Showing posts with label Mezzo-Soprano. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mezzo-Soprano. Show all posts

Friday 10 November 2017

JOJO - Fuller Soprano or Higher Mezzo-Soprano?

Post by: Montrez Rambo

Jojo is one of those singers that comes along and makes people turn their heads, Not only are untrained ears piqued by her vocals, but those with a vocal background also fawn over her abilities. She has a bright and coppery timbre, robust lower register, sizeable lower middle, bright and sheer upper middle and a rich upper register.

But what is her voice class though? Soprano has been tossed around as many a time as mezzo-soprano has. There's one performance that is tell-tale... Who's Loving you, Smokie Robinson tribute.

Monday 1 May 2017

DUA LIPA, Underdeveloped Soprano or Mezzo in need of nuturing?

Post by: Montrez Rambo

Dua Lipa! She's so gorgeous. What's even more gorgeous than she is? Her voice. She has a steely, mesmerizing sound that is husky and deep. Is she a mezzo-soprano or a textbook underdeveloped soprano? Let's watch the above cover of The Hills, filmed for Radio 1's Live Lounge and see if we can get to the bottom of this vocal conundrum.

Right off the rip. The girl was giving us lower register; tight and congested, but low nonetheless. Hovering around G#3, dipping to a solid Eb3. It wasn't the most relaxed but her larynx wasn't being floored either.

Friday 21 April 2017

JESSICA REEDY Low Mezzo-soprano or Contralto?

Jessica Reedy

Post by: Montrez Rambo

Jessica Reedy may not be a singer many of you have heard of, but in the gospel community she is well regarded, mainly because of her extensive lower register. Is she a rare contralto or one of many low mezzo-sopranos commonly mistaken for contraltos in popular music? Let's take a look at this performance to get a better understanding:

Friday 11 November 2016

[Vocal Profile] Regina Spektor


Vocal Type: Lyric-Mezzo Soprano
Vocal Range: Eb3-B5 (C6) (2 octaves, 6 notes)
Vocal Pluses:Regina Spektor possesses a delicate and bright voice, dexterous enough to switch between the registers without any effort [Rejazz], execute complex melisma [Rejazz/ Oh Marcello], and hold notes without fatigue [Us]. Additionally, the voice remains homogeneous in colour and retains its attitude throughout the range.

Monday 26 October 2015

[Vocal Profile] Adele

Vocal Type: Mezzo-soprano
Vocal Range: 2 octaves and 3 notes  (C3- F5)
Whistle Register: No
Vocal Strengths:  Adele is a Diva whose strength comes from her delivery and adherence to melody, rather than showy tricks or vocal gymnastics. Though able to hold notes [Skyfall], sing melisma [First Love], and jump octaves [Hometown Glory], she chooses to employ a simpler, bluesy vocal styling that keeps the understandability of her lyrics at the fore.

Adele's lower range is dark and solid. She appears to be comfortable enough here, being able to replicate notes hit in the studio when in a live setting

Adele's midrange is feminine, sweet and of medium weight. With an easy and effortless quality, it is the part of the range that is most lyrical [Lovesong]. It is also emotively versatile, with the Diva being able to inject a number of emotions into her delivery. For instance, Rumour Has It is direct and tinged with attitude; Make you Feel My Love is soft and forlorn; while Rolling in the Deep is clear and cool in its proud spite.

Thursday 17 September 2015

[Vocal Profile] Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams

Vocal Type: Lyric Mezzo-Soprano
Vocal Range: G#2 - Bb5, 3 Octaves 1 Note and a Semitone
Whistle Register: No
Vocal Strengths:Williams is in possession of a distinct vocal tone clean of grit and impurities, as well as solid musicality which she demonstrates with superb intonation and vocal phrasing. These intrinsic skills have served her well not only in the studio but during live performances (which include time on Broadway).

