F2 ~ A5 (3 octaves and 2 notes)
Eb3 ~ E4/F4
Light Lyric Tenor
- Second strongest vocalist in WINNER
- Support is present throughout an octave of his voice
- Sense of pitch is quite consistent and clean
- Lower range maintains support down to Eb3 consistently
- Support is present up to F4, occasionally F#4
- Transitions into falsetto can be smooth
- Sense of support isn’t very strong, tends to be shallow
- Places his voice almost entirely in his nose
- Tends to sing with a high larynx above F4
- Falsetto tends to be quite pushed and whiny in placement
- Sounds generally tiny and tight in his mix
- Unable to change dynamics in his singing drastically most of the time
- Lower register: His lower range has shown a decent amount of development, especially for a tenor. While not able to maintain proper support down to C3, he’s able to project his lower range and chest voice as low as A2, though support only exists starting from Eb3.
- Mixed register: His mixed voice is possibly his least developed register. Unable to truly sing above his first passaggio properly, he has developed a lot of bad habits in his approach in his mix, where only some shallow support is present up to E4/F4.
- Upper register: His upper register mostly consists of a falsetto or at times a pushed, tight, nasally placed head voice. Most of his transitions into his falsetto tend to be quite clean due to him seeming to sing more in his falsetto than his upper mix.
Genre wise, Taehyun seems to take his influences from soft R&B and pop music, so adding runs to an extent can be part of his approach in singing. However due to his inefficient approach in his vocal cords, he tends not to use enough breath support in his singing, making him less capable of controlling his vocal cords. Thus his voice lacks flexibility and when attempting vocal runs, he tends to lack the muscle memory to sing each individual note clearly. He tends to slide through his vocal runs, which causes them to come out sloppy and pitchy. Examples of this include “공허해“, “고백하는거야“, “아름다운 나비“, “恋しくて (Begin)” and “그리워해요.”
Taehyun officially debuted as the main vocalist of WINNER in 2014, despite having won the competition in 2013. He is easily recognizable as the main vocalist of the group by his naturally soft and mellow tone, with a light overall voice and slightly placed high in range. His voice type would most likely be classified as a light lyric tenor, easily contrasted by Seungyoon’s heavier baritone voice and Jinwoo’s raspier tenor voice. He has become known especially not only for his voice, but overcoming obstacles as an artist and for his songwriting.
His lower range mostly seems to remain quite well projected with proper support down to Eb3. His vocal cords maintain proper connection and are developed down to Eb3, however below that he tends to become less clear and more muffled. His voice starts to sound less projected, as he tends to use less strength from his muscles and relies more on pushing his larynx down. This causes him to strain his lower range, while trapping the sound in his throat by pushing his tongue down to lower his larynx in an unnatural manner. Although this may not happen every time he sings, it’s happened often enough to be noted around the second octave, as heard by his A2 in “Stalker” and his Bb2 in “반달친구“, as well as his C#3’s in “고백하는거야” and “눈의꽃.” Above Eb3 however, he’s able to maintain enough breath support while keeping a neutral larynx and a chest placed sound, as heard by his E3’s in “Stalker“, and F3’s in “소녀.”
His mixed voice seems to be his relatively least developed register so far. When it comes to support, Taehyun does have a minimal basic understanding and grasp of proper breath support. He tends to not rely on it too much and instead uses a very shallow for of it, which helps him as long as he’s relaxed. This works for him as high as F4, where he’s able to maintain a more relaxed approach with some breath support, while not tensing up his muscles too much. This can be heard in “Spoiler“, “그리워해요” and “恋しくて (Begin).”
In terms of extension, Taehyun is not a powerhouse belter and does not attempt to be that in anyway. However that does tend to limit him, as instances in which he’s mixing above G4 are quite rare. His overall mixing technique tends to be more on the headier and lighter side, which allows him to push his voice less. However he does have the tendency to close his throat by pushing his neck forward and creating a lot of neck tension in his singing. The result is usually a very tight sound anywhere above F4, where his larynx is raised and he does not use the correct amount of breath support. This can be heard with the F#4’s in “눈의꽃“, “Glamorous Sky“, “좋더라“, “아름다운 나비“, G4’s in “이밤“, “소녀“, G#4’s in “고백하는거야“, “Sunday Morning” and A4’s in “이밤.”
His upper register mostly consists of a falsetto, which usually can be smoothly transitioned into when singing a line, but tends to become less easily accessible to higher he sings. When singing lower, he tends to switch fairly early and tends to favor a nasal falsetto around the G4 range and above, this can be heard in performances like “Je T’aime“, “Baby Baby“, “좋더라“, “하루하루” and “눈의꽃.” In the fifth octave however he tends to sound very tight and pushed due to him squeezing his throat muscles together while pushing a lot of air into his vocal cords to make the notes come out. This can be heard in multiple performances of “공허해”, especially on the G5‘s and the A5‘s, in different performances of the same song.
The main issue with his mixed voice and his singing overall tends to be his bad habit of pushing his sound into his nose. He tends to sound as if the direction of air coming from his vocal cords is almost entirely focused into his nose, making him sound quite small and blocked. The excessive nasality in his singing also causes him to be unable to project very well and limits his dynamics in singing, being unable to really add more power and volume to his overall approach. His sense of pitch is actually quite consistent and he doesn’t have too many issues with pitch most of the time, which comes in handy when songwriting.
Overall as a vocalist, Taehyun has proved that he can overcome many issues when singing. Although he may be deaf in one ear, his sense of pitch is actually quite consistent. For someone who’s deaf, being unable to hear the sound of your own voice can cause many issues with controlling the pitch that comes out when you sing. As a songwriter, the way Taehyun writes music fits his voice and his singing style perfectly and allows him to work well with the brand they’ve created as WINNER. However if he’s to look into being more eclectic in the future, he’d need to go into more vocal training in order to expand his singing technique. Right now due to improper technique and issues with placement, lack of development of his registers and improper breath support, Taehyun’s singing is limited in terms of genre and dynamics. Learning from the basics and building up from there could help him in the future as a vocalist and artist.
As an overall musician and songwriter, Taehyun has a great understanding of how to make what sounds good come together in a song. He’s a born natural artist and knows that his strengths lie on his songwriting over his singing technique. Despite having issues with being deaf in one ear, he’s able to overcome them quite well. For the most part when covering songs, he tends to sing more true to the original melody of a song although at times attempting melodic changes as heard in “Lost Stars” and “그리워해요.” However when writing his own music, he’s able to create melodies from scratch. Harmonically speaking, he’s able to blend his voice well with others and does so many times in covers with the rest of the members of WINNER, such as “그리워해요.”
Weak to Average Vocalist
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)