Category Archives: Miscellaneous Vocal Posts

To Jonghyun

I haven’t really written a proper response to this yet, but here it goes.

Honestly waking up to the news was one of the most shocking things ever. What could have happened? Is it real? How is one supposed to process that kind of information? I had been away from the personal lives of idols for a long time because it’s not healthy. I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t even know about his depression and it hurts so much.

In 2010 through 2012, I had depression. Many times I wanted to die. I didn’t want to kill myself but I wanted to die, hit by a bus or something. Every night going to sleep was so tough because there was this tight grip around my heart and it wouldn’t go away. I was fresh out of high school, I didn’t know what to do with my life. I felt ugly, alone and like I was going to amount to nothing.

I’d fall asleep later than everyone and wake up first, I’d have issues sleeping. When you’re sad, you usually know why and you just have to go and fix it or get over the reason why you’re sad. Right now I’m sad. Back then I was not. There was no reason, there was just a pain in my chest, my heart was in pain and I couldn’t fix it because I didn’t know how.

This would stay with me for two years with me hanging on and going on, until I was ready to move on and do what’s best for me. Through that time, it was the existence of many of these singers, of music, of my dreams that got me through it. They were the reason for my depression but also my remedy.

Jonghyun was a big part of this and to think that he was feeling what I felt is so heartbreaking. To think that he was going through this, taking pills to sleep. It hurts so much that I couldn’t do for him what he unknowingly did for me.

It’s through tears and pain that I have to say goodbye but his death shouldn’t be in vain. He didn’t die for no reason. This is to show us that mental health issues are real and are a disease. It’s not just something that can be brushed off as a personality issue or a mood. It needs to be dealt with and people have to come forward about it.

How many of these idols are going through this right now? How many of them feel this pain? I would never wish that kind of pain on anybody. Ever. So let’s not let this be the end, let us celebrate his life. Let us keep on fighting for our loved ones, for our dreams and never let others be alone. Let us work harder together.

We love you and will always love you so much Jonghyun. I hope that your soul is free and that you are in peace. It doesn’t matter what religion you’re, but let’s send him off with love so that he’s free.

Doctors, this is a disease. Start treating it as such. Save lives, like you’re supposed to. Depression is real.

수고했어요 형. 지금까지 많이 힘들었지만…

From: KpopVocalAnalysis, Ahmin


Industry Insiders Choose the Top 10 Idol Vocalists in K-pop

A very popular topic within the K-pop music industry is vocal ability. Fans usually get into very heated arguments over who’s the best of the best vocalist in the industry. So naturally, many websites take advantage of that and release articles with answers to everyone’s questions. However, those answers are never truly clear nor are they based off of enough credible sources. Many times news websites like Kpopmap and Soompi use catchy titles such as “Industry insiders choose…” or “Vocal professionals rank…”. But who are these professional industry insiders, and how is vocal ability being truly measured with such rankings? Is there truly an objective consistent measurable way to rank these vocalists; and if so, are these industry professionals truly credible enough to judge singing with such confidence?

When talking about professionals within the K-pop industry, it’s important to note who these professionals are and what their careers revolve around. If readers took their time to ignore the names of their favorite idols being mentioned in the article and instead paid attention to the names and professions of each professional in these articles, they’d realize that they’re often not singers and rarely are they actually vocal instructors or coaches. In an article by TVReport, there is never any mention of vocal instructors, but there is mention of specific roles in the music industry, such as “insiders through King of Mask Singer” (Soompi para 1, Koreaboo para 1, TVReport para 1). This generally refers to those who works in the TV show production, PDs, assistants, who may not necessarily understand vocal ability. Another article mentions the best vocalists in no particular order, but gives credit to their insiders and names each one of them. Other judges from King of Mask Singer were mentioned and their job titles were PD, indie musician, pop music critic, producer, composer, and editor-in-chief (Ize para 1, Koreaboo para 3). None of these are professions directly related to singing ability. If these people were asked to judge one’s music, producing, or composing abilities then their opinions would be more relevant. However none of them are credible enough to talk about singing ability since none of them are vocalists or instructors themselves.

There is no way to truly be objective about singing ability when considering opinions from people who are not knowledgeable of vocal ability. When truly analyzing this article, there are holes in their methods of evaluation. Evaluation methods such as votes can often seem more like a popularity contest than an objective process. In no moment is it mentioned why one voted for one over the other. If this was truly an objective look into vocal ability, the decisions should be unanimous. A score system might also be utilized. For example, Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon scored the highest grade with 93 points out of a 100, followed by Sistar’s Hyorin with 87 points, and JYJ’s Junsu with 51 points (TVReport para 5 – 11, Koreaboo para 4 – 6). However, nowhere in the article is it explained how these numbers came to be. There’s no explanation as to what the criteria scores are based. The use of vague words and explanations for each position such as “He’s got an explosive voice, he’s succeeding in the musical world, and his husky voice is especially charming” or “He has a charming tone and outstanding singing ability, and his musicianship can be seen in his writing his own music and lyrics” (Soompi para 8 – 9) may compliment their voices, tones, or songwriting abilities; but these statements have nothing to do with vocal ability. Although each one of these professionals is entitled to their opinion, simply using generic explanations to rank a top 10 with misleading scoring systems is subjective and should be taken with a grain of salt.

In order to rank vocal ability, one must have sufficient knowledge of singing. The aspect to consider is one’s control of their voice. A beautiful voice is nothing without the skill to use it. A voice is an instrument just like a piano or a violin. If you give these beautiful instruments to amateurs, they won’t be able to play them as well as a professional. The same applies to singing, so complimenting one’s tone is much too personal and broad and doesn’t speak to singing ability. One must first think of a vocalist’s control of pitch, breathing, the control of volume, and dynamics. One must consider if a singer is able to sing with healthy technique. Speaking of songwriting ability or charms has nothing to do with singing ability and should not be part of an objective ranking system for vocalists.

Although articles are often hot topics and can be used to gain views, they don’t truly serve as anything more than a cause for arguments and fan wars. For an article to have enough credibility, the people who are interviewed should have sufficient knowledge of singing in order to properly talk about it objectively like vocal instructors, instead of just entertainment industry professionals. Moreover, in order to truly rank these vocalists, professionals interviewed should carefully listen to every single main and lead vocalist of every active idol group in order to be as thorough as possible. Not only that, but they must watch more than just a few performances in order to be 100% accurate with their judgment of vocal ability. Of course such an article would take time but it’s completely possible and should be the aim for such rankings, instead of simply trying to gain views. The final ranking should be objective and if they were to truly listen to all idol vocalists in every idol group, the result of this top 10 would be very different.