C#3 ~ Bb5 (2 Octaves, 4 notes and 1 semitone)
A3 ~ A4/Bb4
- Strongest vocalist in Ladies’ Code
- Able to support her voice consistently
- Doesn’t usually have issues with nasality when belting
- Simple vocal runs are generally well separated
- Mixed voice approach is generally light
- Able to maintain support down to A3
- Mixed voice maintains support up to Bb4
- Tends to use an opened placement
- Transitions into falsetto are generally smooth
- Tends to favor style over technique, lacks control of her voice
- Often sings with improper vocal cord connection, either too tight or too airy
- Tends to sound really shouty and screechy in her mixed voice
- Raises her larynx above Bb4 usually
- Tightens her throat very often the higher she sings
- Vibrato is very uneven and wobbly
- Uneven airflow against the vocal cords
- Runs can sometimes lack precision
- Unable to produce a supported head voice
- At times may lower her larynx to force out projection in her lower range
- Lower register: The lower portion of her chest loses tone below F#3, but is able to project above that. Support is only present above A3, as below that she becomes muffled and loses projection.
- Mixed register: Able to mix all the way up to G5 with a bright mixed voice. Tends to sound very gritty and screechy in her mix due to too much compression in her vocal cords. Loses support above Bb4.
- Upper register: Able to use falsetto and transition very easily into it but can also use a head voice. Head voice is thin and lacks proper support, but control and pitch are shown well.
As part of Sojung’s signature soulful style, runs come as part of the whole package. As most vocalists influenced by 90’s R&B/Soul artists, adding vocal runs to their performances is quite common and Sojung is no exception. Her vocal cords tend to be very tightly compressed or not closed enough, so many times runs can be done well when sung slowly, such as in “내가 웃는게 아니야“, “기억상실“, but the faster they get, the harder it becomes for her to maintain smoothness and accuracy. Due too much compression in her vocal cords, she lacks the freedom to be able to move quickly between pitches without sliding, causing her to sound pitchy. This can be heard in “Crazy Night“, “시계태엽” and “So Wonderful.” In other cases she doesn’t close her vocal cords enough and uses puffs of air to guide the pitch instead of relying on her vocal cords, as heard in “Kiss Kiss Kiss“, “어른아이“, “나쁜여자.”
Sojung first gained attention for her singing when she auditioned for the first season of The Voice: Korea in 2012. Although the winner of that season turned out to be Son Seungyeon, Sojung was a popular constestant due to her very attractive and appealing vocal tone and style. Her popularity landed her a spot as the main vocalist of Ladies’ Code, with whom she debuted in 2013. She has since appeared on many TV shows such as Immortal Song 2, King of Mask Singer and was even casted as one of the main members of Girl Spirit. Despite the husky quality Sojung adopts in her singing, her voice is naturally very light and bright, while placed high in range she’d be most likely classified as a light lyric soprano.
The lower portion of her voice, consisting of her chest voice, is very extensive and can be used down to C#3, as heard in “어떤 그리움.” However so, it lacks development as it is. Most of the time she is able to project quite well down to A3, while keeping consistent support and a good enough amount of connection between her vocal cords. This can be heard with the A3’s in “서울의 달” and “보통여자.” Below A3 is where she starts to lose tone and projection, where her voice becomes quieter and support isn’t present anymore, as heard by her G#3’s in “행복한 나를“, F#3’s in “Crazy Night“, and the E3 in “어떤 그리움.” Below F#3 she loses tone almost completely and in order to compensate for the lack of support in her lower range, at times she pushes her larynx down with the back of her tongue, which strains her voice and forces her muscles to stretch artificially with tension instead, as heard in her G3’s in “빗속에서” and her F#3’s in “살다보면.”
