E2 ~ C#6 (3 octaves, 4 notes and 1 semitone)
Bb2 ~ D4
- Third strongest vocalist in BtoB
- Support is consistent up to D4, occasionally able to support Eb4
- Lower range maintains tone even below his supported range
- Doesn’t generally have issues with nasality
- Transitions into falsetto are generally smooth
- Pitch is very clear and consistent
- Runs lack separation and are often slides
- Lacks support below Bb2
- Above D4 generally becomes throaty and support becomes shallow
- Often sings outside his supported range
- Upper register lacks connection and support
- Tends to close his throat the higher he sings and have an improper neck position
- Lower register: His lower chest voice remains somewhat projected below his supported range, but true connection and support are only present down to Bb2. Below that tone may be present, but it becomes very muffled.
- Mixed register: His mixed voice is extensive and he is able to consisterly sing in a higher range, but support is only present up to D4. Above that, he tends to become constricted by his throat muscles.
- Upper register: His falsetto is generally well switched into and maintains consistency in tone but lacks support and connection, so he’s never been able to showcase a true head voice.
Sungjae has shown that as a vocalist, he doesn’t truly draw influences from a lot of western singing and has cited many ballad singers as his vocal inspirations. As such, it is rare to hear him singing very intricate vocal lines with complex runs. The few times he’s shown any time of vocal agility usually can be categorized as quick trills where he quickly bounces around two different notes and other times when he actually attempts an actual vocal run. When he does trills, usually his pitch is more accurate and his rhythm bounce is clear, but he tends to add puffs of air in between to help him find the center of each pitch, as opposed to using his vocal cords’ muscle memory to do so, as heard in “기적“, although this may not always work as heard in “사랑비.” In other cases, when he does more complex runs, he’s shown that he’s unable to sing more smoothly with a relaxed tone and his pitch becomes very wobbly without a clear idea of the key center of the song he’s in, as heard by an older performance of “나비무덤“, as well as a more recent one. His runs are generally smoother in his falsetto than the rest of his range, as heard in “그 남자, 그 여자.”
Debuting in 2012 as one of the main members of BtoB’s vocal line, Sungjae has become more known for his singing over the years. Initially classifying himself as a sub vocalist of the group, he often has shown more of a lead vocalist role in the group when performing as part of their special vocal line unit, as well as having opportunities to showcase his solo singing, such as in King of Mask Singer. Sungjae is one of the two baritone vocalists in BtoB, alongside fellow member Hyunsik. Both of which have darker and heavier voices with different tone qualities and ranges, but both falling within the same voice type when listening to their passaggi and natural vocal weight.
His lower range is darker and heavier than most other male idols, considering that he has a much thicker voice than most of them. Nonetheless, he still shows issues with maintaining proper breath support and truly developing his muscles to sing in a lower range with as much tone and projection as he does in his upper range. By being part of an idol group, Sungjae often has to sing as if he were a tenor and thus, he has somewhat ignored fully developing the rest of his chest voice. Support and tone are often present with consistency all the way down to a Bb2, as heard by the C3’s in “안아줘“, “고백“, “기억의 습작“, B2’s in “오랜된 노래” and Bb2’s in “감사.” Below Bb2, he starts to lose projection and his voice becomes more cloudy and unclear, as his muscles have not been developed well enough to handle producing clearer tone in that range. This can be heard by his A2’s in “취중진담“, G2’s in “오래전 그날“, “고백“, F#2’s in “취중진담“, F2’s in “감사” and E2’s in “지친 하루.”
His mixed voice has always shown to be relaxed and supported above his first passaggio, as he’s never truly shown issues with consistency up to D4. As high as D4, he can easily sing with a light mix and maintain support while staying relaxed, as heard by many of his phrased C#4’s and D4’s in “Rising Sun“, “괜찮아요“, “그녀에게 전해주오“, “꼭 이제“, “오래전 그날.” Alongside his support, he doesn’t generally have issues with nasality in his voice. He often sounds opened and is able to project with a well placed sound within his supported range, as heard by the C4 in “기억의 습작.” He has yet to truly show consistent support above D4, but has shown that he can maintain proper breath support up to Eb4 very occasionally, also heard in “기억의 습작.”