Sunday 3 May 2015

[Vocal Profile] Anouk


Vocal Type: Lyric Mezzo-Soprano
Vocal Range:G#2-A5 3 octaves and a semi-tone
Whistle Register: No
Tessitura: D4-D5
Vocal Pluses: A dark, warm and dense voice comfortable singing at small, medium to medium-large sizes. The voice is well connected in all of the range.

Monday 2 June 2014

[Vocal Profile] Janelle Monae

Vocal Type: Light-lyric soprano
Vocal Range: 3 Octaves, 7 Notes And 1 Semitone C#3-C7
Whistle Register: Yes
Vocal Pluses: Elastic, bright and feminine voice that is full of frenetic energy- particularly when the Diva belts [Tightrope]. Her anounication is clear and distinct throughout the range and this, in combination with not being one for floral or lengthy melisma, mean her lyrics remain consistently discernible. Having a background in theater also bolsters the Divas ability to effectively emote.

Midrange is of mid-weight, darkish and carries the character of the rest of her range. It connects to the lower-range, which is supported and without the huskiness/fogginess that some have when pushing their voices to their lower extremes [ Mr President]. The upper part of the mid-range is warm and rounded with an undeniable sweetness to it [Locked Inside].

Excellent understanding of her voice means she can manipulate her belting range exceptionally. For the most part her belt is head-voice dominant, thus it is smooth and without texture. She can however alter the balance of her mix, giving her a palette of varied tones to play with. An extreme example of this control is showcased in Come Alive (The War of the Roses) where she imitates an electric guitar.

The Diva moves effortlessly into her head-voice, where she shows great control. She is capable of singing with an operatic tone, which is full and measured [ Cybertronic Purgatory ] but can make her upper-range more contemporary, being light and agile [ Harmonies in Many Moons].

Vocal Negatives: Her vocal styling can be quite wild and eccentric, and not to the taste of everyone

Monday 9 December 2013

[Vocal Profile] Chaka Khan

Vocal Type: Spinto Mezzo-Soprano
Vocal Range: F2-B5 (3 octaves and a diminished fifth) (B2-E6)
Whistle Register: No
Vocal Pluses: Chaka is a unique singer, with her own style of inflection and timbre. Her voice has some similarities to other singers of her generation, but always retains a sound distinctly her own. Though her timbre is bright, she has an unusual amount of power behind her notes.

The low range is quite impressive, spanning down into the second octave. Her lows can either be smoky and whispery or more solid and defined, and though never achieving the same volume as her high range, her low notes retain her tone and style The lower range stays mostly homogeneous to the rest of the range.

Her middle range, starting around G3, has many timbres and textures that it can assume, and transitions absolutely seamlessly from the lower middle range to the top of her voice. The middle range has a peculiar ‘forward’ sound that gives the impression of the tone used in the belted range, aiding the sound of seamless transition.

The belted range is technically incredible, and the defining aspect of her voice. Going all the way up to a thrilling B5, the belted notes are brassy, bright, and full in sound – they are always mixed perfectly, and flow easily, though time has stripped Chaka of the top belts. Thanks to her mixing, she goes to the absolute top of her viable range, but belts far beyond ‘typical’ highs for any voice type.

Her head voice (whenever it is heard) is light, bright, and somewhat breathy.

Vocal Negatives: Her head voice on its own is rarely heard and sounds quite weak compared to her powerful, brassy belts. Because of her unique singing style, it may take time to adapt to her sound on the whole. She has a tendency to waver in pitch on the low notes, and the low range on the whole seems a little variable as to whether it will be solid or weak on a given day.

Credit goes to Marty M for this profile!

Saturday 6 April 2013

[Vocal Profile] Lee Ya Hi

Lee Ya Hi

Vocal Type: Lyric Mezzo-Soprano
Vocal Range:C3-E5, 2 octaves, 2 notes (F#2-F#5 outlier range which includes exclamations).
Tessitura: G3-D5 (1 octave, 3 notes)
Whistle Register: No
Vocal Pluses: An incredibly mature voice for a 16 year old girl-though it is clearly evident that her voice is still developing. This voice does not rely on its  range to impress, but leans more heavily on its emotive quality to do so; managing to convey the message of a song regardless of the language barrier. As well as being an incredibly emotive singer, she also possesses an amazing tone. Overall the voice, is thick, smoky with a raspy lower end, and a naturally coarse upper chest. Her falsetto is connected well to her chest register too.

