Vocal Tips For K-pop Fans #6: Eliminating Nasality

Quick Post here guys. This is my new video webseries called “Vocal Tips For K-Pop Fans”, where I’ll be posting vocal tips for you guys as often as possible. Please leave a comment, subscribe and share it with others. Let me know if you have any questions and please give suggestions for future videos!

 

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About ahmin3

kitsunemale from YouTube, AhMin33 from Twitter and Ahmin from OneHallyu! https://www.youtube.com/user/KitsuneMale

44 thoughts on “Vocal Tips For K-pop Fans #6: Eliminating Nasality

  1. Thanks for the new video! I’m still such a novice, but your explanations and examples really help me to get a grasp of the topic. I’m grateful that you create content like this and your analytic products.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to close my nose when singing to see if I was being nasal too, and I always had trouble getting certain sounds (like the m and n sounds) to not sound nasal. It’s neat to know this is an actual technique lol. So I’m a little confused on the difference between mask resonance and nasality. Is it that the resonance for your mask isn’t produced from the nasal cavity? Or am I misunderstanding?

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    1. Nasal cavities are not your nostrils. Nasal cavities are still opened when the soft palate is lifted and you’re able to produce resonance in the nasal cavities, not in the nose.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *nosy med student wiggles their way into the convo* is it that the nasal cavities “connect” the air inside your nose to the surrounding air (via the ears iirc)? which is why apparently when you reach resonance, you can hear “ringing” or some sort of pressure in your ears? ((idk maybe i’m just chatting shit but i genuinely am interested in learning the science behind resonance))

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  3. so let me try to get the science right: nasality is when you sing through your nose, while mask resonance is actually not letting/minimizing air out of your nose when you sing, hence allowing more air to come out of the mouth instead (hence creating more volume) – and this is made possible by basically pushing/”placing” that air/pressure into your nasal cavities instead and into your ear canals, hence resulting in that feeling in your ear. did i get that?? ^^’

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  4. Hi ahmin, so I’ve been trying the whole diaphragm-breathing thing, and I was wondering if you could take a listen so that I know I’m doing it right?? Bc I’m not sure if I’m actually supporting better or just yelling lol. Could you take a listen again? https://soundcloud.com/hal9000-287865680 (if you’re wondering about the other covers it’s bc i privatized them ^^’) Once more, please don’t feel obliged to, since I understand you’re very busy ^^’ also, is it normal for my throat to go dry while singing like this? and my jaw also starts aching for a while after singing – is it bc of jaw tension or just bc i’m not used to singing like this?

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    1. Yes jaw tension can cause you to feel sore afterwards. I used to do that when I was younger too. Also going dry just means you need to hydrate and drink lots of water. Your pitch is really nice on the #1 audio, the second one is kinda flat in the beginning. The direction you’re going in right now is pretty good. Keep it up, just make sure to engage a bit more chest in your voice and develop the vocal cords more. You could have more volume than you’re allowing yourself to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. okay thank you!! ❤ "engage a bit more chest in your voice" so do i just keep practicing? and how would i reduce jaw tension?

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      2. Jaw tension? Put your hands on your mouth like you’re the SCREAM, yknow that famous painting? Use that kind of face and keep your jaw dropped and relaxed with your hands on your cheeks, but don’t cover your mouth.

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  5. hii i have a few questions about singing actually haha:
    1. how can i balance my mix? i have a chestier mix and it kind of sounds like pushing instead of resonance
    2. i have a connected head voice, but when i use my head voice i feel vibrations on my cheeks instead of my forehead, does it mean that i have a masked placed head voice?
    thank youuu and have a nice day~

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    1. Have you checked the video on how to hit high notes? As far as I remember I addressing light/heady mixing and then chesty mixing to balance out the mixed voice in there. You might have a mask placed head voice yes.

