U-KISS’ Vocal Analysis: Soohyun

Vocal Range

G#2 ~ F5 (2 octaves, 4 notes & 1 semitone)

Supported Range

D3/Eb3 ~ F#4

Voice Type



  • Strongest vocalist in U-KISS
  • Able to perform quick trills well
  • Transitions into falsetto are often pitch accurate
  • Nasality is rarely ever present in his singing
  • Good placement is kept even above his supported range up to A4
  • Resonance can be achieved with consistency, even if pushing happens
  • Support is consistent in his lower range down to D3/Eb3
  • His mixed voice stays supported consistently up to F#4
  • Falsetto is controlled
  • Intonation is mostly good

Points for Improvement

  • Faster and more complex runs often become messy
  • Bad habit with keeping his neck up when singing higher
  • Tends to push out too much air above F#4
  • Lower range becomes airy below D3, lacks support
  • Low notes can at times be approached with a low larynx
  • Larynx raises in the mixed voice above F#4
  • Unable to produce a head voice
  • Above F#4, his mixing becomes uneven and his voice thins out
  • Bad posture often present in his singing


  • Lower register: This register shows a decent amount of support and connection, being able to stay connected down to D3. Projection may be present below D3, but often with a low larynx.
  • Mixed register: Able to keep his soft palate lifted and produce resonance consistently in his mix up to F4 and F#4, but above that his larynx raises even though placement isn’t lost.
  • Upper register: Has only been able to show a falsetto, not truly able to sing with a connected head voice. Often uses too much airy and his voice becomes smaller in his upper range, but able to sing with good control of pitch in his falsetto.


Soohyun has cited his musical influences to mainly come from R&B singing, with artists such as Ne-Yo and ballad singing, such as TVXQ! and Kim Bumsoo. The influence of R&B in his overall style actually comes off quite appropriately, and he’s able to perform certain stylistic devices that would most likely be associated with R&B singing. Since the beginning of U-KISS’ career, Soohyun has always shown an interest in singing R&B songs which often require agility, the ability to sing many notes within one given vowel without losing control of pitch or rhythm and in one single breath. In his case, his precision in rhythmic separation of each individual note is actually done quite well when singing runs that slow, such as in “내 여자야“, or really quick and simple, often called trills, as shown in “끼부리지마” and “내 눈물 모아“. Whenever the level of difficulty of his runs becomes higher and he’s asked to sing with more complexity, such as more notes or with a faster tempo, his runs often come out less precise and he attempts to slide through the notes due to his inability to sing each individual note at that given speed, often resulting in sloppy and pitchy runs, such as in “Because of You“, “Make it Work“, “땡벌” and “Distance“.

Overall analysis

Being in one of the longest running idol groups to date, Soohyun has been U-KISS’ main vocalist from the beginning of their careers. Despite changes in line ups, his role and ability was never changed nor questioned as he was always able to establish himself as a stronger vocalist and being more reliable technically than the rest. With a light tone and a voice that possesses both fulness and maturity, Soohyun stands out as the most opened and cleanest tenor in the group.

The lower part of his range has shown minimal improvement over the years, but nonetheless has been his most improved register to date. He used to struggle with keeping a consistent connection of his vocal cords in his lower range but has since been able to vastly improve his consistency at the bottom of his supported range. He’s now able to keep support and a connected approach in his vocal cords where he doesn’t give up on the stretch of his muscle to sing low, being able to project and keep a good tone production in his chest voice down to D3, such as the E3’s in “놀이터“, Eb3’s in “바보“, and D3’s in “무조건“, “땡벌” and “Friend You Give Me A Reason“. Below D3, however, there’s a lack of connection still present in his singing where airiness usually takes over the tone of his voice and he’s unable to project as well, such as the C#3’s in “Because Of You” and “Melody“, and A2 in “땡벌“. At other times to compensate for the lack of support in the second octave, Soohyun does have the tendency to push his larynx down and strain his voice in order to project in a lower range better, such as the A2 in “Remember” and the G#2 in “Come Into My Dream“, which can damage his voice if done too often.

