C#3 – E6 (3 Octaves, 1 note and 1 semitone)
A3 – C5
- Able to sing down to C#3
- Can support A3 consistently
- Is able to achieve resonance up to C5
- Good sense of dynamics
- Often sings with a lifted soft palate
Points for Improvement
- Pushes her larynx down below A3
- Extremely chesty mix
- Notes in her supported range become strained when fatigued
- Sings with a rather pushed resonance
- Sings with a disconnected falsetto rather
- Lower register: Able to support A3. Notes below this are often done with a lowered larynx or a disconnected airy chest voice.
- Mixed register: Extremely unbalanced and chesty with pushed resonance up to C5. Notes above this are often strained with a high larynx. Consistently able to keep an opened sound in her mix despite throatiness, no nasality is usually heard.
- Upper register: An overly airy, disconnected falsetto, often used and controlled to an extent but lacking in development.
Often attempts runs, but lacks the proper precision, accuracy, and note separation. Most of the time the direction of pitch in Hwasa’s runs and the idea behind them is more or less accurate, but the execution tends to come out either too unclear, where each individual note is not hit in its center, but instead she slides around the notes, such as in “Wait A Minute” and “Flying Into The Night Sky“, or at times her runs will just sound like a sloppy mush of notes together, such as in “The Way To Sampo“. When she performs slower runs, she is able to separate the notes with more clarity and rhythmic flow is more easily heard, such as in “Passion Flower“.
As a lead vocalist for one of Korea’s most well balanced female vocal groups, Hwasa does not fall short when it comes to assets and range as part of Mamamoo. The reason why Mamamoo works is because for the most part, aside from the great harmonizing skills of all members, the group has each member take on a part of their range where they are most comfortable with and that’s why Hwasa is never heard belting too high and instead taking most of the falsetto parts in Mamamoo’s music.
Hwasa’s lower register is more or less average, being able to support A3. Notes above this are often not supported and mushy with a low larynx. The biggest issue that exists throughout Hwasa’s range is an raspy quality caused by either her vocal cords not coming together well enough, letting air come through mostly in her lower range and in her falsetto, or too much compression in her vocal cords where they come together too harshly, mostly present in her mixed voice. To overly compensate for the lack of development of her lower range, Hwasa often pushes her larynx down causing her tone to become muffled and unnaturally deep, such as the G3’s in “Delilah“, G#3’s in “Passion Flower” and “The Way To Sampo“, as opposed to the more neutral larynx and more opened free sound of her voice on A3 and above, such as the A3’s in “Ave Maria“, “Flying Into The Night Sky“, “If I Leave“, “Sting”, “My Heart” and “Love Talk”.
The compression of her vocal cords often causes Hwasa’s mix to sound very pushed, on top of being very unbalanced and extremely chest dominant. Despite this, she is able to achieve resonance on Bb4s in “My Heart Will Go On” and “Love Me”, B4s in “Passion Flower“, “The Way To Sampo” “This Song” and “Orange Colored Sky“, and C5s in “My Everything“, “Flying Into The Night Sky“, “Wait A Minute“, “Sting”. However, due to the overly pushed amount of air pressure and vocal cord compression present in her singing, her mix can often cause her voice to become easily fatigued. When fatigued she even strains notes in her supported range because of how chest dominant her mix is, such as in “If I Leave“, the B4’s in “The Way To Sampo” and “Delilah“, and the C5 in Mr. Ambiguous. Notes above this however are often overly pushed and done with a high larynx, such as the D5 in “Flying Into The Night Sky” and the E5 in “Passion Flower“, notes which she often avoids sustaining.
Hwasa’s upper register is an very airy, disconnected falsetto that gets shrill around G#5/A5. She is incapable of producing true connection between her vocal cords and producing a full tone with her upper register, therefore not possessing a connected head voice. Not only that, her falsetto is usually thin and lacks in volume, almost always being pushed over its limit in terms of range with a closed throat and a high larynx, such as the A5, C6 and C#6‘s in “The Way To Sampo”. Her throat is more relaxed lower in range, but her falsetto still shows a lack of connection and an overly airy tone production such as in “Ave Maria“, “Passion Flower” and “Flying Into The Night Sky“.
Apart from her vocal runs, Hwasa is a vocalist who’s in control of her pitch and of her placement, often being able to produce resonance. The biggest issue with her technique lies in the overcompensation of correct breath support by overly pushing her voice out with her throat and compressed vocal cords which not only create vocal fatigue, but could easily damage her voice in the long run. For future improvements, more brightness and a better balance of her mix would be one of the first things she should address, as well as better connection of her vocal cords in her lower range and upper register.
As seen in Mamamoo’s Immortal Song 2 performances, Hwasa has a good ear for pitch and harmony. Often, Hwasa’s main purpose in each performance is to provide backing Ad-libs and to counterbalance Solar by being the “softer” vocalist. Her harmonies generally lie on her lower range and her falsetto, not really truly expanding very far into her mixed voice.
Label (Type of Vocalist)
MB Vocalists: Mid-Range Belters
Vocal Range Video(s)
Videos by: Hawaiipups and kpopvocalists
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Haruko & Ahmin