Her mixed voice is naturally extensive in range, as she is able to push her mixed voice at least as high as G5, as heard in “You Just” and “No, No, No.” Despite being able to bring her mixed voice high, she lacks development and utilizes generally very damaging habits when singing higher in range. Overall speaking, Sojung favors a husky approach to her singing. This husky approach is achieved by keeping the vocal cords from completely coming together, which causes air to come through and a breathy quality to be created. Although she is able to stray away from the airy quality when wanting to sing with more volume, she tends to do so by compressing her vocal cords very tightly together. This is a very improper way of approaching correct support in her voice, as instead of relying on a relaxed throat with just the right amount of air to project, she pushes a lot of air into her vocal cords while keeping them very tight together, causing her to sound very throaty and shouty when singing higher.
Her lack of proper development in support does affect her somewhat in her mid-range, but she is able to maintain just enough support to keep her voice from being damaged when singing below B4. Up to Bb4, she is able to keep the right amount of support even if constriction might already be happening, as heard by her A4’s in “아름다운 오해“, “오랜 이별 뒤에“, and Bb4’s in “2 Different Tears“, “내버려둬“, “그대 안의 블루“, “그대 돌아오면” and “아니.” Above Bb4 she already starts to let her larynx raise as her throat muscles get tight and pull it higher, causing her throat to become full of tension and for her to push her voice beyond her limit. This results in belted notes that, although loud, carry a lot of tension and can potentially be very damaging to her voice. This can be heard with the B4’s in “On My Own“, “2 Different Tears“, “You Just“, C5’s in “1, 2, 3, 4“, “널 사랑하지 않아“, “”, C#5’s in “희야“, “빗속에서“, D5’s in “시계태엽“, “그것만이 내 세상“, “아름다운 고해“, Eb5’s in “그남자 그여자“, “Bye Bye Bye“, E5’s in “나쁜여자“, F5’s in “Bae Bae“, “예뻐예뻐“, “So Wonderful“, as well as her previously mentioned G5’s.
Her upper register mostly consists of a falsetto or an unsupported head voice. Although it is true that she can connect her vocal cords together, the amount of compression caused by tightness in her cords while not using the right amount of breath support generally cause her head voice to sound tight and a bit pushed. The general tone of her falsetto is airy, while her head voice sounds thin. The contrast can be heard when comparing her falsetto with her F5 in “행복한 나를“, her F#5 in “어른아이“, her G5 in “전활 받지 않은 너에게” and her A5 in “예뻐예뻐“, to her head voice G#5 in “희야” and Bb5 in “I Love You.” Nonetheless her pitch in her upper register is very good, as most of her transitions tend to be quite smooth and she seems rather comfortable to control her voice in that register, while not being afraid to go higher.
She is known most for her style and charismatic voice. Her voice is reminiscent of many soulful artists who tend to favor airiness and some throat compression in their singing. Although support is present in her voice, there is a very improper misconception in the way she approaches her singing. She tends to favor compression over airflow, which causes her vocal cords to become almost numb and lack control, while she pushes through with air instead of stretching her vocal cords. This is primarily the reason her vibrato tends to sound so shaky and wobbly, since she is unable to keep her vocal cords relaxed, her vibrato comes out unstable and uneven most of the time.
Sojung has come a long way as a vocalist and entertainer over the years. One of the biggest obstacles she’s overcome mostly has to do with her appreciating her own instrument and gaining confidence in herself. Nevertheless it is also important for her to worry about the health of her instrument, as her voice could be damaged if she were to keep singing this way for the rest of her career. In order to prevent vocal damage, it’d be recommended for her to strip herself off of her style during vocal practice and focus on developing healthier vocal habits on the proper stretch and connection of her vocal cords, as well as the right amount of airflow and support.
Most of Sojung’s overall singing is compromised of style. As such, she is very much in control of her sound and can turn every single song into her own. Although this may limit her when it comes to performing different genres, she is able to change every song into her own signature genre if given the right arrangement. Melodically she is confident with her adlibs and even if strain may be present, her pitch is usually quite accurate. Harmonically speaking she is also able to hold down her harmonies well when singing with her duet partners, as heard in “그 여자, 그 남자” and “그대 안의 블루.”
Best Vocal Performance(s)
Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)