There are 5 seperated types of vocal in the Easterns: Metal type, Wood type, Water type, Earth type and Fire type. Fire is the most special one among them.
A fire vocal is special because of its rarity comparing to the others. Vocalists who own this type of voice are rare, either, and their voices are very noticeable.
“Fire” vocal type has their natural husky. Their breathe are often pressed down instead of straightly projected like other types of vocal. It becomes narrow at high pitches, yet flexible and unique in timbre.
But it doesn’t mean that all fire types are hoarse or the hoarseness is easy to be seen. There are some with just a little bit of hoarseness.
Same with that, fire type is noticable for being husky, yet not every husky vocal is a fire one, for example : Mariah Carey, Leontyne Price, Cissy Houston, etc.
How do you notice a fire type of vocal?
“Fire”s hoarseness always comes with heaviness, solidation, a bit of darkness and mostly doesn’t have a core (forte in developed techniques than conventional ones).
Growls are often seen in Fire, but sounds more sharp and rough than other types of vocal, like a long-time smoker.
There are some famous “fire” types like Kim Burrell, Sisaundra Lewis, Marie J Cooper, Hyorin (Sistar), Đàm Vĩnh Hưng, Hồ Ngọc Hà, Siu Black and Phương Thanh. These singers are all easily noticed with their hoarseness, solidation, heaviness in their yet-flexible voices.
Hear her to know about this remarkable hoarseness.
In theory, fire type will become narrow in high notes. But if the techniques are mastered, they should still be able to project with resonant. However, comparing to “metal”, fire is still darker, heavier and thicker, which is the best part in this type of vocal.
For example, belted F#5, SoHyang (metal)’s head voice was bright, projected, but Sisaundra Lewis (fire) was still managed to keep the heavy, dark and thick vocal. That made Lewis’s F#5 sounded almost like D5.
SoHyang’s F#5 (12:33)
Sisaundra Lewis’s F#5 (2:28)
Fire’s forte is their flexibility that can suprise listeners.
Kim Burrell’s voice is a typical Fire with extreme hoarseness, narrow at high notes, yet her vocal run and run riff is definitely a remarkable one.
A correct fire type is often high, husky and growly, as if the person was angry and trying to keep their voice down. Phuong Thanh is a typical for this type. She’s a soprano with the ability to keep her high notes husky and as if she was growling all the time.
Siu Black is also a correct fire. Her voice is strong, high yet husky and narrow.
If you are a Fire, apart from training, you should try to conserve your natural timbre and develop your flexibility. Your timbre is what makes you - a Fire - standout.
For instance, although a correct mixed voice is still needed in high notes, but a bit of growling and running could still be acceptable. When you sing softly, try to add some white sounds, bring the breath to your nose to release the hoarseness. But of course, you must still try your best remain your emotions and skills during the song.