The lower register (C3-F#3) is easily accessed with plenty of weight. It sounds mature and well developed- as heard in the song Because. She can also change the tone to a more mechanical one, if so needed- as heard in Am I Strange whilst maintaining a D3. Her tone remains rather mature at these depths [Hear: D#3 in Fool For Love], but she can add a slight warmth to the natural nasal quality to produce a melancholy tone [Hear: E3 of Because]. Overall, her lower register is versatile and brilliantly connected.

Her mid voice (G3-F#4) has even more tonal diversity; all stemming from her gorgeous nasal tone. Her mid voice also shows a great ability for ornamentation, such as that found in the intro of It's Over - where she demonstrates a gorgeous scat. However, like the lower-range, she can also add warmth to this middle register, creating an entirely different emotional vibe [Hear: in the A#3 of One Sided Love]. When she adds warmth, the weight lessens but it allows the voice to become more nimble,  allowing for some fairly ornate flourishes [Hear:The F4 of Am I Strange]. She also can carry that nasal tone up to F#4 before her falsetto breaks, as heard in the F#4 of

Her belting register(E4-E5) is utilized in a unique way. As she ascend into it, her voice loses weight and thickness but keeps the signature nasal tone. She can retain a considerable amount of weight up to a G4- as heard in Rose and Fool For Love, where that same G4 belt contains a vocal run (at the end) that has become somewhat Lee Hi's signature style- but as she ascends up to around a B4, her tone changes, becoming noticeably brighter. It's a brightness which she puts to good use helping to convey the message of her music [Hear: The D5 melisma in Dream]. (Other notable belts include that found in -which ascends upwards to an E5- and in It's Over - where a rapid rising melisma takes her to D#5.)

Lee Ya Hi relies heavily on Falsetto, rather than true head voice (A#4-E5). The sound is soft, sweet, and delicate. It is the only tone she has that ditches the nasal quality. Despite that, it remains brilliantly connected as shown in the beginning of It's Over , and

Vocal Negatives: Some may find Lee Ya Hi voice to be squeaky as she ascends the fifth octave in her chest voice. Also, her falsetto tends to sound frail (which personally bothers me).

[Note about the Vocal Fach: The only way it was possible to tell that she was a mezzo-soprano was by gauging where her falsetto starts. Her voice is still developing which is why there is such a considerable difference in vocal weight of her lower register and her middle chest.]

Monday 11 March 2013

[Vocal Profile/ Range] Jazmine Sullivan

Jazmine Sullivan

Vocal Type: Lyric-Mezzo Soprano
Vocal Range: 3 Octaves 2 notes and a semitone (A2-C#6)
Whistle Register: No
Vocal Pluses: A dark warm, rich, delicate and characterful voice that is best used at small to medium volumes. The voice has solid agility in all registers and is well connected between A2-G#5.
Tessitura: Eb4-Eb5

The lower register is where the voice shines most, being able to project below C3. The lower register is dark and dense -some may call it androgynous- and can carry rich support down to Bb2, live and A2 in the studio.

The lower middle register carries the same darkness, density and richness of the lower register, as can be heard on song such as If you Dare, Veins and Fear. It can be lightened significantly, hear Brand New. As we near the first passagio (Above E4), the voice brightens significantly, losing much of its density but maintaining its richness and, to an extent, some of the darkness. The lower middle also can be projected into a solid mid-belt that begins to bloom in size at E4/F4. It is evident in Stupid Girls during the second verse. The lower middle begins to pick up volume around G4 as demoed in the belts of #Hoodlove, the sustained A#4 belts in Stupid Girls, and the B4s in If You Dare. The lower middle also can be wielded at smaller volumes, in a "half-voice" as heard in Masterpiece, and Brand New.