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  6. Hi again Ahmin! Not sure if you remember me, but you helped me out a lot last time. So I was wondering if you could take a listen to this lazy cover I did of Got7’s Fly: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-q03CRaVCG4NThYM3N2QU1iVEk/view?usp=sharing

    I’m still not sure if I’m supporting or not. I feel like I’m supporting up to F but that may not be the case at all. Also, as you can tell, my voice has this weird nasality thing going on, but when I plug my nose it sounds the same except higher in my mix. Is it just a matter of vowels? I would appreciate any help you can give. Thanks!

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    1. You still have this sort of headier approach to your mix overall. It’s not bad, but there’s a tendency to make your voice sounds lighter than ideal and to rely on a bright sound and stay kind of on a more nasal placement throughout. Was that part where you went really high suddenly cause the melody got too fast and you were like WHATEVER? LOL I think what you need to focus on is chestiness in your mix or just in general, I need you to develop the chest muscles of your voice more. You just have a headier sound, it’s too bright and a bit airy here and there. You sound somewhat wobbly. This song is high as well, you need more chest for sure. You switch to head a bit too early without needing to. Work on breath support and developing your chest voice muscles. Your pitch is pretty nice though, your voice just lacks different kinds of placement to balance out the sound and make it fuller, more mature and rounder.

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      1. Thank you so much again! Do you have any suggestions for how to strengthen my chest coordination? And, yeah, that recording had lots of mistakes in it, but I thought it might be helpful to get a sense of what some of my issues are. Anyway, is there any support in my singing at all currently? Like I said, it doesn’t feel ‘throaty’ until above F4, so I thought that might be where my support ends, but maybe not. Are the issues with my mix normal for tenors? Thanks.

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      2. Also, I’ve decided to get a new voice teacher once my lessons with my current one run out. He has reinforced several of my bad habits, such as the vibrato.

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      3. Well try the video on how to sing high notes and the one on eliminating airiness. I guess there’s a degree of support but you’re not fully connection the diaphragm with your singing just yet. Yes some tenors have this issue. What do you mean reinforced the bad habits?

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      4. So would you classify me as having support, or no…? So that would make me weak still? Anyway, he basically encouraged me to keep using my fake vibrato and also told me that “tension in the throat is good because it means the vocal cords are thinning out.” He hasn’t changed the exercises for months, and he doesn’t seem to know how to address my problems :/ I have watched those videos but I will try again! Thanks.

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  7. Yess! I love these videos haha. If you remember, I once sent a recording of my very very terrible singing (I’m so sorry if I scarred you). While I’m still a really bad vocalist, I’ve definitely improved a bit from these tips! I think I managed to lighten up on my mix a little bit, and I’ve got some support on some limited notes, but definitely more than before. Just a question, though, sometimes I feel my larynx lowering, I think? It makes my throat kind of hurt, so I was wondering how I could better work on keeping my larynx neutral.

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    1. On your lower range or upper range? Can you feel where your larynx is in your throat? Put your finger on your throat and swallow to find your larynx then monitor its movement with your finger.

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    1. Oh it’s not a bad thing, you can get dizzy from head placement. You just need to do it more and get used to it really, it’s not “fixable”, you’re just not used to it.

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  8. Hi 🙂

    Nasality has always been a problem for me, and I’ve done whatever I could to eliminate the problem. I’m not entirely sure as to how well I’m doing, especially since I’m not fully knowledgeable towards vocal technique. I was wondering if you could take a listen to a recording of me singing, if you don’t mind. I just wanted to know how I sound in the recording in regards to my tone, my nasality and my larynx, especially since my throat does hurt as well sometimes.

    Thanks so much 🙂

    http://vocaroo.com/i/s1RiYQm92G3e

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pitch wise you sound mostly fine. I don’t hear much nasality, it wasn’t very much or bothersome. Did you watch the tip video? There’s a lot of airiness in your singing, that needs to be addressed. You have a very nice voice though!

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  9. Hi Ahmin!

