E2 ~ B5 (3 Octaves, 3 notes and 1 semitone)
B2 ~ C#4/D4
- Second strongest vocalist in B.A.P.
- Doesn’t try to sing like a tenor, respects his voice type
- Transitions into falsetto are usually pitch accurate
- Able to harmonize and blend his voice well
- Able to support his lower range down to B2
- Transitions into falsetto can be done with a degree of smoothness
- Able to control stylistic choices in his singing
- Possesses musicianship, able to change songs to fit his voice
- Support is present in his mix consistently up to C#4/D4
- Shown good improvement in breath support development
- Unable to produce resonance
- Often relies too much on raspiness in tone, lacking support
- Nasal placement inhibits projection and power
- Pitch isn’t always precise
- Unable to properly execute vocal runs in any speed
- Shows issues with keep proper support above his second passaggio, E4
- Unable to produce a connected head voice
- Lower range becomes quiet below A2
- Range above F#4/G4 is underdeveloped
- Lower register: Questionable development of this register present in his voice. Able to extent down to E2, but tone and support generally only go down to B2 at most.
- Mixed register: Mixed voice lacks head voice in terms of mixing balance, generally uses a shouty chest-dominant mixed voice and has issues with pitch around his second passaggio due to uneven blending of registers.
- Upper register: Sings with a falsetto mostly, generally able to sing with a relaxed sound up to B4 and transitions generally well. Above B4, falsetto becomes whinier and more nasal with more pushing and tension.
Youngjae cites his influences to come from R&B and Neo Soul, which for the most part don’t actually seem so noticeable in his singing style. On the other hand, he seems to show a lot more of an alternative indie style in his singing than R&B, which somewhat translates into his runs. In R&B, vocal runs tend to be quite complex and fast, two things Youngjae is unable to do with his voice. Quick melodic lines that require him to sing with more flexibility and for him to sing more notes with one breath in one vowel often prove challenging to him, where he is unable to properly separate each individual note and even slow runs can come out pitchy and messy. To an extent, this can come from a lack of confidence and lack of time spent working on vocal agility, as his voice generally shies away and becomes softer and quieter when he sings runs, perhaps due to less confidence in this area. Examples of his vocal runs include”하늘을 달리다“, “거짓말 거짓말 거짓말“, “End Of The Road“, “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Coffee Shop”
Debuting in 2012 as the lead vocalist of a very rap-oriented male idol group, Youngjae is yet to be truly recognized and be given enough opportunities to improve on his own as a vocalist. His tone often stands out when singing due to its natural darkness and slightly lower placement in range. In a world of pop singing where most lead and main vocalists tend to be tenors, Youngjae is one of the few baritones whose main role in a group is to be the lead vocalist. Unfortunately the repertoire written for B.A.P. songs can often be written too high for Youngjae’s range and thus he’s unable to compete with the other two tenor vocalists in the group, Jongup and Daehyun and is at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to showcase and explore the true potential of his natural voice type.
His lower range is not often used but out of all the members of B.A.P., he is the vocalist who’s generally given the lower parts in songs and is able to perform the best within that lower range. As a baritone, he’s able to adequately project and connect his vocal cords within a reasonable low range and can properly support his voice down to about B2, as shown in the B2’s in “Coffee Shop“, C3’s in “내 생에 봄날은“, C#3’s in “하늘을 달리다” and D3’s in “One Shot“. Below B2, tone can be present but style generally wins and Youngjae resorts to a more airy approach with less support and a lack of clarity in tone. This causes his voice to become quieter, airier and project less below B2, such as the A2’s in “거짓말 거짓말 거짓말” and the E2 in the B.A.P. low note battle, although tone can be kept down to G#2 and G2 as well even with a more fry-like quality.
Unlike most other baritones in K-pop, Youngjae is not only unable to compete with tenors in the same range as they’re used to singing, he doesn’t truly even attempt singing like a tenor. Most other baritones try to sing with a more developed and extensive mixed voice and try to sing as high as tenors would, Youngjae on the other hand respects the natural placement of his voice and doesn’t try to sing as high as a tenor, instead valuing the true tone of his voice. However so, he does have his limitations when it comes to range development in his mixed voice. With sufficient control of mixing and support above his first passaggio on B3, he has consistent support and even the ability to control his mixing technique up to Eb4 with the choice of airiness, chestiness, headiness and being able to control dynamics and volume. Support is generally present up to D4 and he is able to stay relaxed up in that range, such as the C#4’s in “With You” and D4’s in “Ordinary People” and “안아줘요“.
