Ali’s Vocal Analysis

Vocal Range

C3 ~ C6 (3 octaves)

Supported Range

F#3/G3 ~ C5/C#5

F#3/G3 ~ G5 (with head voice)

Voice Type

Mezzo-Soprano

Strengths/Achievements

  • Shown huge improvement in technique over the years
  • Good placement is almost always kept within her supported range
  • At times able to produce medium tempo simple runs well
  • Resonance is generally very well amplified
  • Support is consistent up to C5 and C#5, occasionally D5
  • Lower range maintains tone even below her supported range
  • Her lower range remains supported down to F#3/G3
  • Head voice is produced with resonance and support up to G5
  • Great musicality and arrangement skills

Points for Improvement

  • Tends to push her mix with her throat often
  • Support within her supported range can be dropped due to throat tension
  • Vocal runs lack flow and smoothness
  • Becomes very constricted and as soon as she goes above her supported range
  • At times lowers her larynx in her lower range, muffling her voice
  • Head voice becomes pushed and shrill as she ascends above G5
  • Often sacrifices too much technique for style

Registers

  • Lower register: The lower part of her range may be slightly underdeveloped considering her voice type, but as a whole it maintains good placement and connection even down to her lowest known note. Support seems to only be present down to F#3/G3.
  • Mixed register: Shown huge improvement in her mixed voice, especially with maintaining support and easing up on throat tension. The change has helped her maintain a lot more proper vocalization, project better and produce resonance up to C#5.
  • Upper register: Used to only use an improperly connected and pushed falsetto. Has improved to use a lot more connected and supported head voice with good placement up to G5.

Agility

Ali generally comes off as a vocalist who draws influences from general pop, pop-rock and ballad genres. For the most part she doesn’t often sing complicated melodic lines with vocal melismas. She has the minimal amount of vocal cord connection and control to manage singing through simple runs, so she’s able to sing simple patterns of notes such as in “고추잠자리“, with decent accuracy and flow. She does tend to lack smoothness and her pitch becomes less precise the more complex runs become, such as in “안녕“, “외면.” This happens because Ali uses too much compression in her singing and due to having too tight of a grasp between her vocal cords with throat tension, she lacks the freedom to sing smoothly through vocal runs as they get quicker and more complex.

Overall analysis

Debuting in 2009 as a solo artist, Ali has overcome great obstacles in her life as a woman and as an artist. All of her hardships helped her grow as a vocalist, being able to carefully work on her craft and make a name for herself, especially for her appearances on shows like King of Mask Singer and Immortal Song 2. To date Ali holds the records for having the most wins on Immortal Song 2, as well as the highest score. The quality of her voice is thick, rich and very dark. She differs herself from most other females in the field for the tone of her voice and for having a range that’s placed slightly lower. She would most likely be classified as a lyric mezzo-soprano, which makes her stand out amongst all other sopranos in pop music.

Ali’s lower range has been the one to show the least improvement throughout her career but still maintains decency in support and development. She is able to vocalize with a neutral larynx, proper vocal cord connection and support down to G3 with quite enough consistency, as heard by the G3’s in “10월의 어느 멋진 날에“, “사랑했지만“, and G#3’s in “I Dreamed A Dream.” More recently she has also shown that she can produce well supported and connected notes even down to F#3, as heard in “그대는 어디에.” There have been inconsistencies with maintaining proper support below G3, as heard with the F#3’s in “어쩌다 마주친 그대“, “I Dreamed A Dream.” She also tends to push her larynx down below F#3 and not rely on proper vocal cord stretch, as heard by the F3’s in “외면“, “옛사랑“, “넌 친구 난 연인“, “울어라 열풍아“, E3’s in “누가 이사람을 모르시나요“, “Epilogue“, “사람이 꽃보다 아름다워“, “비 내리는 고모령“, and D3’s in “님은 먼 곳에“, “거위의 꿈.”

Her mixed voice is where most improvement can be heard. Technically speaking, Ali does have a slightly lower passaggio than sopranos, therefore most of the songs written for Sopranos could become slightly more challenging for her than it would be for an actual soprano. With that in mind, Ali does actually a very skilled job at staying in a fairly high range for her, although not completely singing above E5 often at all. She tends to respect her voice type quite a lot. Her improvements started happening sometime around 2013, where Ali started showing a much stronger sense of breath support in her mixed and being able to vocalize with less tension in her throat and less stress to her vocal cords. Whereas back then she’d lose her support around Bb4, she’s grown to produce much better notes even as high as C#5 and on very few occasions, D5.