    First off, I wanted to thank you so much for all the time and effort that you’ve put into, well, everything – those crazy numerous and detailed vocal analyses, these super helpful videos, and all the time you take answering everyone’s questions. Your generosity and kindness constantly amaze me. The amount of effort you (and Haruko and Jiyul) put into these analyses and your genuine desire to help others really shines through ❤

    That's the most important thing I had to say haha. If you have time, however, I'd be extremely grateful if you could give me some advice on my singing? (Only if you have time and feel so inclined, I definitely understand being busy, man, honestly answer whenever – or never – you like; haha you don't owe me your time ^^)

    Some background: I have zero training 😛 but sang in my high school chorus (bouncing around from soprano to alto to wherever) and am now in a college a capella group focused on East Asian music! I'd love to improve, and I know I have lots to go, so any advice would be appreciated~

    Here's my soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-889835556/sets/singing-will-hopefully-get-better

    Sorry for the iPhone microphone quality ._.

    Feel free to pick whichever ones to listen to for as much as or as little as you want! ^^ I mostly sang 노래가 늘었어 because I know it's challenging for me, so I thought you'd be able to better tell me what I can improve on? I feel most comfortable singing The A Team and King of Anything (which I sang a capella mostly so I could sing in a lower key…). If you're short on time 한숨 is a relatively good demonstration of my chest and head voice.

    Feel free to rip me apart 😀 Well, I know you're too nice for that but honestly, come at me. I can take it, I swear.

    My preliminary personal observations (and I'm definitely not technically discerning, so bear with me haha) is that my mixed register is weak af lol. It's always been what I've struggled with the most while singing – those much coveted "belted" high notes. I can reach the high notes… but not very chest-ily (making up words now oops). So I'll be sure to practice some more with your Vocal Tips Video #4 😀 And is my chest voice on the airy side, perhaps? Also I think my awareness of my larynx is… kind of non-existent? Alas.

    This isn't as important, but out of curiosity – would you say I'm /probably/ a mezzo-soprano? On the low range, I can usually sing a D3 quite comfortably with some vocal fry present. On a good day, however, I can reach around F6? I know I have a decent range – but the problem is I'm most comfortable in my chest and head voices, and my mixed register is the aforementioned meh – which means I'm not too sure what my vocal type would be haha.

    Last side note (I swear): I feel like I have a pretty atypical – or at least distinct – tone/voice? To be honest I've always kind of hated it ㅠ_ㅠ but I sing anyway cause I freaking love it and that ain't stopping me~ and I've grown to accept it haha. Obviously voice is subjective, but ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    Okay, I've babbled more than enough. Here's a virtual cookie for simply getting through all that. And regardless of whether or not you get around to this, thank you so, so, much for all you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, this is one of the sweetest comments. Oftentimes we do this for free and we’re fine with it, we get recognition and support from everyone and that’s enough but sometimes we get comments like yours that really make it worthwhile. Some people just come and drop a video “analyze this” or “How was this”..these very general questions and we could answer anything from “good” to a whole paragraph about the video. These video questions take time and people simply just don’t understand that if we want to write analyses, posting videos everyday of a new performance of an idol we already analyzed won’t help. (Most of the time, there’s no change in their singing.) It’s frustrating cause we don’t know what the people want these answers for, sometimes we don’t know if they can even understand half of the things we write so why would they want a whole breakdown of a performance (or multiple ones).

      In your case, you show that you really do care and that you know exactly what you’re looking for. You’re answering the question on your own and just looking for more help, more insight on things you have questions about. You also took the time to read what we do carefully and you show really heartfelt appreciation. Your comment motivates me to want to answer your question. It’s just you’re a kind hearted person, so that makes me want to help you. ^ ^ Love the title btw “Singing will hopefully get better” LOL

      First of all for awareness of your larynx, put your finger on your neck and swallow and feel whatever moves up and down. That’s your “Adam’s Apple” aka your larynx, aka your voice box. That way you’ll be able to monitor its movement better. ^ ^ A lot people have more developed head voices and lower ranges than their mixes because they get afraid of high notes and instead opt to head voice their way through life. Dana is an example of a better chest and head than her mix. Again thank you for your comment, let me get back to listening to your singing.