His mixed voice is consistently opened and supported within his comfort zone. He has shown good placement and has been able to produce resonance with very good consistency over the years, never losing the ability to support his voice in his mix. The issue however lies on the lack of development and improvement heard over the years, where Soohyun has not taken the time to learn a new approach for notes above F#4. Below F#4, he often sings with a chestier mix and somewhat pushes his voice out with too much air but enough placement and support to still control his tone, such as the F#4’s in “고백“, “못해” and “언제나“, and the F4’s in “Hello” and “君だけを (ONLY YOU)“. Above F#4, his placement stays opened and no nasality is truly present, but the back of his throat becomes tighter and his larynx raises. Adding this to the pushing often makes him sound thinned out with pushed placement. The lack of brightness in his mix also causes his voice to become smaller and lose power. This tension is usually caused by him also having bad posture in his singing and often pushing his neck forward and up, creating less space in his throat to be able to stay relaxed and supported in his mix. This can be heard in the G4’s in “Someday“, “Thousand Miles Away“, “끼부리지마“, “Hello“, G#4’s in “바보“, “하나 (One Love)“, A4’s in “0330“, “Standing Still“, “Fall In Love“, “못해“, the Bb4’s in “땡벌” and “Because of You“.

His falsetto is actually very well controlled and a very comfortable register for him in terms of pitch. He has never shown true issues with transitioning and even singing wide musical gaps, being able to transition up fifths and fourths with very good precision in pitch, such as in “고백“, “Because of You” and “내 눈물 모아“. The issue lies in the gap of tone production present from his mix to his falsetto, where tone becomes thin and airy and the contrast of his voice makes him sound like two different people from his mix to his upper register. The lack of connection in his vocal cords makes him unable to sing with a connected head voice and in the fifth octave, he tends to push his falsetto out with too much air and tension in his throat, such as the F5’s in “하나 (One Love)” and “Mysterious Lady“.

Musically, Soohyun has a very good ear for his pitch and his approach to song delivery. He uses stylistic approaches such as airiness well, and is able to perform with very good dynamics within his supported range. The lack of development of his technique causes him to become limited outside his supported range, often not having enough power or control of his upper mix or being able to change the texture and tone of his upper register or lower range. Nevertheless he still has the basics down for singing when it comes to songs where his voice is more comfortable.

Having a long run in an idol group like U-KISS, Soohyun has been able to take care of his voice and no major decline has been heard over the years. For the rest of the years he’s got ahead of him as a member of an idol group, his current singing approach is fine as it is. If Soohyun is to take himself seriously as a vocalist and further his career as a soloist in the future, working to improve his mixed voice would probably be the most advised thing to do so he can stand out as a vocalist and have a long lasting career with healthy technique in his singing.


Taking influences from R&B and ballad, the contrast of musicianship between the two genres actually make it more of a challenge for Soohyun to change his singing approach. In ballad songs, the main focus is the musical message which should be conveyed through dynamics and texture changes in the voice, whereas in R&B singing changing the melody of songs or adding runs is often done. When it comes to adding his own musical ideas to songs, Soohyun fails to do so with accuracy and generally doesn’t attempt to deviate too much from the original written song. In ballads, this approach works better as he’s able to focus more on the connection to the song more so than showing off his vocals or range.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

M Vocalists: Mid-Range Vocalists

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: Keith Junio / Kitsunemale (Ahmin)

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)


57 thoughts on “U-KISS’ Vocal Analysis: Soohyun

  1. So I’m assuming then that Kevin/Hoon would probably be either 1.5 or 2. This is lower than what I thought he’d rank but nonetheless, I still really like his voice as well as Kevin’s. Mysterious Lady and Come Back to Me are easily my 2 favorite U-Kiss songs, with Mysterious Lady being one of my all time favorite songs and one of the first Kpop songs I did original choreo to.


    1. I don’t like numbers. Lol I thought he’d be AA actually. Hoon is weak, since he’s not going to be analyzed. Kevin is a surprise.


      1. Haha, well that’s what you associated the rankings with but I guess. It’s fine with Hoon since I already stated that I prefer Kevin’s voice. Plot twist, Kevin is also A to AA, haha.

        Still waiting on a new entry to the AA to C ranking!


      2. Are you also gonna analyze Hoon? I was on twitter and noticed you saying he doesn’t support which comes as no surprise considering how weak his “high notes” sound. Also was that Youngjae’s actual twitter account? I wonder what the company thought of this assuming they run his twitter account.


      3. Nope, I’m not analyzing Hoon. I was going to before but after listening to him and counting the vocalists in U-Kiss, I voted against it. Mhmm Youngjae real account? What? lol


  2. This really isn’t a surprising ranking, though I like his voice. Makes me think back to 2011 when he had to take time off of promotions due to vocal nodules. I hope he will develop a healthier technique into the future.