The change in her technique can be heard quite clearly when contrasting notes around the fourth octave, such as the Bb4’s and B4’s in “세상 모르고 살았노라“, with the Bb4’s and B4’s in “환희” and “365일.” The main change has been that she’s learned to use a lot less pressure in her throat and opened up her muscles while keeping them relaxing so as to create less constriction around her larynx. This has made it possible for her to produce very large resonance and keep a very clean approach in her mixed voice with clear support and resonance even up to C#5, as heard by the F4’s in “I Dreamed A Dream“, G4’s in “지우게“, G#4’s in “비 내리는 고모령“, A4’s in “사랑했지만“, “사람이 꽃보다 아름다워“, Bb4’s in “걱정말아요 그대“, “옛사랑“, B4’s in “누가 이사람을 모르시나요“, “먼지가 되어“, “J에게“, C5’s in “그대는 어디에“, “먼지가 되어“, and C#5’s in “어쩌다 마주친 그대“, “내 생에 단 한번만“, “J에게.” The one issue with Ali is that she still uses too much throat pressure to sing higher and even within the C5/C#5 range she tends to have inconsistencies, especially when sustaining notes with more power. Even though support and good placement are present, sometimes tension overcomes support causing her to strain her voice within her supported range on times of inconsistencies. As such, it is reasonable to understand why above C#5 the tension catches up to her, as she’s unable to overcome the tension and becomes very shouty and throaty, such as in the C#5’s in “비와 당신의 이야기“, “그런 사람 또 없습니다“, D5’s in “봄비“, “The American National Anthem“, “아버지“, “옛사랑“, Eb5’s in “아침이슬“, “펑펑“, E5’s in “걱정말아요 그대“, F5’s in “세상 모르고 살았노라“, “I Need A Boy” and G5’s in “환희” and “그대는 어디에“, even when good placement is kept as heard in the D5 in “무인도“, and “그리운 금강산.”

Another part of her voice where very clear improvement has been heard is her upper register. Earlier in her career, Ali would solely use a falsetto and if needed be, she’d use more air pressure to make her falsetto louder, causing her to sound thin, airy and pushed, as heard by the G5’s in “고추잠자리“, G#5’s in “난 여자가 있는데“, and Bb5’s in “안녕.” As time passed by, with her learning to better use and control her airflow and breath support, she’s also learned to connect her vocal cords more properly in order to produce a head voice, which has also been produced with just the right amount of air pressure more than a couple of times. Accompanied by her good placement that allows her to produce resonance in her mixed voice, she’s able to maintain an opened throat and support her voice even as high as G5, as heard by the E5’s in “사람이 꽃보다 아름다워“, “Epilogue” and G5’s in “Epilogue.” Above G5 she tends to become thinner and shrill, as she’s unable to coordinate the proper amount of air pressure versus a good stretch of her vocal cords, as heard by the A5’s in “외면“, and B5’s in “비나리” and “먼지가 되어.”

Musically speaking, Ali has shown more than enough times that she’s able to choose very well between when to be stylistic and when to be more technical. She may have issues with her technique, but within her supported range she exhibits very good control of dynamics, of breath management and is able to sing like a chameleon in a number of different genres, ranging from traditional Korean pieces, to rock, to ballad and even more R&B centered songs. She doesn’t usually have trouble with nasality and is able to sing with very good placement throughout her range, as well as being able to control her voice well in terms of where to add tension in order to create more or less of a stylistic sound, as she can sometimes opt for certain tongue tension to create more of a muffled sound on purpose.

As a vocalist and artist, Ali has grown immensely throughout the years. She’s made a name for herself, she’s come out of her shell and grown as a woman with confidence, which shows in the growing quality of her performances as she ages and becomes more self aware. Nonetheless she still faces quite a few issues and even though she does possess good technique within a reasonable range, the number of times she tends to let it falter and sing with damaging technique can hurt her voice and can be very fatiguing. It is advised that if chooses to keep using many different stylistic approaches in her singing, that she finds the right amount of pressure without necessarily hurting her voice which could very well happen from too much throat tension as she sings higher.

Musicianship

When it comes to her singing ability, Ali excels the most in her natural abilities as an artist. She is not only skilled vocally, but she also shows a lot of skills in her artistry. Her main attributes are thanks to her songwriting and arrangement skills. In most of her Immortal Song 2 performances Ali is credited for partially or fully arranging songs with very clear skill. As such she’s free to change every song as she pleases vocally and musically, so as to create her own original versions of every cover she sings. On top of this, she’s also able to vocalize well and blend her voice well in order to keep a clear harmony throughout, such as in “사랑보다 깊은 상처.”

Label (Type of Vocalist)

HV Vocalists: High Head Voice Vocalists

MB vocalists: Mid-Range Belters

ML Vocalists: Mid-Low Range Vocalists

S vocalists: Stylistic Vocalists

WR vocalists: Well Rounded Vocalists

Vocal Range Video(s)

video by: Viet Tien

Best Vocal Performance(s)

Analyzed by Ahmin (Kitsunemale)

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151 thoughts on “Ali’s Vocal Analysis

    1. So when you push air from your diaphragm instead of keeping it a consistent stream of air, you push more as you get higher which is incorrect.