The upper middle is bright, rich in color but fragile. The voice can carry a medium volume with effort but access the upper middle via the mask. Lately, her belts have been placed slightly higher and accessed by a more relaxed form of mixing to achieve more resonance. The sound is solid up to D5 before the voice becomes stringy around the middle passagio. The voice loses size above E5 and the belts from D#5 and above become slightly coarse. As in her lower middle, she has shown great ease singing in "Half Voice" in the upper middle as can be heard in the E5s in Brand New, the D#5s and E5 in Let It Burn.

The upper register is seldom accessed but Jazmine has reached C#6 in the studio, sustained a A#5 in the studio and sung up to G#5 live. The highest belted note was a G#5 in the song Masterpiece was was accessed by a head dominated mix. The upper register is coordinated well but does not retain the quality of the lower middle or upper middle. The true head voice of Jazmine is warm, thick and retains the delicate nature of the voice as a whole.

Vocal Negatives:At times the phrasing in the upper middle can be muddy [#Hoodlove]. The voice can sound fragile when pushed around the middle passagio (E5s, F#5s and G#5 in Masterpiece, The F5 in #Hoodlove.)

Friday 8 March 2013

[Vocal Range/Profile] Elle Varner

Elle Varner

Vocal Type: Mezzo Soprano
Vocal Range: 2 Octaves 6 notes (C3-B5)
Whistle Register: No
Vocal Pluses: Elle Varner's vocal styling is where much of the voice's uniqueness comes from. Instead of being ornate and overly indulgent in melisma, this diva uses her voice in an organic, unfussy way; somewhere between talking and singing--though firmly weighted more towards the latter than the former. In doing so, it allows Elle's singing voice to take on the nuances and traits (attitude/swag) of her speaking voice; ultimately giving it a unique and characterful quality [Hear:Oh What A Night].

Her lower range is strong, weighty, thick and warm. The midrange sees a hazy, edge to the voice develop, which lends itself to harmonising. It also gives the voice a distinctive colouring [Here: Stop The Clock].

The voice quickly drops weight and thickness as it hits the top of the fourth octave; but retain its rough, coarser texture. Up until an F5 the voice sounds incredibly healthy, with Elle displaying surprising ease and freeness in this part of the range. Unlike other Divas, who also mix to reach the fifth octave, Elle's voice doesn't suffer a blanching of its character and this is mainly due to her sensitive mix.

Her voice transitions easily into its head-voice/ falsetto, meaning it's possible for Elle to jump in and out of it without issue [Hear: Sound Proof Room]. Whereas the head-voice is full and resonate, she can achieve a different effect by opting to use her falsetto instead, which is lighter but shares the edgy quality of the lower range.

Vocal Negatives: Not the most agile or dexterous of voices.

Saturday 10 November 2012

[Vocal Profile] Naya Rivera (AKA Santana Lopez from Glee)

Vocal Type: Mezzo-soprano
Vocal Range: 2.6 Octaves and a semitone (C3-Bb5)
Whistle Register:No
Vocal Pluses: Naya Rivera has great control of her instrument. This allows her to sing complex melisma; hold notes for extended periods of time without wavering in pitch; and helps her to excellently control the dynamic and timbre of her voice [Hear Songbird]

Strong lower-range that extends to the bottom of the third octave. The notes produced here are full, rounded and of medium weight, but are accessed effortlessly meaning they don't have the foggy quality some Divas exhibit when hitting lower notes [hear Boy Is Mine]. 

Her belting range as a whole has a light, bright, and youthful colouring to it with a slight rasp at times. Both the notes at the top of the fourth octave and those well into the fifth octave sound to be achieved via great technique, thus producing notes that have an easy quality to them, with a consistent tone and timbre.