    1. I’m sorry but U-Kiss has 4 vocalists and 3 rappers. We only analyze half of the vocalists in a group and in this case, 2/4. So only the two strongest vocalists in a group, which are Soohyun and Kevin. Hoon would be a weak vocalist so Kevin is being analyzed instead. ^ ^


      1. LIES, you analyzed all the vocalists of SNSD, 3 of the vocalists in SHINee, all 3 of Mamamoo and Brown Eyed Girls! Lol, just messing, I’d rather you move onto other groups rather than focusing on the same groups.

        MAYBE you could have like a “rough analysis” section of other vocalists that you don’t intend on doing a full blown analysis of, like just the basic details without the 4 huge paragraphs of information.


      2. Actually SNSD is an 8 vocalist group, so 4/8 is half. SHINee, Mamamoo and BEG got analyses cause their vocal average was high enough for all vocalists to be analyzed (and because Josias analyzed Gain). Huh hmm interesting suggestion but I’m not a sure how but I’ll think about it.


      3. Or maybe a bit like what you did with Min’s analysis, where you briefly described Suzy and Fei’s techniques? o:
        Or just discuss it in the comments section because people always ask about the other members’ rankings and technique.


  3. Wow, I thought he would be ranked higher as well. Can’t wait for the Kevin’s one ^_^
    Also if you don’t mind, I’d like to know what do you think of Kiseop? I think he’s improved a bit since he debuted in U-KISS, I like his singing specially in Head Up High.


    1. Kiseop would come right after Hoon in terms of vocal technique. He’s got really weak support and placement, his tone is often thin and nasal and he lacks control with pith and breath control. He’s a weak vocalist but he has a nice voice for sure.


  4. I was wondering, but how can you tell when your larynx is lowering/raising? My vocal technique is very, very weak in general haha, but I have trouble mixing above A4 (i’m a girl), which is already super strained and gross sounding, and I was wondering if it had something to do with my larynx position. Also, how do you work on support and stuff? I’ve been trying to support better with my mix, which is kind of weird since I start losing my already shallow support at like E4/F4 which is so low for a girl… sorry for all the questions! Thank you so much! I also really enjoyed reading the analysis haha, I follow U-Kiss casually and I was expecting him to be AA but I guess I was wrong.


    1. That’s actually quite common for untrained girls, even Sopranos. Have you seen any of the vocal tips for K-pop fans videos we have? It’s easier if you listen because these questions are easier shown than written so I’d rather you try those out first and see what happens. I thought he would be AA too actually.


  5. I don’t quite understand, how can someone achieve resonance while ‘pushing’? The two ideas seem contradictory to me.


    1. There’s a certain of pushing that doesn’t cause enough tension for you to necessarily strain. If you push too much then it’s yelling with good placement.


  6. completely random question here, nothing to do with this analysis… i know you guys constantly update the analysis and if someone improves you put him in a higher category…. but what if someone regressed… will you downgrade her/him? just interested


    1. Yes of course, this doesn’t often happen except recently Hyorin has shown regression so she was moved from Good down to Competent to Good. She may be moved further down if she keeps regressing. Most other people we’ve analyzed haven’t truly shown regression though.


      1. I only listened to the one where she was unmasked, I don’t know who sang with her. Yeah I mean this show is about song choice, it’s very subjective.


  7. YESSSSSSSSSS!! (I was the one who requested Soohyun THANK YOU SO FREAKING MUCH!!!)

    >btw it’s U-KISS it’s an acronym like like TVXQ not Tvxq__< the way he trails off in Tick Tock and Forbidden Love~

    btw isn't his vocal range one more note?


    1. Oh sorry, fixed the acronym thing and nope, G#2 ~ G#4 2 octaves, G#4 ~ Bb4 1 ..~ C5 2 ..~ D5..3.. ~ E5, 4 notes, E5 to F5, 1 semitone.


  8. I know this is not kpop related, but i wasn’t sure where to ask…..

    This performance, wich is already like 12 years old (that’s why the quality), is from a mexican singing contest (very similar to american idol) I remember when i saw it live on tv and year after year i keep watching cuz i love it so much, i’ve always tought they did an amazing job, but what do you think ???


  9. Oh, interesting analysis! I actually thought he might be ranked lower – let’s say in relation to e.g. Jaejoong who is ranked only slightly above him. But that’s why reading these analyses is so interesting for someone like me with little to no knowledge of vocal techniques, etc.!