      You have the right idea about your tone quality with airiness, yeah there’s quite a bit of it going on that I can hear. Your pitch isn’t bad, but you could engage your vocal cords a lot more in your singing. You don’t need to “whisper” your singing as much as you are. Also it feels as though your breaths are rather shallow and they could be a lot deeper, a lot more targeted at lower part of your pelvis and into your diaphragm. A-Team is kind of a rhythmic song, you’re putting a lot of emphasis on almost every word. Let me see if you do that in other songs. Your falsetto tends to be too airy, I think that’s mostly the problem I hear in your singing. You tend to not allow your vocal cords to come together enough so you’re unable to go through your chest to mix to head with ease. You tend to separate your voice as if you only had a chest and a falsetto, where you have two different tones. You need to make sure you use your vocal cords together more and don’t be afraid of singing a little bit louder, with the help your diaphragm. Open your throat and drop your jaw more, also sing in a language you’re comfortable singing in for starters before you start venturing into Korean. Actually for you, I wouldn’t try to force your mix up with too much chest, you might hurt yourself in the process. You do need more chest in your mix, so below G4 if you want to work on chestiness, go for it but for now, try to use a fuller head voice and bring that down to blend it with your chest to be able to mix better. Use the Naeng Naeng exercise, really think of a nasal, annoying forward placement okay? That should help you to an extent. (Since I can’t teach you lol) At times there’s some nasality I hear in your singing, so make sure you open up more. Think of the soft palate ^ ^ I think it’s hard for me to tell you what your voice type is, I’d guess an untrained soprano but we’ll only know after your voice develops more. Work on your breathing, cord connection and you should be fine. I like your voice, but it’s just the full tone that’s locked inside your throat isn’t coming out yet. You could sound a lot different if you let your true voice come out. ^ ^

      Liked by 1 person

      1. First of all, WOW thank you so much for the super detailed and thorough reply! It was really really helpful, and now that I actually have time to practice my singing more, I’ll definitely keep everything you told me in mind.

        On that note, sorry for how ridiculously late this reply is. I meant to thank you much, much, earlier (about two months earlier, in fact — hoo boy time ran away from me) but I’ve been dumb busy (srsly) and it just kept slipping my mind. But I kept the email unread in my inbox so that I’d eventually remember to come back and reply, and I’m here now! It’s little thanks especially considering how fast you got around to replying. I’m guessing you’re the type that clears out their inbox quickly and cleanly? I respect and envy that so much, haha. I’m sometime take…well, literally months.

        Honestly, you deserve all the thanks I and anyone else can possibly give you. It’s genuinely people like you who make me believe that this world is, at its core, a good place. That sounds likes a leap, but hear me out: everyday we hear so many stories about injustices, horrors, and just terrible things. I’m from the United States (though I’m currently in Japan – partly why I’ve been so busy, but I return tomorrow!) and I feel like every other day I hear about another gruesome shooting or inexplicable murder. But the fact that there are people like you helping others at what they do best out of the kindness of their hearts – it really encourages me. This is such a labor of love, and it really shows. If everyone just did what they loved for the sake of others – whether that be vocal training, or medicine, or craftsmanship, or what have you – the world would be a much better place. But right here is a fantastic start already!

        Alright, enough with the mushiness. In response to all of your totally valid comments – I’m definitely not afraid of singing louder, although at the time I was just afraid to wake up the people in the house I’m staying at haha. No way you could’ve known that though, so ;D

        I find it funny because I’m super aware of how technically flawed my singing is, but (as I’ve seen you mention before) vocal technique doesn’t always matter to the average layperson (though I’m sure they still appreciate actually good singing, haha). I say this because (being in Japan) I’ve been to karaoke multiple times the past couple months and have had a lot of friends tell me “you’re so good at singing!” when internally I’m like “ehhhhhhh.”