Naya Rivera primarily uses falsetto to reach the higher notes. This means notes produced have an airy sound, with a warm and light quality to them. Using her falsetto to hit notes makes it easier for her to flip between registers, but it is possible for her to create notes with her head voice- like the exclamations in Smooth Criminal- which are weightier and have a stronger dynamic.

Vocal Negatives: The voice can sometimes have a slight nasal quality to it.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

[Vocal Profile] Marina Diamandis (AKA Marina and the Diamonds )

Marina  Diamandis

Vocal Type: Mezzo Soprano
Vocal Range: 3 Octaves 3 Notes (A2-D6)
Whistle Register: No
Vocal Pluses: The voice is brilliantly connected, meaning it's possible for Marina  Diamandis to switch effortlessly, and quickly, between parts of the voice. She also has excellent control so she is a singer that can recreate her studio renditions perfectly in a live setting.

Heavy, weighty, dark midrange that has an almost androgynous quality to it [Are You Satisfied]. It's a styling that the voice isn't limited to, meaning it is possible for Marina to lighten the sound considerably; lending to exceptionally unique harmonies being created by layering the two timbres [intro of Hermit The Frog].

The belting voice, much like the midrange, is full of attitude and individuality. It's more than often used in the lower extremes (the fourth octave) and carries through the weight and rounded quality of the bottom half of the range. As the voice hits the fifth octave Marina creates a tone that is very much head-voice dominant. This creates a sweeter, warmer sound, and one which is lighter by comparison. It's also possible for her to pull these characteristics down into the top half of the fourth octave. [Intro, Primadonna]. 

The head voice possesses the duality of the midrange so Marina can either produce a tone and timbre that is thick and controlled, or one that is akin to a falsetto, being breathy warm and light.

Vocal Negatives:Though her individual style is a plus in this world of copycat singers, it would be nice to hear Marina embellish that style occasionally with some more "Diva-ish" vocal skills- such as melisma, belted and sustained notes. We like our Divas to show off once in a while.

Friday 31 August 2012

Vocal Profile: Gwen Stefani

Vocal Type: Mezzo-Soprano
Vocal Range:3 Octaves D3-D6
Whistle Register:No
Vocal Pluses: Instantly recognizable voice with a poppy and colourful tone that is well supported from the bottom to Middle of the voice and this is where it finds its most comfort. Gwen’s voice has managed to stay , relatively, in the same condition throughout her career (an aspect which is rare among most of todays singers).

The lower register, albeit lacking resonance, is very rounded, showing much control. The voice can easily mix into the upper belting register but Gwen stylistically often sings with a punky- throatier edge. The voice finds its ring within the middle of the belting register. The head register is light and agile, being able to instantly and seamlessly transition into it after a belted note.

Known for her unique trademark vibrato, Gwen’s voice is easily capable of transitioning from a solid belt to a Yodeling vocal wobble.

Vocal Negatives:Technique can be questionable at times. Her chest dominant belts can often sound heavy and strained due to the edgier sound she chooses. When performing live the key of her songs are often lowered so she can keep up with the band. Also, her head register is weak as it is often used merely for expression or exclamations; yet, can become much more resonant if properly executed. Also her Vibrato may not be to everyone's taste.

Thanks to Brian for creating the profile, and Serendipity for directing me to the video!

Friday 13 July 2012

Vocal Profile: Alanis Morissette

Vocal Type: Mezzo Soprano
Vocal Range:3 Octaves 2 Notes (B2-D6)
Whistle Register:Yes
Vocal Pluses: Unique and instantly recognizable tone. The lower register carries a dark and weighted tone to it and seems to be where the voice is most comfortable at.

Able to change the texture of the notes from dark and thick to a more husky sound. The true skill in this register can be shown in the ability to perform consecutive phrases, within the lower reaches of the third octave, at quick speeds or for extended periods of time [ Narcissus, Versions Of Violence or In Praise Of The Vulnerable Man].

The middle is marked with a nice full and vibrant sound [ That I Would Be Good and Thank U] and maintains this sound (up til Eb5).

