G2 ~ Bb5 (3 Octaves, 1 note & 1 semitone)
Eb3 ~ F4/F#4
Light Lyric Tenor
- Second strongest vocalist in B2ST (while a member)
- Support is present in his singing
- Able to support his mixed voice up to F4/F#4
- Produces a less nasal sound when belting
- Has shown good improvement with breath support over the years
- Falsetto has become more relaxed and can be be produced without nasality
- Able to support his chest voice down to Eb3
- Bad habit of keeping his mouth closed, doesn’t open up enough
- Sings with nasal placement very often
- Often sings with a pushed tight throat
- Falsetto produced through throat, usually whiny
- Mixed voice is too chest-dominant, lacks brightness and flexibility
- Runs are often sloppy and pitchy
- Uses a larynx vibrato
- Lower register: Mostly good placement and good vocal cord connection is kept in his chest voice down to Eb3. Below that he either becomes airy or pushes his larynx down with improper breath support.
- Mixed register: Mostly a chest-dominant mixed voice is used. He is able to produce support with a degree of openness in tone up to F4/F#4, above that his throat gets closed and he often has bad posture and strains.
- Upper register: Mostly uses a falsetto, at times is able to use a more well projected sound but that is caused by nasal placement instead of proper head resonance.
Hyunseung shows that he’s mostly influenced and takes after R&B vocalists in his vocal performances and vocal style. As such, he tends to favor more smooth mellow R&B songs with a mid-range and often attempts vocal runs. The issue with Hyunseung’s approach to vocal runs is that they often come out pitchy and lacking in terms of rhythmic flow. They often sound laggy, slowed down and even then the pitch and separation of notes aren’t executed with accuracy, resulting in very sloppy vocal runs for the most part, such as in “Nice & Slow“, “Don’t Judge Me” and “Troublemaker“. This seemed to be something he’d attempt more in the beginning of his career when doing covers of songs but seems to have been toned down to an extent.
Debuting in 2009 as the lead vocalist of the Cube boy group B2ST, Hyunseung was often not as highlighted in a group with so many members but has since been given many chances to showcase his talents in other ways. After being given a solo, as well as being part of a more 19+ concept duo with 4Minute’s Hyuna and also performing on Immortal Song 2 a couple of times, Hyunseung has been given his deserved recognition as the second strongest vocalist in B2ST.
The overall tone of Hyunseung’s voice is slightly thicker and darker than the other members of B2ST due to how much chest he uses in his overall tone production than head voice. He has the least bright mix amongst the members and the chestiness carries over to his lower range. As low as E3 and Eb3, Hyunseung shows a very relaxed and forward chest placed sound that projects very comfortably, as shown by the E3’s in “사랑의 슬픔” the E3‘s and the Eb3 in “Wedding Cake“. Below Eb3 however, Hyunseung’s tone quickly becomes a lot softer and airier, showing a lack of care to truly develop and work through the lower part of his range, such as the C#3’s in “Don’t Judge Me” and C3’s in “꽃밭에서“. This neglected area of his range can be projected at times, but he does so usually by lowering his larynx and straining his voice in the process, as heard in the C3 ~ A2 in “Wedding Cake” and the C3 and G2 in the “B2ST high and low note battle”.
His mixed voice is one that’s shown good improvement over the years in terms of support. Hyunseung used to often rely solely on his throat to sing in his mixed voice and would often sound shallow and become fatigued quite quickly. As time passed, he’s shown better grasp of breath support which allowed him to ease up above his first passaggio where he produces supported notes with more consistency and ease, such as the F4’s in “Butterfly” and “My Everything” and the F#4’s in “꽃밭에서“. Above F#4, however, he usually sings with a closed throat and support becomes weaker, causing him to rely a lot more on his throat than his diaphragm. This causes his larynx to raise and his voice to get thinner and pushed out, such as the G4’s in “12시30분“, the G#4’s in “잘지내“, “니가 처음이야” and “Wedding Cake“, the A4’s in “놀고 싶은 Girl” and “Fiction“, and the Bb4’s in “Good Luck” and “사랑의 슬픔“. Not only that, his mixed voice lacks a sense of development of his cricothyroid muscles, which takes away brightness of tone and makes him rely on a more chest-dominant mixed voice. This not only takes away freedom from his voice but with his weak breath support above F#4, it can cause him to get fatigued more quickly and be unable to explore the full potential of his upper range. Another issue with his mixed voice is his inability to lift his soft palate and drop his jaw fully, which causes him to often place his voice in his nose and project with a more nasal sound, not allowing true resonance to be achieved.
Another area of Hyunseung’s voice that has improved over the years is his falsetto. An area which in the past would show issues with transitions, such as in “잘 지내“, or issues with keeping a more pure tone, such as in “Troublemaker“, Hyunseung has gone from becoming pitchy and placing his falsetto heavily in his nose, as well as compressing his vocal cords together too harshly to being able to transition into a softer and more controlled falsetto with more of a head placed sound, such as in “꽃밭에서“. His transitions also have shown more smoothness and improved in terms of pitch, such as in “Fiction“. Nonetheless, he lacks the true support in his upper range to showcase a connection of his vocal cords where tone is clean and placed fully in the head, in other words, he has yet to show a truly connected head voice. Thus not exploring the full potential of his upper range by relying more so on a disconnected falsetto instead.
Compared to the other members of B2ST, what truly makes Hyunseung stand out as the second strongest vocalist of the group is that aside from Yoseob, he’s the only one other member in the group with a true grasp of breath support. Although his breath support still lacks in development and he often resorts to using his throat, he’s able to produce a relaxed tone within a certain range in his voice with stability and clarity, whereas the other vocalists rely solely on their throats to sing, often singing with flat and airy tones. Aside from breath support, Hyunseung does show some issues in his technique related to his inability to use a natural and healthy vibrato, resorting to an inferior approach by singing with a laryngeal vibrato. A laryngeal vibrato is usually done by moving the larynx up and down quickly in order to mimic the natural oscillation in pitch usually achieved by a natural vibrato, creating a lack of freedom in the larynx and inhibiting power.
In order to take his career further and utilize better and healthier technique with his singing, it’d be advised that Hyunseung take better care of his overall range development. He should work on deeper and more diaphragmatic breathing to allow more freedom in the upper part of his mixed voice, as well as approaching his mix with a brighter tone production so as to further expand his range upward and find more ease. As a performer, Hyunseung is good at both performing with strong choreographies and mid-range vocals which suit his current skill level as well. Improvements should be a goal only if he plans to take his career further and making it long term in order to explore other genres of music as well as achieving the full potential of his voice.
As a performer, Hyunseung focuses more on the visual aspect of his performances rather than truly the musical aspect. Therefore most of his vocal performances don’t rely on heavy harmonizations or complicated melodic changes to songs. Instead he tries to stick to the original melody of the song and focuses on the lyrical content being delivered effectively, as well as powerful choreographies being added to the songs to fully engage his audience. He keeps his performances guided more towards putting on a good show rather than making songs his own vocally.
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)