G#2 ~ F5 (2 octaves, 4 notes & 1 semitone)
D3/Eb3 ~ F#4
- 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
- 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“.
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.
Average to Above Average Vocalist
Vocal Range Video(s)
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)