        On the other hand, I’m not super unhappy with my singing right now either, so the fact that I could still let my “true voice come out” is extremely exciting! The great part about knowing there’s still lots more to improve is knowing that there’s improvement to be had, which just means the end (or at least, closer to the end) product will be that much better. I look forward to it 😀

        And at the end of yet another unnecessarily long post, thank you once again! I really can’t put into words how grateful I am, but hopefully I’ve managed to convey some of it. I hope you stay happy and healthy ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh you guessed it right, I hate notifications that are left undone/unread so I tend to answer things as quickly as possible which is a curse because then people reply quite quickly too and it just makes it an on going cycle with no end so I should really ignore notifications sometimes. “This sounds like a leap, but hear me out.” LOL I laughed at that, it was cute. Let me keep reading. You’re being way too kind, I am so thankful for your words. They really help me remember that even when there are haters and fans who get upset because they can’t understand what we do, there’s a large amount of people who do understand and those are the ones that count. I am so touched by your words and I hope you had a great busy time in Japan and will be getting home safely to the US. Oh you should learn to take compliments! Even though you may think you need to improve your singing, if someone genuinely thinks you’re good, even if it may not be 100% true to you, it is to them. So you have to accept it from their point of view and be thankful, flattered and let yourself feel loved. Let those words motivate you to never stop doing something you love to do. ^ ^ No I love your long response and thank you for writing back after a few months haha I am very thankful to you too. ^ ^

        Liked by 1 person

    1. See this is basically the first time I’ve ever had this kind of audio being sent to me. I think you have a pretty voice, I hear an accent and sometimes your diction isn’t very clear. You are very heady and light the whole time, there’s a lack of chest voice. Now I can’t really comment much on your tone production, placement nor pitch because there’s some sort of pitch altering effect with your voice. It sounds slightly robotic, there’s a vibrating kind of auto tune sound going on the whole time. You did some sort of effect on the recording, right?

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      1. yes, i used the smule sing app to sing with the pop effect, i am not confident in my voice cause i think it’s too whiny but i don’t know how to correct it.

        Like

  10. Hi Ahmin! It’s me again:) Regarding nasality I do have a lot to ask because sometimes I feel blocked in my nose when I sing. That hinders me from pronouncing words clearly even when I’m singing in my mother tongue, and eventually because I struggled to get the words right, I ended up not able to sing in accurate tempo, and it also blocked me from taking breaths properly. Does that mean I have severe problem of nasality? 😦

    Also do you think language contributes to nasality too? For example, my mother tongue Cantonese has a lot of ‘ng’ that appear at the beginning or at the end of a word, and we cannot avoid it by pronouncing it more ‘n’ like (like Singing -> Singin’) because that would be wrong in my language. What do you think?

    I also wanna ask if Wakana was singing with nasality at 1:48 (at the end of the note F#), C5 at 2:42 and 3:07?

    Because she’s able to produce a very open and supported sound at 3:36 here:

    And the B4 at 3:39 sounds a lil nasal to me or is it possiby a mask placement thing?

    (Sneaking in one question: Do you think she strains often? Her voice sounds like it’s elegantly stretching almost like a violin, but in recent years it increasingly sounds very thin like she’s closing up her throat even when she’s singing in ‘a’ vowel, like the B4s at 2:03 in the first video.)

    Thank you very much!

