Girls’ Generation’s Vocal Analysis: Sunny [Newly Updated]

Vocal Range

E3 ~ G6 (3 octaves, 1 note and 1 semitone)

Supported Range

Bb3/B3~ Bb4/B4(without head voice)

Bb3/B3 ~ Bb4/B4 ~ F#5/G5

Voice Type

Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • Supported head voice up G5
  • Head voice up to G6
  • Ease in the upper register up to C6/C#6
  • Consistent support up to Bb4/B4
  • Occasional support up to C5
  • Occasional resonance up to B4
  • Resonant Eb5

Points for Improvement

  • Unstable Vibrato
  • Weak lower register below Bb3/B3
  • Above D5/Eb5 her mixed register becomes very shouty and strained
  • Mixed register can lack in projection
  • Unstable pitch
  • Nasal placement
  • Inconsistent resonance

Registers

  • Lower register: Sunny’s lower register is her weakest and least developed register. Sunny carries support down to Bb3, but the tone production is weak and lacks in projection. Below A3 Sunny virtually loses all of her tone and projection producing a very weak and unsupported sound.
  • Mixed register:  Sunny’s mixed register is her second most developed register, generally supporting up Bb4/B4. Although her larynx does not truly rise until she sings in the D5/Eb5 area, she lacks the support to keep her throat completely relaxed in the C5/C#5 range.
  • Upper register: Sunny’s head voice is the most developed in Girls’ Generation and her most developed register, carrying support up to F#5/G5.  Sunny maintains head voice up to G6 and ease in the register up to C6/C#6.

Agility

Sunny rarely attempts any kind of complex and intricate runs she normally sticks with trills or simple 5-note scales, that being said she does not always do them accurately for example this performance of “Into The New World” on Sketchbook. That specific run is a simple 3-note trill, however Sunny almost completely slides through it making sloppy. Because Sunny is a fairly high soprano with training runs would become easy to her.

Overall analysis

Prior to her debut in 2007 with Girls’ Generation, Sunny was apart of a duo called Sugar under Starworld Entertainment, however that group never debuted due to a lack of funding. Sunny’s position as a vocalist in Girls’ Generation has been vague since her debut in 2007 some categorizing her either as a  sub-vocalist with the dancers or a lead vocalist with Tiffany and Seohyun, however recently she is most commonly referred to as a lead vocalist of the group along with members Tiffany and Seohyun. Although Sunny is one of the lead vocalist of Girls’ Generation she leans more to the variety side of being an idol having many solo activities of being an MC and radio host.

Sunny is best known for a her sweet and girly vocal tone which truly stood out and suited Girls’ Generation’s early songs such as “Gee“, “Oh“, and “Kissing You” as well as her OSTs such as “Your Doll.”  That being said, Sunny is completely capable of changing her vocal color to suit more fierce and powerful songs such as “You Think” and “Run Devil Run.” Sunny’s cute yet versatile voice has definitely caught the hearts of many Girls’ Generation fans and K-Pop fans a like.

Sunny’s sensitivity to pitch can become very unfocused leading to vocal lines and even complete performances being sung out of tune. The most notorious performance of this would be her cover of “Tree” by BoA.  Throughout this performance Sunny is consistently singing flat and sharp most notably in the lower portions of this song. Another example of her singing out of tune for extended periods of time would be her cover of IU‘s “Good Day” on 1000 Song Challenge with Jessica and Sooyoung in this performance Sunny is frequently out of tune especially in the beginning. Because of her unstable pitch it can give the illusion that her chest voice is shaky and lacking proper support, but in all actuality it’s just the wavering of her pitch. Sunny’s pitch has been on and off ever since her debut and has not really improved since then.

Sunny’s lower register severely lacks in development being one of the most underdeveloped lower registers among idol lead and main vocalist. Sunny is a high Soprano therefore she naturally lacks the affinity for singing low notes, however her lack in development in her lower register goes beyond her just being a Soprano.  Sunny loses stability in her lower register around the B3/C4 area, but is able to maintain support down to Bb3/B3.  Even A3 can prove to be a challenge for her for example her A3 in “Lion Heart” can often be lost and unheard. Sunny’s lower register becomes even more unstable and unsupported the lower she goes for example her F3 in SNSD’s “Goodbye.” During this performance Sunny is pretty much lowering her larynx to sing the F3s which is leading to a very uncomfortable and unsupported sound.

Sunny’s mixed register is quite interesting in terms of development. Sunny only supports her voice up to Bb4/B4 , but is able to maintain a fair amount of ease up C5/C#5, however above that her mixed voice becomes very strained and shout-like especially approaching the D5/Eb5 area.  The main issues with Sunny’s mixed voice, aside from a lack of support above B4, is her lack of projection as well as her unstable vibrato.Sunny’s projection is severely hindered because she sings with a nasal placement in her mixed voice fairly consistently, therefore preventing her voice from resonating correctly in the mask, for instance her performance of “Beautiful Restriction” in this performance Sunny sings many supported B4s, but they lack in projection due to her placement.  Sunny’s vibrato is overly quick and uncontrolled due to a lack of steady airflow when sustaining notes for example her sustained notes in “It’s Love” with Taeyeon.  Despite Sunny’s problems she is capable of producing resonance, even if rarely for instance her solo performance in Catch Me If You Can is filled with many resonant Bb4s and B4s. She has also shown she is capable supporting up to C5 for example her C5s in “Baby Maybe.” These days Sunny has been showing off the full extent of her mixed voice, before she was limited to only singing up to E5, however now she has shown is capable of mixing much higher than that up G5.  She first kicked this off with her F5 in “Europa” from Girls’ Generation 2014 mini album Mr. Mr. and continued this trend in 2015 with Girls’ Generation’s “You Think” from the Lion Heart album.

Sunny’s head voice is her most developed and consistent register as well as the one she seems to be the most comfortable in. During Girls’ Generation early years specifically around the Genie and Oh! period Sunny’s strength in her head voice was shown off with songs like “Girlfriend” putting it front and center with a G5 and even an A5.  Sunny also seemed to be more inclined to use it during her earlier years singing songs like “I’ll Write You A Letter” by Lena Park in which she easily sings an C#6 despite it being strained as well as other songs requiring her to sing up to C6. However, all that being said, she does have relatively recent performances where she uses her head voice, for example her 2014 performances of Gain‘s “Bloom.” In the performances she switches easily into many F5s in head voice with control and connection and frequently jumps between head voice and chest voice.

Musicianship

Due to a lack of true solo performances Sunny’s style of musicianship is unclear.

Label (Type of Vocalist)

M Vocalists: Mid-Range Vocalists

MH Vocalists: Mid-Range Head Voice Vocalists

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Vocal Range Video(s)

Video by: Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

Analyzed by Pandayeu

142 thoughts on “Girls’ Generation’s Vocal Analysis: Sunny [Newly Updated]

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