G2 ~ Eb5 (2 octaves and 4 notes)
C3 ~ F#4/G4
- Strongest vocalist in The Boss
- Lower range maintains support down to C3
- Mixed voice produces very forward and full resonance
- Support is consistent in his mix up to F#4/G4
- Has been able to produce resonant G#4’s
- Falsetto transitions can be done well
- Able to sing with a natural steady vibrato
- Tends to sing with aspiration and an overly raspy approach
- Sometimes throat closes a lot in his mix
- Inconsistent with vowel shapes
- Lower range does not possess support on G2
- Becomes throaty and shouty above G#4
- Falsetto is underdeveloped and not explored
- Unexplored lower range
- Development of his registers is quite uneven
- Lower register: Considerably unexplored and somewhat under-developed for a baritone. Does well down to C3 with consistency, well placed lower range in the chest but tends to sound unsupported on G2. Range in between G2 and C3 is unknown.
- Mixed register: Very consistent and well-developed mixed voice for a baritone. Able to challenge more skilled tenors and able to sing within a tenor range with power and resonance. Tends to sound thick and shouted above G4.
- Upper register: Most unexplored register in his voice. Tends to sing with a lot of airiness throughout his voice, but that especially becomes true in his falsetto. Transitions are adequate when singing in falsetto.
Most of The Boss’ repertoire does not require them to sing a challenging number of melismas. With the lack of material and live performance opportunities for them, Hyunmin rarely sings R&B or songs that are heavy on vocal runs. The few times they’ve sung songs with agility, however, he shows an impressive amount of muscle coordination and pitch accuracy, where he’s able to sing well outside his supported range in the center of pitch and still be able to control his voice up and down throughout runs, as heard in “Stand By Me“, “Listen.”
Originally debuting as a third generation member of Xing, alongside Mika and U-Kiss’ Kevin in 2007, Hyumin went on to debut again in 2010 as the lead vocalist of DGNA, also known by their international name The Boss. Hyunmin’s voice is very thick and raspy, mostly comfortable at a mid-range, and quite heavy in weight. All these attributes earned him his stage name in Xing, Husky. Most likely to be classified as a lyric baritone, he is one of the two baritones in the group alongside Jay. Unfortunately, The Boss is less popular and lesser known internationally and in Korea than in Japan, so they lack a variety of performances in many Korean TV shows centered around singing.
Hyunmin’s lower range is very rarely showcased and seems to lack in development considering he’s a baritone. Mostly being able to showcase very good connection and chest placement down to C3, he maintains consistent support and projection throughout the third octave without much trouble. This can be heard in “Girlfriend” and “비상.” However, due to the repertoire that The Boss sings, Hyunmin mostly sings the choruses of songs and seldom sings the verses where he would be able to showcase the lower part of his range. There’s a good chance that he might be able to maintain support and control in his chest voice below C3. However, the only one time he sang below C3 was the G2 in “Summer Memories“, which lacked connection and became quite muffled. His voice in that one example of him singing in the second octave sounds less comfortable and less developed than desired, but the gap between G2 and C3 is still unknown.
His mixed voice is by far his most developed register and one of the best mixed voices amongst baritones in K-pop. He produces resonance consistently and effortlessly throughout a range in which even many tenors struggle. He’s been able to show that he is able to sing with softness and control of his volume even as high as D4, such as in “Angel“, and F4, such as in “Stand by Me.” Whenever he wishes to, he’s able to open up his mix and on the correct vowel sounds. He’s able to produce very full resonance even as high as G#4. This can be heard in the E4’s in “Dearest“, F4’s in “Love Story“, “Listen“, F#4’s in “We are Together“, “고백“, “Love in the Ice“, G4’s in “夢まであと“, “Listen“, “Lady“, and G#4’s in multiple performances of “아무도… 그 누구도.”
The main issue with Hyunmin’s mix is the excessive push of air added to his natural huskiness, as well as the issues with vowel shapes and diction. The only times he’s been able to show resonance as high as G#4 were on “아무도… 그 누구도”, and many other times he tends to strain notes that high. He shows inconsistency with producing resonance or even keeping support around G4 and G#4, such as in “6.8.12“, “비상“, “Friends” and “Stand by Me.” This is most likely due to his inability to keep an open throat and a relaxed vocal tract when phrasing notes that high, usually only doing well on sustained notes and in the Ah (아) vowel. Above G#4, he’s never been able to stay relaxed and usually becomes very throaty and closed, as heard by the A4’s in “비틀비틀“, C5’s in “Listen” and C#5 in “청혼.”
The raspiness and airiness in his tone are to a degree natural, but he also tends to favor adding that breathy quality to his voice over allowing his vocal cords to fully connect. This causes him to many times lack tone and clarity in his mix and throughout his range. This becomes even more obvious when he transitions into his falsetto, one of his less explored registers. He tends to sing with a very soft approach, unable to produce a head voice. Instead, he only sings with a quiet airy falsetto that at times may be relaxed, such as in “Sad Story“, but as he reaches the top of his range he tends to push his falsetto out with his throat more and more, such as in “Love in the Ice.” This isn’t a problem that’s often heard, as he’d rather mix as high as possible instead of using his upper register.
Hyunmin’s overall musicality is quite well-used and developed. He’s not a vocalist who’s only able to sing loudly, as he’s shown multiple times the ability to sing softly and not push his voice out throughout his range. He’s able to choose the amount of softness and airiness he uses in his singing and tends to place his voice well most of the time. The main issues with his singing lie in the lack of unevenness throughout his registers. He mostly sings only in his mixed voice and rarely does he sing in his lower chest voice or head voice. He lacks connection throughout all his registers and has neglected to develop every single part of his voice equally.
Unfortunately, due to the range of most The Boss songs are written, Hyunmin is unable to show the true extent of his range and his potential. For future improvements, challenging himself to sing throughout a wider range and allowing himself to sing more like a baritone, instead of forcing himself to stay in a tenor range all the time would allow him to better showcase his strengths, as opposed to his weaknesses. For a baritone of his level, to be unable to handle singing in the second octave is very unusual. It’s very likely that he’s able to support lower than he’s shown, he’s just never had the chance to before. Hopefully, he gets the chance to showcase his true vocal ability through more solo work, in such shows as Immortal Song 2 and King of Mask Singer, so that he can establish his name as one of the more skilled idol vocalists in K-pop.
Harmonically, The Boss is a group that performs exceptionally in many areas of music. All of the members have a talent aside from singing, being able to play a number of different instruments. Aside from that, each member is able to hold their own parts in many acapella covers they’ve done. Usually Mika and Hyunmin take the lead, with Jay taking the bass, Injoon beatboxing, and Karam taking the middle or upper harmony. Musically speaking, Hyunmin doesn’t often try to add too many of his musical ideas to his vocal performances. He often chooses to sing the original melody of a song and focuses more on delivering the message of the song, as opposed to adding runs and complicated rhythmic/melodic changes everywhere. He is able to show his own musical ideas here and there though, such as in “Stand By Me.”
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)