Above D4, Sungjae’s throat tends to start closing around his larynx and he starts to push his voice out with more tension and a high larynx by also raising his neck, as heard by the E4’s in “오래전 그날“, F4’s in “꼭 이제“, G4’s in “죽어도 못 보내“, “Rising Sun“, “제발“, “Some“, G#4’s in “사랑비“, “감사“, “기억의 습작“, A4’s in “고백“, Bb4’s in “Rising Sun” and B4’s in “인형.” In other cases, he sings with a lighter mix and instead of pushing his voice, he simply sings with shallow support and alongside some throat constriction, as heard by the Eb4’s in “Love Song“, “忘れないで“, E4’s in “안아줘“, F4’s in “애인이 생기면 하고 싶은 일“, and F#4’s in “끝난건가요.” For the most part though, Sungjae is often heard singing outside his comfort range due to singing in a similar range as a tenor more often than he should. When singing songs written for a baritone voice, such as songs by Kim Dongryul who has influenced Sungjae’s singing a lot, he keeps much better tone production and is in a much more comfortable range. However when performing with BtoB, he is often heard singing around the F4 ~ G#4 range, where he’s unable to maintain support.
His falsetto is a generally less used part of his range, but he’s been able to show that when it comes to transitions, he’s able to switch back and forth from his falsetto without too much trouble and is able to maintain good pitch. This can be heard by his transitions in “기적“, “울어도 돼” and “忘れないで.” Whenever he sings in the fifth octave though, Sungjae tends to become somewhat whiny and push his voice out with more air pressure, squeezing his throat in order to hit the higher falsetto notes. This is heard by his C#5’s in “충분히 예뻐“, the Eb5’s in “뛰뛰빵빵“, the F#5’s in “그 남자, 그 여자” and his A5 and C#6 on the high note bttle with 100% and Niel. Unfortunately he’s yet to show the ability to produce a connected head voice, therefore never truly showing any signs of support in his upper register.
Musically Sungjae is a very sensitive vocalist to dynamics in a song. He’s able to travel through the story-telling part of a song with clear control of his breath and volume output, especially within his supported range. He doesn’t often have issues with improper placement and has a very consistency sense of pitch. The only issues he’s shown often have to do with neck tension and also the tendency to use a subtle laryngeal vibrato, as opposed to developing a clean natural vibrato.
Sungjae has come along way with proving that he is not an idol who was chosen for his looks. He’s worked hard to improve his singing and shown great discipline and work ethic throughout the years. He often underestimates himself and should not do so because having a lower voice than other males does not make him any less of a vocalist. He possesses just as much potential as any tenor would even if he may not be able to sing as high as them and should not look down on himself for not having a naturally higher voice. As such, it’d be good if Sungjae could be more aware of his voice type and be able to sing songs that develop his as a baritone as opposed to having him sing as if he were a tenor all the time. When singing solo he often respects his natural tessitura and should find an instructor who cherishes that and develops him in the range that’s more natural for him.
Being part of a group where each vocalist plays an almost equal vocal weight, Sungjae has been able to train himself to perform quite well as an acapella group and to hold his harmony down as part of BtoB’s acapella vocal covers, such as their “Christmas Medley” and “A Song for Mama“, but he’s also able to blend his voice well when singing duets, as heard in “사랑비” and “그남자 그여자.” Musicianship wise, there are very few rare occasions where Sungjae attempts to add his own melodic idea to songs and change a song around. Usually he sticks to a safer route and prefers to convey the meaning of a song as it was written, focusing more on the dynamic and lyrical delivery.
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)