Vocal type: Light lirico soprano
Vocal range: 3 octaves 3 note (E3 – A6)
Supported range: G#3 – E6 (head voice) và G#3 – C#6 (Chest – mixed)
Tessitura: D5 – Bb5
Longest note: 16s (head voice)
Frequently singing the high hanging notes like B5, G#5
Easily pronounced, resonated with comfort and sharpness even at Bb5
Successively hit C6, C#6
For instance, at the first part of Arirang Alone, she used her light mixed voice along with her legato to give an appealing feeling of her half-voice, then gently switched to her subtle head voice.
So Hyang’s light mixed voice in comparison with her full mixed voice will somewhat show a very special aspect of her. Normally, the singers with a tough, powerful and dramatically sharp color in their full mixed voice will find it difficult to sing with their soft and flowy light mixed voice, or the opposite. However, So Hyang is managed to develop both of those strong points fluently.
Sing A5 with closed vowel /i/ (3:30)
Sustaining A5 for 7s with steadiness with metallization
F#5 at the vowel /e/
Continuous B5, A5 and G#5
Mixed C#6 full resonance
E5 with large volume of resonance, and incessant vibrato
Astounding vocal switch from light mixed mezza voce to full mixed F5 in a breath.
Continuous note running at high mixed range with comfort and vocal switches, shows a striking agility of a virtuoso artist.
Even So Hyang’s D5 is extremely gorgeous, successive, bright and very relaxing, comfortable and constant.
Recently, So Hyang’s belting E5 notes are getting wider, brighter and full, much more charming than in the past and no longer too flabby.
For instance, in this live video, So Hyang held a constant head voiced vibrato for 16 secs.
On her mixed voice, at every high notes, dynamics and vowels, So Hyang always control her vibrato incredibly.
One of So Hyang’s subtility is that she have learnt from Mariah Carey the way to avoid vibrato at the first part of the belting chain, and then slowly using it later on, which sounded very charming.
Talking about So Hyang’s head voice, it is a pinnacle in the Asian Pop industry. Only a very little number of pop vocalists can be as flexible and correctly supported in using head voice as So Hyang.
So Hyang has a wide head-voice range from A#4 to A6 (nearly 2 octaves), supported range to E6 and she can sing beautifully to D6.
With her mastering skills, So Hyang have upgraded her head voice into very aesthetic, much prettier than her normal singing voice. She has a full, resonant, bright and flowy head voice. She can change her shades of head voice from full to light, dynamic to soft with agility with various flexible skills and color with good control on many different speeds and pitches.
Her head voiced mezza voce is legato, light, soft, sweet, emotional just like a lullaby.
Constantly held her head voiced vibrato for 16 secs.
Head voiced dynamic with resonance at high notes fully and large volumed, created a tough successive and extreme peak that is not only powerful but also excellent at her skills, balanced larynx, placement, sounded very full, comfortable and didn’t get sharp
Continuously changed the head voice’s speed and used riff following her music sense (6:30)
Constantly used run/riff/melisma randomly and showed good control while performing head voice with flexible speed.(3:23)
Showed soft head voice while phrasing, and as light as a breath.
Like many divas, So Hyang has the ability to pronounce well while using head voice. In a song, she can pronounce various words softly and spongy while performing head voice.
All of So Hyang’s head voice skills can be summarized in this clip.
So Hyang is not the singer with the best head voice skill, but she has passion and inspiration for it. Most of So Hyang’s songs are head voice included yet they never bore the listeners. In the opposite, the audience always find them emotional and passionate.
She always try to include head voice into her songs with subtle, emotional, soulful variation, shows her excellent mastering, flexible and creative skills. There are many academical vocalists who used head voice fluently, but there are rarely someone can use it in pop creatively and inspirative like So Hyang. Therefore, she is a true rarity in the Asian music industry.
Normally, So Hyang can rely on her ability to balance the mixed voice to prevent nasal beltings, but she is nasal in almost all of the phrases. For example in this live performance, So Hyang belted Eb5 at the last word “love” excellently, but she was using her nasal voice in almost all of her phrases and beltings from G#4 to C5
Or in this clip, when So Hyang had her nasal voice at the second C5 (0:08) and the third (0:16), the D5 (1:26) that showed the sign of the lack of support.
Sometimes, due to the health condition, So Hyang had her nasal right at her fortes, such as in this live performance, when So Hyang used her nasal voice even at Bb5, G#5 and all the middle notes later on.
At high range, this placement is excellent to ballance the mixed voice and charm the voice. But at middle and middle-high range, it makes So Hyang sound heady, create narrow sounds and doesn’t give the listeners the comfortable feeling.
Take a look at So Hyang’s “don’t” and Whitney Houston’s in the 2 clips below to see this.
So Hyang (3:22)