consistency up to C#5/D5 such as in “You’ll Be Alright” and “집으로 가는길“, and even at times with the “Oo (우)” vowel, good placement is kept up to F5, such as in “괜찮아요“. With the “Aye (애/에)” vowel, there are moments in which he shows issues with keeping an opened throat and thus produces a more constricted strained sound, such as the C5 in “뛰뛰빵빵” and the E5 in “You’re My Lady“.
Overall Eunkwang is very much in control of his voice within the C3 to A4 range, with consistent use of proper breath support and a well controlled sound dynamically, where he is able to choose airiness, softness in tone, or gradually add power to his voice, having a very well developed sense of musicality. That being said, outside that range he shows issues with consistency in tone production and that can eventually lead to vocal damage if the voice is to be overworked outside his supported range. One of the drawbacks of Eunkwang’s technique is the fact that he has been taught to use a larynx based vibrato, where his larynx is moved up and down creating an artificial vibrato which is essentially an inferior copy of a naturally produced vibrato, such as in “소주한잔“. Though this may cause some tension, it can be retaught and fixed. At times he also has issues with his posture which can create some upper body tension and he should be careful of such minor details as well as the bigger picture.
As a main vocalist, Eunkwang stands amongst the strongest of the strongest main vocalists in K-pop, specially having debuted in 2012, he’s not only been consistently able to keep his voice healthy and in shape, he has developed his voice to a degree that most other male idols have yet to achieve and for that he should be praised. In order to keep further improving himself as a vocalist, it should be advised that he takes care of the rest of his upper mixed range, addressing his larynx position and balance of his mixed voice. Another part that could be improved would be exploring the full potential of his falsetto register and developing it into a well connected head voice. As an overall musician, Eunkwang is not only a highly skilled vocalist, he is also able to play piano and should further use his ability as an instrumentalist to further his career as a musician, vocalist and entertainer.
Musically, Eunkwang would be what some would refer to as a karaoke singer. Many times that connotation isn’t exactly positive, but it is important to know that it’s better to be able to sing a song exactly as the original with precision and use dynamics to properly convey musical message, than to try and add runs and melodic changes that come off as showing off more so than actual enhancement of the musical message, which is what Eunkwang does. There are few times where he adds his own runs to certain performances, which may end up pitchy. Harmonically, however, Eunkwang, as the rest of the vocal line in BtoB, are quite familiar with adjusting each other’s volumes and blending their voices together, a skill that’s important to note when singing as part of a group. Eunkwang generally takes either the higher harmony or the melody in vocal harmonies, such as in “A Song For Mama” and “Christmas Carols Medley“.
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)