    I’d love to read Kevin’s analysis, too. He seems to me to be as good as Soohyun, if not better. But as I said, hardly an expert here.:)

    Thank you so much for taking your time to write these!


    1. His analysis will be written soon! Tbh if I had free time, I’d have finished Teen Top, Rainbow and U-Kiss ㅠㅜ But I couldnt yet, I promise I’ll do my best!


  10. This is kind of random but I really wanted to hear your opinion on these two kids singing “You Raise Me Up”. I believe the boy is 10 years old and the girl is 6. They aren’t really singing anything too challenging (I’m no expert) but they seem to be pretty good considering how young they are! How do you think they did?


    1. You raise me up is hella challenging what are you talking bout? Lol no but really it’s a hard song and they did exceptionally well considering they’re so young .. They both try to sound somewhat older than their true age, they push and there’s tension but they’re not bad. They have a lot of potential if they’re taught to use this potential well, they could be exceptional.


      1. I mean’t not challenging in the way that they are very young which means their voices naturally sit higher and the melody is pretty straight forward. Thank you so much for your response I really appreciate and value your opinion!


  11. Thanks for doing this analysis of an under-appreciated singer!

    Would you like to replace the 2nd video with a solo version? It won Soohyun the title of Best Idol Vocal on a radio program. Plus, Hoon and Kevin’s off-key notes are painful to hear…


    1. Oh you mean in the best vocal performances? Unfortunately even though it’s the same song, I chose that specific performance for a reason. In the one you posted he sounds tired and not as opened and clean vocally. Even though Hoon and Kevin might not be doing so great, Soohyun is doing quite well in that specific performance.


      1. Thank you for the quick response and helpful explanation. At least someone reading through the comments might be able to listen to the whole song “Soohyun-style” now. Thanks again for sharing your work and expertise!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. *half joking* Maybe there could be a way to calculate technical difficulty and interpretive skills into the scores, like when judging figure skating?

        For example, many of Soohyun’s notes are hit during the most physically-taxing dance routines, and/or in diverse genres from ballad to trot to rock, and/or while singing in numerous non-native languages (Japanese, Chinese, English, Spanish).

        Points could also be earned by expressing the emotion of a song well, which is probably why Soohyun was listed #10 best male idol by a Korean vocal coach. [http://www.jpopasia.com/feed/8793/best-30-male-idols-with-singing-ability-by-korean-vocal-coach/]


    1. He has a very nice voice, it’s nice to hear him singing. I did know he was on King Of Mask Singer, I just didn’t watch the performances. 1:12 closing the throat on the G#4’s, but the F#4’s throughout are all hit really well. 1:36 throaty G#4’s again. Nothing new, but nice performance!


  12. I’ve been wondering about this assessment of Soohyun’s musicianship:

    “Taking influences from R&B and ballad, the contrast of musicianship between the two genres actually make it more of a challenge for Soohyun to change his singing approach. …When it comes to adding his own musical ideas to songs, Soohyun fails to do so with accuracy and generally doesn’t attempt to deviate too much from the original written song.”

    Maybe you’d be interested to hear these impromptu a cappella medleys from Soohyun’s recent Instagram LIVE broadcasts. Thy were recorded late at night, and he hasn’t had a chance to properly warm-up his voice. He’s also in his family’s apartment, so he’s trying not to be too loud to avoid disturbing anyone. In some songs, it sounds like he’s spontaneously changing the pacing and pitch to create different effects and make them more atmospheric. He’s also doing songs by other singers, while still using his own personal style.

    Soohyun works in the rock genre as well, which requires yet another singing approach.


    1. I think there may be a misinterpretation of the term strain here. Everything is a spectrum. If support is more prevalent than strain, I generally opt to call the sound support or mostly supported. If there’s some tension or pushing but with a supported base, then I consider it supported for the sake of argument as well. It’s consistently supported but if it was clean, perfect support to begin with, a tenor wouldn’t stop supporting at F#4, now would he? I’d say it’s consistent for the spectrum of support he is in. I wouldn’t consider that F#4 a bit strained. I’d consider it a bit tense, and pushed. I would say strain is mostly when support is overcome with more tension than support. Then I’d say a sound is strained. If not, I’d say it’s supported with a degree of tension. At least that’s how I hear and analyze things.


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