B2 ~ B5 (3 octaves)
F3 ~ B4/C5
F3 ~ E5 (with head voice)
Light Lyric Soprano
- Second strongest vocalist in The Grace
- Support is present and consistent throughout her range
- Able to transition into her head voice well
- Connection between registers present
- Huge improvement made since debut
- Mixed voice maintains support up to B4/C5 consistently
- Able to sing trills well with good rhythm and bounce
- Able to use a connected supported head voice
- Able to choose between falsetto and head voice at will
- One of the best lower ranges amongst sopranos in K-pop
- Able to maintain support and tone in her lower range down to F3
- Resonance can be produced, although generally small
- Tension is often present and throat closes on the “Aye (애)”, “Oh (오)” and “Ah (아)” vowels
- Tongue tension can be present, especially in sustained belts
- Mixed voice lacks power and balance between head and chest voice
- Longer complex runs become pitchy
- Head voice lacks strength in support and can be pitchy
- Her mix starts to become airy and fairly weak as she ascends in range
- Tends to push her larynx down below E3
- Generally favors falsetto over head voice due to control issues in her head voice
- Regression in her mixed voice after 2008 is quite noticeable
- Nasality can be present on and off
- Lower register: Her most consistent and well-developed register by far. Tone is present throughout most of her chest voice and even below where she’s able to keep support. Connection of the vocal cords is almost always present regardless of the range she sings in.
- Mixed register: Her mixed voice has shown great improvement after her debut but has since declined. She has a couple of moments throughout her career where support was present up to C#5, but currently she is unable to support above C5.
- Upper register: Her falsetto is her most used register in this area but she’s completely capable of using a very well placed and connected head voice. Nevertheless the support in her head voice can be lacking and for not being used much, she lacks control in this register.
Dana’s initial debut had her often singing a repertoire that was too high for her, and she often struggled to connect proper support and singing. However one thing she’s always had was a natural ability to sing trills quite well. Even as far back as her debut, she’d do quite well with simple and quick trills, where she’d bounce around notes without too many issues as long as they were quick and short. This is something that’s never changed even now, as she still does quite well with quick trills in songs heard in “Sadness” and “원하고 원망하죠.” When it comes to adding more intricacy to her vocal runs however, Dana often is met with a challenge that’s much too difficult for her. She’s unable to sing more complex vocal runs with smoothness, causing her to often sound like she’s sliding through notes as she’s unable to bounce from the center of pitch of note to the other properly. The more complex the run, the messier it gets for her, as heard in “미아“, “그녀들의 수다” and “나의 하루.”
Originally starting off as a soloist, Dana debuted in 2001 as with the promise of being the second BoA. Although having a mildly successful debut, she didn’t quite live up to that expectation as a soloist and then re-debuted in 2005 as part of the quartet CSJH The Grace. As part of The Grace, she took mostly the role of lead vocalist and was able to showcase her ability to blend her voice well within their acapella unit, as well as showcasing her strengths in vocals with more exposure within the group. Although the group has now been in a hiatus for the past few years, Dana has made an appearance on King of Mask Singer this year and has since been guesting on many radio shows as well as also being able to release her newest solo single through SM Station after 13 years since her last solo album. Dana’s voice is light in texture and generally soft in tone, staying generally higher in range aside from technical issues, making her a soprano.
Her chest voice and its lower extension are by far the most developed parts of her voice. She’s one of the few Sopranos who’s able to vocalize with clarity in tone throughout her lower range, even down to its lowest extremes. Her lower range is very well placed in her chest, and she’s able to keep her vocal cords connected even as low as D3, as heard in “마지막 내 숨소리.” She has at times shown a tendency to lower her larynx below F3 in her lower range to overcompensate for the lack of support in that range, but that seems to have been mostly fixed as she aged and now she’s able to vocalize throughout her lower range with ease. Support is generally present with good placement on F3 and above, as heard by the F3’s in “총 맞은 것 처럼“, “늦은 후회“, F#3’s in “날 울리지마“, G3’s in “My Everything“, “바람이 분다“, G#3’s in “미아“, “만약에“, “Hello“, and A3’s in “Sadness.”
Her mixed voice is where the most change has occurred throughout the years. When she first debuted, Dana’s mixed voice was very untrained, considering that she was just a 15 year old. Her voice was not mature enough to handle belting in the fifth octave yet. Even as low as Bb4, she often struggles to stay relaxed and maintain proper support. With her debut in The Grace, there was considerable improvement heard in her mixing technique and her grasp of breath support. She went from tension on A4’s, to being able to mix with support up to B4 and even with occasional support up to C#5. Her mixing was much more balanced and her throat a lot more opened as well. However with her recent comeback in 2016, there’s been a noticeable decline in her mixing technique. Dana’s mixing was always on the headier side but with the years she was able to create a better balance. However now she’s gone back to a headier approach, which in itself isn’t unhealthy but greatly limits her volume output. Another issue in her mixed voice is the presence of tongue tension that, combined with her lack of support above B4, causes her to often sound strangled even within her supported range.
