D3 ~ F#6 (3 Octaves and 2 notes)
A3 ~ D5/Eb5
A3 ~ A5/Bb5 (with head voice)
Light Lyric Soprano
- Able to support her voice consistently
- Support and resonance are present up to D5, occasionally Eb5
- Only known idol to be able to use her whistle musically
- Able to produce a resonant head voice up to A5/Bb5
- Possesses a degree of flexibility when doing runs
- Able to stylistically choose between falsetto and head voice at will
- Lower range shows support down to A3
- Vocal runs generally lack precision and are often too complex for her
- Tends to sound shouty above D5, with a high larynx
- Chest voice is underdeveloped and airy below A3
- Has the tendency to go nasal when singing
- Head voice has yet to be fully showcased above Bb5
- Whistle register may not be very developed
- Her vowel shapes can cause her to sound tense, notably 오 (Oh) and Eo (어)
- Lower register: By far her least developed register. She tends to sound quite airy and loses projection very quickly as she descends below A3. Down to A3, connection and support are present consistently.
- Mixed register: A very comfortable area of her voice, ever since she was young support was present up to D5. Mixed voice is balanced and resonance is produced up to D5, and Eb5’s occasionally. Above Eb5, she tends to sing with a high larynx.
- Upper register: Her head voice is well developed and she has the complete control of when to use a head voice or falsetto. She is able to produce head resonance in her head voice up to Bb5, but above that it’s still unknown.
Since her early debut, Dia has shown that she’s influenced by divas from the 90’s and early 2000’s such as Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera. As such, she’s always shown an aptitude for belting and for runs. Throughout many of her performances, she often attempts to sing runs and in her covers she tries to them as close as possible to the original singer’s version. In her case, she possesses a good understanding of the muscle memory necessary to do runs, as her voice is flexible and the rhythmic bounce from one note to the other in her runs is actually pretty clear. Every note is hit without her sliding through them, however the issue comes with the complexity of runs. Slower runs or quick melismas are produced quite accurately, as heard in “I’m Not the Only One“, “가로수 그늘 아래 서면“, “길에서“, “Hero” and “Nothing Better.” However, the longer, more complex and quicker the runs get, the more difficulty she has in executing them with precision and she becomes pitchier, as heard in “Come On Over“, “I Turn to You“, “Another Boy“, “Slow Motion” and “Beautiful.”
Dia originally debuted in 2009 as a solo artist, before re-debuting as the main vocalist of disbanded idol group Kiss&Cry. Originally, Dia was known for her vocal ability, even debuting at the young age of 17. During her earlier years, Dia created a special sketchbook titled Dia’s Sketchbook, where she’d take in requests of fans and then sing covers of songs that requested. Not only that, but she’s also been able to participate in many TV shows such as Yoo Heeyeol’s Sketchbook as well as Immortal Song 2. Her voice is bright and light, generally sitting in a high range. Without a doubt a soprano, Dia uses her naturally high range to her advantage accompanied by her good understanding of vocal technique.
The lower part of her chest voice is by far the least developed part of her voice. Her main issues don’t truly have to do with a lack support as much as they have to do with a neglect of developing her chest voice muscles. Down to A3, Dia produces consistently supported and projected tone, as heard in “울어볼 가슴이 없어.” She may lack in terms of chest placement, but not support. However as she descends below A3, her voice becomes quickly airy and unclear. Her muscles sound rather underdeveloped, causing her to be unable to sing below A3 with much tone or projection. This results with a rather significant portion of her range being rather quiet, weak and untrained. This can be heard by the G#3’s in “Take a Bow“, G3’s in “I Have Nothing“, F#3’s in “If I Were a Boy“, F3’s in “Let it Go“, E3’s in “날 위한 이별” Eb3’s in “나만 몰랐던 이야기“, “이젠 그랬으면 좋겠네” and D3’s in “Nothing Better.”
Her mixed voice is where Dia seems to be most comfortable, as she usually sings with a rather opened, full and well placed sound. She has always been able to show a good understanding of maintaining her throat opened, while using the right amount of breath support to control her instrument even at the beginning of her career. Combining that with her ability to direct the airflow from her voice directly into her mask (nasal cavities) while keeping her soft palate lifted, allows Dia to produce consistent resonance without sounding nasal. At times she may also show issues of nasality when singing phrased notes, but for the most part sustained notes are opened and clean.