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    1. To prevent the comment from getting extraaaaaa long, I’m gonna post a second one:

      I have to thank you because your vocal tips are really helping me to improve. Recently when I rehearsed when my a cappella mates they said my (head) voice sounds more open. This happens finally again after 5 years time – after I stopped vocal training, I couldn’t produce the bright and full sound I used to have, and now it seems my voice is getting back together slowly. My mixed is still as undeveloped as I did it last time when I posted my recordings here (Thank you again for answering my questions), and only time can tell if i’m on the right track now, but vocal takes a lot of time, trial and patience. My mixed above A4 is still as shouty as before but internally I’m feeling not as tense. My vocal teacher once said to me ‘There’re millions of ways to do it wrong, but there’s only one correct way. But taking that way is really difficult’. Although I’m not getting 100% of the techniques you mentioned, but because of all these information available, at least I’m increasingly alert about the essentiality of warming up every day to develop muscle memory and trying one step in a time constantly. I enjoy reading this blog so much. Your hard work is really appreciated. Wish you an ever-getting-better voice!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Just to add a bit more fun to the game and to test if I can distinguish nasality and resonance, I’d like to make some guesses:

      First video
      1:48 – nasal toward the end of the note?
      1:55 – nasal and a bit of closed throat?
      2:42 – nasal (compared to 2:44 the C is more closed?)
      3:02 – definitely not resonant, strained and out of her supported range? She seemed losing her tone at that Eb5
      3:07 – not nasal but seems not very resonant too

      Second video
      3:36 – not nasal and resonant? This is my favourite D5 from her and I think this concert is one of her best T^T
      3:39 – no nasal…?
      5:35 – not nasal and resonant
      6:35 – a resonant D5
      7:15 – really not certain, a bit nasal?

      Hope I won’t be all wrong haha 😛 Sorry that I’m posting non-KPOP singer. I choose her because she’s THE singer that I always am not sure if she’s too nasal or really resonant. I hope this is not against the principle that you don’t analyse non-KPOP vocalists as I tried to ask questions only about certain moments >< Thank you! (And please excuse me for 3 consecutive comments, but I really wanna know if I'm capable of distinguishing them rather than passively asking for answers!)

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    3. Hi there dear! No no, you don’t sing that nasally but I can see how Cantonese cause issues, the point is to always stay on a vowel sound instead of allowing consonants to take over. It’s not that you have to mispronounce anything, it’s just that you should wait until the last minute to do so. Unfortunately dear this video is not available in the united states. I can watch the second video and I wouldn’t agree with that part where you said she is able to produce a very opened and supported sound. The sound is fairly nasal, placed in the back of her throat and groggy. It’s not opened, it’s not relaxed and it’s not supported. 6:35? No, not resonant at all. 7:15 sounds in the throat to me. I’m sorry I can’t check the first video but judging from it, it’s not different than what I’m used to.

      It is against the rules but you did pinpoint parts and you’re also attempting to analyze it yourself, so it’s not the same situation most people have.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very much for your reply! I’ll try to work on that more, hopefully I can achieve resonance one day 😀
        Oh my I’m really confusing most of them… I have the same confusion when I listened to Ailee, I always thought she’s nasal but in your analysis you wrote “Nasality is almost never present”. Sometimes I think the ‘nose’ feeling is resonant as it does sound open, but sometimes they sound closed to me:

        For example, that ‘bye’ at 1:16 and ‘lie’ at 1:24

        3:09 to 3:15, actually her pre-chorus and chorus overall (I know soooo many people have asked soooo many questions about this video but please excuse me for asking about nasality specifically XD)

        Those sound a bit more at the nose than Wakana at 3:36 and 6:35 in the second video. Ailee in that Heaven performance also sounded more strained than Wakana to me. Now I start worrying that I probably won’t know if I’m doing it right or wrong because I can’t distinguish correct and incorrect form of singing :/ (Like I’ve always thought Wakana’s D at 3:36 is a very solid and supported @@) Can’t imagine how much training and lessons you’ve gone through to get a pair of ears that can actually hear things out!

        P.S. I like your covers, please do it more so we can hear your lovely singing 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What you’re hearing isn’t nasality, it’s pushing. She’s pushing the sound from a lower resonator, so it sounds thick and it lacks freedom but it’s not a whiny nasal quality. This here is nasality:

        Those aren’t some of Ailees best moments. She’s got a lot of things she could improve on honestly. Aww and thank you so much I promise I will!

        Like

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