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  1. Sometimes When I push my voice too much from the diaphragm, it kind of get stuck in my throat, so that’s a result of pushing too much air right?
    Ever since I started talking and singing from the diaphragm, my voice has become more clearer, smoother, Fuller and kind of louder. People still complain that my voice sound low though, even when it’s high in my voice. I either put the weight of my voice on the chest or talk from the diaphragm, is it healthy?

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      1. The problem only occurs when I’m talking low tho,(I have a good sense of cutting when running out of air) maybe I need to rest it on chest. i have no problem with it talking loud, infact the diaphragm helps me a lot from hurting My throat lol.
        Singers like sohyang, Beyonce, and Whitney uses so much force from the diaphragm, I wish Ali will embrace that too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello 🙂 Thanks for your very educational analysis! Can I please ask if you know any other mezzo-sopranos with at least proficient technique (apart from Ali, Ann One)? If it’s difficult, any non-Kpop ones (apart from Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Pink, Jojo, I think you mentioned somewhere)? Really appreciate it!

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    1. Hi there! Mhmm that’s actually interesting since in idol groups they’re not common, we would have to think of mezzos who are soloists and the ones who come to mind are Nine9, Insooni and Lee Sora. I don’t think any of them are proficient though.

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    2. Oh and do you know any singer who you find it hard to decide whether she’s a soprano or a mezzo-soprano? I’m just very curious about what would someone at the ‘borderline’ between these two faches would sound like if there is any, or does the voice type not only depend on one’s vocal chord but also how they sing? (Sorry such a tricky question :D, hope you know what I mean?)

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  3. Hey there! I believe these are ALi’s most recent performances. Would you mind having a look how she did and correcting me if I’m wrong? 🙂
    1:07 – F#3, this low note sounds like it was well projected and nicely supported
    3:03 – C#5, this sounds resonant to me!
    8:26 – B4-C#5s, resonant B4 and nicely opened C#5s (resonant?)
    9:12 – C#5-D5, the C#5 sounds like it’s open and placed good, and same with the D5 but I’m not really sure
    9:18 – D5-E5-D5, the first D5 and the E5 sound throaty, but the second one sounds much better placed!
    13:19 – A4-C#5, resonant A4, but she sounds slightly fatigued on the C#5
    14:22 – B4-D5, resonant B4 but slightly throaty on the D5(?)
    15:32 – C#5, she sounds fatigued on this note, possibly because it’s her 3rd song

    Thank you for helping in advance!

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    1. Well since you did provide time stamps, such a long video is excusable since you are doing your part and I appreciate it!
      1:07 F#3 is projected, but there’s a puff of air in it and that may be stylistic.
      3:03 I’m on an airplane and the wifi isn’t great, so I’m not sure if I’m hearing this in the best possible quality. It sounds well placed with some pushing, but not too much of it.
      8:26 These did sound very strong, very free and with good support overall. Resonant yes.
      9:12 Oh this is where she started to over compensate by using more throat, the C#5 was already constricted with throatiness before the D5.
      9:18 Again the placement isn’t bad but there’s quite a lot of throatiness and constriction.
      13:19 This A4 to C#5 was much better than the previous time stamps at the 9 minute mark, but indeed more fatigued.
      14:22 She is getting more fatigued by now, even the B4’s are getting some throatiness.
      15:32 Well placed but since she’s been pushing for a while, pushing can only go so far so she will get tired so her throatiness starts to happen lower and lower.

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  4. Hello Ahmin!
    I wanted to ask if the mixed voice of a mezzo-soprano could reach higher than a G5? Or is it impossible? Because I dont know any singer who could…

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    1. I think I can help out the admins on this one. Ann One is a mezzo and can mix up to G5 or A5 with good technique, Beyonce is also a mezzo who can mix up to at least G#5 or A5

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  5. It really depends on the singer themselves, too. Some well developed mezzo-sopranos can absolutely support all the way up to B5, though it’s not very common. I believe there was once a mezzo in pop music (a little on the unknown side, though) who could support up to a Bb5 and resonate on G#5, according to three well established vocal critiques (and sites) – before regressing, unfortunately. Some voices (such as Beyonce’s) are set lower. It’s what we call a low-mezzo, that are more comfortable around the lower parts of their voice – but can still be comfortable belting on the higher ends. It really depends on how much they limit themselves and what they want to achieve. I’m a lyric-mezzo capable of mixing up to C6 (with horrible, head-dominant mix, however) due to experimenting with a coach. Hope this answered some doubts ad confusions.

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  6. Hey Ahmin! This is one of the latest performances of ALi’s on Immortal Songs. I think the beautiful rearrangement shows great musicianship! But we already know she’s a master at that! What I wanted to ask is; are these C#5s supported? they sound like she’s using proper breath support to reach the notes! but please correct me if I’m wrong 🙂

    ~> 3:12 and 3:41

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