Dia’s support in her mixed voice is consistent all the way up to D5, with some inconsistencies happening as she approaches Eb5. In multiple occasions, she has shown that she can produce resonance up to D5 without much trouble and when phrasing Eb5’s, she is able to maintain support and a relaxed throat. This can be heard with the A4’s in “I Have Nothing“, “떠나지마” (Tasha cover), Bb4’s in “길에서“, B4’s in “하루종일 비가 내렸어“, “떠나지마“, C5’s in “사귈만큼 사귀었어“, “날 위한 이별“, “이젠 그랬으면 좋겠네“, C#5’s in “Let it Go“, “Paradise” and “길에서“, D5’s in “Lady Marmalade“, “시간아 멈춰라“, “니가 돌아오면“, and Eb5’s in “Slow motion“, “떠나지마“, “이젠 그랬으면 좋겠네”, and “Paparazzi.” As she approaches Eb5, her throat starts to close and she starts to have issues with support. This can lead to inconsistencies accompanied by her tendency to close her throat when singing notes with the Oh (오) or Eo (어) vowels, even within her supported range, as heard in “Let it Go“, “Another Boy“, “If I Were a Boy” and “I See You.” Above Eb5, she has never shown the ability to maintain an opened throat and generally strains her voice with throatiness above that. This is heard with the E5’s in “모던하게“, “”, F5’s in “사랑에 미쳤어“, F#5’s in “그런일은“, “웃어봐“, and G5’s in “Lady Marmalade“, “모던하게” and “Domino Game.”
Her upper register is an area of her voice where she has shown quite good development and support throughout the years. For many young vocalists, their upper registers tend to be a falsetto and not many are able to sing with support in that register. Once support and a connection of the vocal cords has been established, they’re able to produce a connected and supported head voice. Dia not only has been able to achieve that, but also mastered her control of her vocal cords to the point where she’s able to choose when to sing with a falsetto or head voice at will. This can be heard when comparing the F#5‘s in “Nothing Better”, with the A5‘s in the same song. She not only is able to support her head voice, but also produce head resonance in it as well. Examples of her head voice include the Eb5’s in “가로수 그늘 아래 서면“, “Paradise“, “떠나지마“, as well as the A5’s in “Nothing Better“, “이젠 그랬으면 좋겠네” and the Bb5’s in “모던하게.” Unfortunately, it is unknown whether or not Dia can still maintain support above Bb5, as she’s never sung above that with her head voice.
One of the most unique things about her singing in the world of K-pop has to do with the ability to use her whistle register in songs. Physically speaking, having a whistle register is actually not uncommon as most, if not all, females actually possess the muscle memory in their vocal cords in order to produce a whistle register. Being able to use a whistle register doesn’t necessarily make a vocalist great, but being able to use it well musically and developing it well do. Dia’s use of her whistle register is quite rare but has been done so live, as heard by the F#6 in “웃어봐.” It is unknown whether or not she has the ability to use her whistle register well, as she’s not done so enough to be able to tell. This may indicate that she does not possess full control of her whistle and may not be fully confident with using it live. Nonetheless, it is notable enough to say that Dia is the only known female idol to be able to use her whistle in a song, as opposed to singing with a high falsetto or a high head voice.
Musically she’s also able sing well in terms of stylistic onsets as well as the proper control of her breath support to sing with dynamics throughout songs. This helps her convey the messages of songs better, as her control of her instrument makes it so that she can change her voice depending on what song she’s singing. Technically speaking, Dia is certainly amongst one of the most skilled vocalists to debut in K-pop to date. Even at such a young age, she’s always shown good technique and good control of her instrument. That is not to say that she still doesn’t have room for improvement. For the future, improving her upper mixed voice as well as fully exploring the full potential of her chest voice could help her develop her overall instrument a lot more. Not only that, but also working on patiently breaking down runs and practicing them at a slower speed before attempting them at the original speed could help her better her overall performances. Perhaps being able to participate in shows like King of Mask Singer could allow her to become more known as a vocalist, when she does make a comeback.
Dia is able to harmonize quite well and although debuting as a solo artist at first, she’s shown that she could adapt to being part of a group and knew how to blend her voice with her other members in other to create well balanced harmonies, as heard in “가로수 그늘 아래 서면.” Likewise, when singing duets, she can also handle containing the power of her voice and keeping a steady volume throughout, as heard in “Falling Slowly.” When it comes to melodic changes of songs, Dia does generally tend to sing more like the true original version of songs, be it a cover or her own song. However that’s not to say that at times she may not attempt to add her own twist to melodies and has done successfully so a few times, even if her overall technique might not have helped her with parts that were too low or too high. This can be heard in “웃어봐” and “Nothing Better.”
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)