The range, within the head voice, comes effortlessly, as Alanis Morissette spans across the 5th octave, and into the 6th octave with ease, being bright, piercing and marked, with a "siren-esque" character to it, . [Can't Not, Mary Jane and Wake Up]

Vocal Negatives:In the earlier years, vocal placement was a major issue but as the years progressed a healthier technique was established reducing this factor greatly (but not completely). Shows some difficulty mixing live, thus trying to "chest" her way the higher she goes, causing tension within the belts. Belts above Eb5 tend to be thin.

Friday 18 May 2012

[Vocal Profile] Donna Summer

Vocal Type:Mezzo-Soprano
Vocal Range: 3 octaves 3 notes. C3- F6
Vocal Pluses:Donna summer was a rear creature, in that though a technical singer with expert control over her instrument, she was also one capable of delivering emotion too. Whether oozing seduction- Love To Love You Baby- lamenting the loss of love-MacArthur Park- or giving attitude- Bad Girl- Donna Summer knew how to manipulate her voice to bring the meaning of her lyrics to life.

Her skill as vocalist meant that she was able to hold a note effortlessly- No More Tears (Enough is Enough)- and able to sing complex melisma throughout the range without issue. She also had a vibrato that could be manipulated in speed depending on the effect required.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Vocal Profile: Faith Hill

Vocal Type: Mezzo-Soprano
Vocal Range:2 Octaves  E3-E5
Whistle Register:No
Vocal Pluses: Faith Hill is a technical singer and as such sounds to have excellent control both at the bottom of her range and at the top. Her skill over her instrument allows her to hold notes for notable periods of time effortlessly, with or without her controlled and measured vibrato. Though able to utilise her voice with a country twang-Piece Of My Heart- she can also forgo it for a contemporary styling, thus increasing her versatility and the genre of music she sing.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

[Vocal Profile] Alicia Keys

Vocal Type: Mezzo
Vocal Range: 3 Octaves and a semitone Bb2-B5
Whistle Register: No
Vocal Strengths: Alicia Keys is capable of singing complex vocal runs, through the registers, and is able to hold notes for periods of time without wavering in pitch or tone [Fallin'].

The lower range is easily accessed and is supported, dark and of some weight [How To Save A Life]. Unlike other singers, who become foggy, the voice remains attributable at the lower extremes with a clear ring. At the bottom there is a slight breathy quality, but the voice is comfortable and clear despite the lowered larynx.

Alicia Keys' midrange is sweet and warm, with a smokiness and slight rasp to it. There is a dual aspect to this part of the range. She can sing in a hot, breathy style that is soft and wistful [In Common]. Or, though still warm in colour, she can make the timbre rounder and more in keeping with the fuller sound of the whole range [Karma]. Her voice sounds at its most easiest here.

The belting range is weighty and thick and often shares the smoky quality of the lower range. The notes above the fifth octave are most often reached with a chest-dominate mix, and the resulting tone has a good dynamic, fuller sound and a raw edge [Girl On Fire]. Alicia Keys does have versatility here and can alter her belt, shifting it to a head-dominate position [ How Come You Don't Call Me]. The result is a sound that is purer in tone and smoother in timbre, but this comes at the expense of power and fullness.

The head voice is pure and bright with a weight and warmth [Adore]. She is also able to sing in a falsetto-like tone that is light, airy, soft and lends itself well to harmonies [Empire State Of Mind].  

Vocal Weaknesses: The way Alicia Keys maintains her thicker belting tone, without mixing, could have a negative effect on the voice, ultimately inflaming it and producing a harsher sound.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Mýa Harrison Vocal Range/ Profile

Vocal Type: Mezzo-Soprano
Vocal Range: 3 Octaves 4 notes B2-F6
Whistle Register: Yes
Vocal Pluses:Light voice, with a pervading sweetness throughout. Mýa is capable of complex melisma (vocal runs) that can traverse through her registers with ease and speed.