Above Eb4 on his second passaggio, Youngjae tends to pull too much chest voice up and that causes him to often go flat around his second passaggio, so E4 and F4 and above that to become somewhat shouty and push his voice out with his throat instead of relying on true diaphragmatic support. His mixed voice is not developed with enough cricothyroid muscles, causing him to rely much more on pulling chest and straining his voice in the process to project up above E4. This can be heard in the E4’s in “내 생에 봄날은” and “Candy“, F4’s in “Ordinary People“, F#4’s in “¡Corré!“, G4’s in “Voice Mail” and “내 생에 봄날은“, G#4’s in “I Believe I Can Fly” and “전부가 거짓말“, and A4’s in “하늘을 달리다” and “거짓말 거짓말 거짓말“, and the Bb4’s in “Feels So Good“. The quality of his voice becomes thicker, huskier, throatier and a lack of openness and power is present, where he overcompensates for the lack of support by squeezing his throat instead.
His falsetto is one of his less explored registers but is nonetheless decently approached overall. He actually is able to sing with better pitch and control his voice quite well when transitioning into his falsetto, often managing larger jumps in intervals without losing the key center of songs, such as in “하늘을 달리다” and “Boyfriend“. The approach in his falsetto is generally thin and airy, quite usual for a falsetto, but he is able to stay relaxed up to B4/C5, such as in “Baby Baby” and “비밀연애“. Above B4 he has the tendency to push his voice out more with his throat and place it more in his nose to aid the projection in the fifth octave, but tension and pressure in his throat become more present, such as in the C#5’s and Eb5’s in “전부가 거짓말” and E5’s in “Voice Mail“. Even with a relaxed tone, his upper register still consists of a disconnected falsetto and he’s unable to produce a connected head voice. His highest note was a B5 in a high note battle with fellow B.A.P. member Daehyun and Super Junior’s Ryeowook.
Improvement has been made throughout his range in terms of overall support if contrasting his current vocal performances with his JYP audition singing “그대라면“. Even then some issues persist in his overall technique. The main issues with Youngjae’s technique lie with his bad habits caused by stylistic choices he makes in his singing. He often approaches his voice with a much huskier and airier tone than he should. Although stylistically that can suit songs and work in his favor, the amount of air coming through his vocal cords often causes him to lose control of his voice and become pitchy in the process. He often goes flat in performances where he tries to add too much airiness in his tone, such as in “전부가 거짓말” and “거짓말 거짓말 거짓말“. However when singing with a cleaner approach, he is a lot more in control of his voice, such as in “비밀연애” and “빗소리“. Not only that, but he often projects his voice from his nose without lifting his soft palate, becoming less open and being unable to produce resonance throughout his range.
Youngjae possesses a normal range for a baritone, easily falling within the lyric baritone fach. As such, it is quite unfair for him to have to sing songs that don’t quite fit his voice and don’t highlight his vocal strengths. Due to often being less focused on vocally, he has yet to show big improvements in his singing and has not been given enough chances to work on himself as a vocalist over the years. Improvement has been noticed with confidence, support and control from his audition days up to now, but he’s yet to be fully in control of his voice overall in terms of knowing when technique can be sacrificed for style without damaging the overall delivery of his vocal performances.
Vocally speaking Youngjae does not possess a very high level of vocal development technically. As such, he is not unaware of his limitations vocally and generally sings within a reasonable range for his voice type. He is able to blend well and hold his pitch well within harmonies in songs, such as in “하늘을 달리다” and “I Believe I Can Fly“. Not only is he able to use his voice properly and lend it to better accentuate lines with harmonies, he’s also able to create his own melodic ideas within songs to best suit his vocal level and minimize vocal strain. Instead of trying to sing higher than everybody else, he would rather lower a melody slightly within key to better suit his range, such as in “촛불하나“, or play around with a song rhythmically, such as in “Price Tag“.
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)