C3 ~ Bb5 (2 octaves and 5 notes)
Eb3 ~ G#4
Eb3 ~ D5/Eb5 (with head voice)
- Second strongest vocalist in The Boss
- Resonance is produced with a degree of consistency
- Able to choose placements in his mix
- Lower range remains supported down to Eb3
- Able to sing with a supported connected head voice
- Mix voice maintains consistent support up to G#4
- Support in head voice is consistent up to Eb5
- Under-explored lower range, bottom of his support is unclear
- Some issues with vowel shapes tend to close his throat
- Nasality can happen
- Inconsistency with proper placement happens around G4/G#4
- Head voice can become very pushed and piercing above Eb5
- Above G#4 mixed voice becomes thin and squeezed
- Lower register: Mostly able to keep tone down to the lowest note he’s hit to date, but support and projection start to disappear below Eb3. Chest placement and connection is kept throughout.
- Mixed register: Mixed voice is bright and well-placed most of the time. Forwardness is present throughout, although sometimes nasality can happen. Tends to squeeze his throat above G#4.
- Upper register: Able to use a connected head voice with consistency, able to maintain control of pitch, transitions and volume with support up to Eb5, but above that he tends to push his head voice out with too much air pressure.
As opposed to many other idol vocalists, Mika seems to take less risks in his singing and does not often attempt very complicated vocal runs. Most of the time, all he sings are quick trills, which are often done with good rhythmic bounce and accurate pitch. He’s able to sing around small quick intervals of two or three notes correctly and smoothly, as heard in “Billionaire“, “Take a Bow” and “Jam Session.” When he does sing longer runs, although still relatively slow, there is a tendency to aspirate some of the vowels. So instead of singing a single vowel sound throughout a run, he tends to add H sounds to facilitate the control of his pitch, as heard in “본능적으로” and “Down.” That, however, can lead to a bad habit where he’s unable to sing faster runs with accuracy due to the incorrect muscle memory he’s using, as one could note in “Love Power.”
Originally debuting as a third generation member of Xing, alongside Hyunmin and U-Kiss’ Kevin in 2007, Mika went on to debut again in 2010 as the main vocalist of DGNA, also known by their international name The Boss. Mika’s voice is very bright, mostly comfortable at a higher range, and quite light in weight. Most likely to be classified as a light lyric tenor, he is one of the 3 tenors in the group alongside Karam and Injoon. Unfortunately, The Boss is less popular and less known internationally and in Korea than in Japan, so they lack a variety of performances in many Korean TV shows centered around singing.
The lower portion of his range is generally well-connected, and tone is present even to the lowest note he’s sung to date, a C3. However, due to the nature of The Boss’ music in Japan, it’s rare to hear moments in which Mika is really challenged to sing low. Most of the time, Mika and Hyunmin sing the choruses of songs and thus never truly are able to explore the full extent of their lower chest voices. Mika’s lower range is questionable in terms of support since there are moments in which he sings low live compared to in studio. Judging from studio and live performance, it’s possible to hear a lack of projection and support as he sings below Eb3, where his voice seems most comfortable and he’s able to project with the most support and chest placement. This can be heard by the E3’s in “Lonely” and “Take a Bow“, contrasted with the C3’s in “Girlfriend“, C#3’s in “Promise“, “Pretty Smile“, and D3’s in “Love Parade” and “二人の好きな茜空.”
His mixed voice is the most used portion of his range, where he is able to show exactly where his voice shines. His mixing technique is generally bright, and he doesn’t often pull too much chest up in his mix. He’s able to balance out the ratio of chest and head voice in his mix quite well and is able to maintain more ease as he sings higher in his mix. He’s often able to lift his soft palate and produce quite consistent resonance, where his voice is opened and forward. This can be heard in the F#4’s in “Dazzling World“, “Love in the Ice“, G4’s in “Billionaire“, “This Love” and G#4’s in “Sakura“, “Rilla Go” and “청혼.” Above G#4, he tends to sing with a high larynx where his voice becomes slightly more shouty and squeezed, as heard by the A4’s in “Shine“, Bb4’s in “Lady” and B4’s in “Angel” and “We Are Together.” Another issue he has in his mix is that, oftentimes, he tends to shape his vowel in a way that causes him to produce less resonance, closing his throat more than necessary, usually happening on the Aye (애) vowel, as heard in “奪いたい今すぐに” and “청혼.”
His upper register is generally quite well-connected and supported. He rarely uses a falsetto and mostly opts to sing with a more connected head voice, allowing him to truly control his pitch and transition smoothly from his mix to his head voice. He shows a lot of control in his mix and is able to maintain a relaxed approach with good placement up to Eb5, as heard by the B4’s in “고백“, C5‘s and C#5‘s in “In the Jungle”, as well as the Eb5’s in “동경소년” and “Love Power.” Above Eb5, he has the habit of adding a lot more vocal pressure to his head voice and pushing his sound out with more air pressure, resulting in a more mask placed strained head voice. The piercing quality makes it hard for him to control the volume, which makes it sound quite loud and tense, as heard in the F#5’s in “Calling You“, “고백“, G#5’s in “Friends” and Bb5 in “Lady“, or he becomes thinner and tighter, such as the A5 in the studio version of “Sad Story.”
Musicality wise, Mika has very good control of his voice overall. He’s able to maintain just the right amount of air pressure to keep his voice projected and yet relaxed. He doesn’t tend to push out his volume; and within his supported range, he’s able to control his mixing quite well. At times, he tends to let go of diction, becoming more nasal depending on the song he sings or sounding more closed. Overall, he’s able to at least maintain quite consistent support within his supported range even if placement and openness may be lacking at times.
For the future, the main focus for Mika as a vocalist should be singing songs that actually allow him to explore the full extent of his voice. He’s yet to show a full three octave range, which he’s most likely more than capable of doing. However, due to the nature of their genre in J-pop, he tends to not sing as low as he might be able to. Focusing on more solo singing with songs that truly challenge him, as well as allowing himself more exposure within Korea to make a name for himself in programs such as Immortal Song 2 or King of Mask Singer could give him more motivation to work on his lower range and the rest of his voice.
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, Mika is able to add his own musical ideas to songs occasionally, although results may vary depending on what part of his range he’s singing in. An example would be his addition of a Bb5 to a performance of “Lady“, where originally he’d sing a Bb4. Instead he opted to jump up the octave, which resulted in a strained somewhat flat head voice instead of a more clean and pitch centered mixed voice Bb4.
Above Average Vocalist
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)