Due to headiness in her mix, whenever she tries to balance out her mix or belt out a note with more chest voice, she often pushes her voice too hard and causes more tension to be present. This can be heard in her 2011 Immortal Song 2 performance of “날 울리지마” as well as in her C5’s in “한번더, OK?“, where proper support and placement are present on her sustained B4, but the improper mixing technique accompanied by a tense vibrato cause her to sound yelled as she sustains the note. Nonetheless, Dana has shown that she’s able to properly vocalize and produce resonance with reasonable consistency as high as B4, mostly done so when singing passing phrased notes instead of sustained notes, as heard in the B4’s in “미아“, “울려 퍼져라” and “사랑보다 깊은 상처.” However due to the lack of balance in her mix, her resonance is generally small. This can be also heard when comparing softer mixed C5’s, such as in “바람이 분다” and “I Wanna Know What Love Is“, with C5’s where she attempted to add more power to her mixed voice, such as in “My Everything.” In earlier years, support was often present on lightly mixed notes even as high as C#5, as heard in “High Enough” and “날 울리지마“, although that in itself was also inconsistent when compared to her C#5’s in other performances of her musical “Rock of Ages.” Above C#5 however she was never truly able to mix without tension, where the higher she sang, the most strained and tighter she sounded due to throat tension and high larynx, as heard in the D5’s in “총 맞은 것 처럼“, E5’s in “My Everything“, “미아“, F5’s in “Too Good“, “한번더, OK?“, F#5’s in “나 좀 봐줘” and G5’s in “Dancer in The Rain” and “Tears.”
Her upper register is a part of her voice that’s decently developed but could be further looked into. In 2012, Dana was a guest on Opera Star, a TV show where famous contemporary singers would sing a more classical repertoire. In this occasion, Dana was able to show that’s able to confidently sing with a connected and well placed head voice, with somewhat proper support. She was often able to transition quite well between her head voice and chest/mixed voice. As a contemporary vocalist, she’d still have moments where she resisted transitioning and stayed more in her mix up to about B4. Support in her head voice is present with proper connection up to E5, as heard in the C5’s, C#5’s, and Eb5’s in “Voi Che Sapete”, Eb5’s in “Hello” and E5’s in “O Mio Babbino Caro“. Although connection is present above E5, the support isn’t as consistent and she starts to sound more tense, as heard in the F5’s in “Les Filles de Cadix“, G#5’s in “O Mio Babbino Caro” and A5 in “Les Filles de Cadix.” For her pop repertoire, Dana generally favors singing in her falsetto but even then she’s able to stay relaxed as high as F5, as heard in “행복한 나를 ” and “나의 하루.” When singing in falsetto she generally is able to stay more in pitch than in head voice, due to not singing often with her head voice and thus lacking control and enough connection with her breath support.
Overall as a vocalist, Dana has shown that hard work pays off, and she’s shown a lot of improvement and changes in her technique throughout her career. Nasality has been an issue that she’s been able to address and now is only heard on occasion, perhaps due to style or due to her singing outside of her comfort range. With an extensive career as a vocalist, with both solo and group work, Dana is a vocalist who deserves respect for the path she’s paved for the younger generations of idol singers. To further along her career as a soloist, going back to working on her mixing technique would help her better her overall technique and allow her to sing a much more extensive repertoire of songs, giving her more versatility.
CSJH The Grace debuted with the intention of being the female counterpart of SM’s male acapella group, TVXQ!, and as such, the group often sung a repertoire that was very harmony-heavy, often using chromatic scales in their harmonies. Throughout most of their songs, Dana almost always sang lead and was often taking the lower harmonies of songs. Thus she’s able to harmonize well with others and her voice blends quite well with most other vocalists she has a duet with, as heard in “I Wanna Know What Love Is“, “사랑보다 깊은 상처” and “길을 찾다“, or also when singing in acapella performances, as heard in performances by The Grace. Musically, Dana does take the chance on adding her own vocal runs and musical ideas to songs, which don’t always necessarily work technically speaking due to the tension in her voice, as heard by the E5 run added in “미아“, but pitch wise, most of the ideas are successfully executed.
Above Average Vocalist
Vocal Range Video(s)
Video by: Kitsunemale (Ahmin)
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)
(originally analyzed by gangertae)