B2 ~ A5 (2 octaves & 5 notes)
Eb3 ~ F4/F#4
- Strongest vocalist in NU’EST
- Support is present up to F4/F#4
- Occasional support up to G4
- Transitions into falsetto are done relatively well
- Able to sing down to Eb3 with support
- Rarely shows tendency to be nasal
- Runs are usually sloppy and pitchy
- Notes above F#4 tend to squeezed and sung with a high larynx
- Unable to produce a head voice
- Sometimes diction can be closed even within his supported range
- Chest voice below Eb3 becomes weaker
- Unable to produce resonance
- Slight decline in openness since getting vocal nodules
- Lower register: Not his most explored register but relatively decently developed. Support and good tone production are present down to Eb3 but below that, his volume drops a lot and his voice becomes a lot breathier.
- Mixed register: Consistent support is present but unevenness in mix caused by a tight throat and a high larynx above F#4 cause him to strain most of the higher parts of songs.
- Upper register: Unable to show a head voice. His least used and least developed register, he mostly favors mixing over attempting to use to use his falsetto. However falsetto transitions are done relatively well, with good pitch.
Baekho’s main vocal influences when it comes to more western music seem to lean towards R&B. With that being said, in his repertoire as a member of NU’EST, he rarely sings songs that challenge him in the agility department. When he chooses to sing covers of songs or when he sings solo songs, he does attempt to sing runs more often. These attemps are often not well executed because he is unable to stay in pitch when singing runs and hitting each individual note of a run, one by one. Instead not only does he slide through the notes, he slides faster than he can anticipate the notes he’s going to sing and generally falls off the key center of a song when singing faster and more challenging runs. This can be heard by his runs in “생일 축하해요“, “너네 누나 소개시켜줘” and “When I Was Your Man.”
Baekho debuted in 2012 as the main vocalist of boy group NU’EST. Throughout their careers, they’ve promoted in Japan and in Korea and have had mildly successful singles. Unfortunately due to lack of exposure, Baekho hasn’t been able to showcase his vocals with many solo performances on any TV shows focused on singing. His voice is generally thicker than his other bandmates, more so now than before his vocal nodule surgery. His voice still has a light quality to it and mostly sits in a higher range, like that of a light lyric tenor.
His lower range isn’t showcased much through NU’EST’s music but he sings generally within a fairly comfortable range throughout most of their songs. He isn’t challenged to sing low much, but the few times he’s done so it is possible to hear that his voice is more comfortable and developed above Eb3 than below. Whenever he sings as low as Eb3 or higher, he is able to remain relaxed, projected, and well placed. His voice stays present and his vocal cords connected, as one can hear in the E3’s in “생일 축하해요“, and Eb3’s in “Fine Girl“, “瞳を閉じて” and “무조건.” However below Eb3, his voice tends to lose volume and become breathier and less connected. He starts to lose support and his voice seems to be less developed below Eb3, where he sings less often. This can be heard by the Db3’s and C3’s in “瞳を閉じて“, as well as D3’s and B2’s in “Fine Girl” and “슬픔활용법.”
Even though Baekho is their main vocalist, within NU’EST’s repertoire, he actually isn’t challenged to sing the highest portions of songs as often as other main vocalists would be. As such, he doesn’t often try to sing too high nor strain his voice too much. He sings mostly within a reasonably comfortable range for his voice. His development of breath support is very consistent and stable, as he’s able to remain relaxed through his first passaggio. Up to F#4, he’s shown many times that he’s able to produce supported notes and not strain his voice much, as heard with the F4’s in “Beautiful Ghost“, “사랑없는 사랑“, “Hey, Love“, and F#4’s in “잠꼬대” and “Fine Girl.” Occasionally in the past, Baekho was able to carry support as high as G4, as heard in “이별복습“, but currently he seems to have shown a slight regression in his ability to stay opened even within his supported range. At times he shows tightness with support on his F#4’s, as heard in “어깨빌려줘” but for the most part support is consistent.
Above F#4, his mixed voice becomes tighter and more shouty. He tends to sound really squeezed and his voice becomes a lot thinner in quality. His overall support is not present above F#4, where he attempts to overcompensate for the lack of support by putting tension in his throat and pushing his voice out with more air pressure. The result is that he generally strains his voice anywhere above F#4, as heard by the G4’s in “Wait For You“, “야하게 입지마“, G#4’s in “나와 같은 차를 마시고“, “조금만“, “瞳を閉じて“, A4’s in “예뻐“, “생일 축하해요“, Bb4’s in “All Force One“, “사랑 없는 사랑“, “FACE“, B4’s in “When I Was Your Man“, “여보세요“, C5’s in “Beautiful Ghost” and D5’s in “여왕의 기사.”
His upper register consists of a falsetto. He’s never been able to show the ability to connect his vocal cords properly to produce the right amount of balance of his cricothyroid muscles and thyroarytenoid muscles in order to produce a connected head voice. Thus only singing in his falsetto. This is by far his least explored register, where many times he sings higher in his mix than he does in his falsetto. The few times he’s sung with his falsetto, he’s shown good control of his sense of pitch and his transitions are often relatively smooth, as heard in “너네 누나 소개시켜줘“, “사랑없는 사랑” and “All Force One.” Although at times his transitions can show a very noticeable drop in volume and projection, as heard with the C#5 in “조금만.” His highest known note in falsetto is an A5 in a high note battle on Weekly Idol.
In terms of his overall technique, Baekho is a consistent vocalist within his supported range. His connection between proper breath support and staying relaxed in his throat is quite consistent, although not fully developed. He is yet to explore the full extent of breathing deeper into his diaphragm, which causes him to not develop his voice more than he’s done so far. With that said, he also has a pretty clean sense of placement and doesn’t often place his voice in his nose. Even so, he’s still unable to place his voice forward in his mask with an opened enough throat to produce resonance. He’s mostly quite clear in his projection and his sense of dynamics is sensitive to each he sings. However his lack of control of his mixed voice and other registers cause him to be unable to produce a wider variety of dynamic changes outside his supported range.
As a vocalist, Baekho has remained quite professional about his singing over the years. No major declines nor issues have been heard, aside from him having vocal nodules. Even then, he respected himself and took the time out to rest his vocal cords. He’s yet to fully explore the extent of his potential as a vocalist and could improve in many areas that could guarantee him to further his career as a professional vocalist. Perhaps being given the opportunity to perform in TV shows such as King of Mask Singer or Immortal Song 2 could help motivate him to find an instructor who can help him develop his voice further.
Musically speaking, Baekho doesn’t often attempt musical changes in his vocal performances. He has done so, as one can hear by small melodic changes made to the cover of “Wait For You“, but for the most part he focuses on singing the song as it is, as well as he can. The few times he has attempted melodic changes were successful, even if the changes were minor. Harmonically, NU’EST is not known for their acapella performances but Baekho is able to handle his own parts in harmonies and blend his voice well with his duet partners, as heard in “Wait For You.”
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)