What do Raina, Soyeon, Luna, Gayoon, Ji Eun, and Hyun Young all have in common?
They’re all the main vocalists for their respective groups. While it’s certainly an esteemed position, it actually puts the girls behind in terms of popularity, compared to the rest of their members. Each group has a spotlighted member that always seems to be at the forefront of activies, such as UEE and Kahi for After School, Jiyeon and Hyomin for T-ara, Sulli and Krystal for f(x), and Sunhwa and Hyosung for SECRET.
What’s unfortunate for the main vocals is that despite holding the most important position in their teams, their talents are never recognized because attention isn’t placed as much on them as it should be.
So what are some of their grievances about this issue?
1.) Main vocals are usually not able to stand in the center position for performances.
Shinhwa’s Shin Hyesung once stated that it was “unfortunate to not be able to stand in the center despite being the main vocalist of the group.” 4minute represents such case, as Hyuna is usually put in the center while Gayoon sings her heart out behind her. SNSD’s Yoona is also situated in the middle, while main vocal Taeyeon is shuffled to the side.
Although it may not seem like a big deal, standing in the center has bigger advantages than one would think. Possessing the title of ‘main vocal’ is nice, but as an idol, being ‘center stage’ is sometimes more advantageous in terms of getting more exposure (and hence, more opportunities).
2.) Talent is under appreciated.
Idols are often stereotyped as being untalented and too focused on visuals. What’s ironic is that each group’s main vocalists has better live skills than some of the solo artists out there. However, due to the fact that they’re a part of an idol group, their talents aren’t always appreciated.
Radio appearances give them an opportunity to allow the public to re-evaluate their skills, but radio appearances aren’t always followed like how TV programs are. This means that their vocal skills are judged in the few short minutes that they’re standing on stage during a live broadcast. In the end, they’re simply dismissed as ‘idols.’
Thankfully, more opportunities have arisen with shows like “Kim Jung Eun’s Chocolate,” “Music Break La La La,” and “Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketch Book“.
3.) There’s an immense amount of pressure for them to be responsible for the team’s overall vocal talent.
Main vocalists receive harsher criticism compared to the rest of their fellow members, simply because they are the main vocal. Thus, their mistakes grade the team as a whole.
When a member that specializes in visuals or variety programs makes a mistake, the public is often more forgiving. Unfortunately, such grace isn’t granted for main vocalists, as one mistake can cost them the entire performance and earn a whole slew of insults.
4.) Their existence in the group isn’t always clear.
There’s the old saying that a bear will do the tricks while its owner reaps the cash.
Most of the main vocals are put in such a situation – they’ll put in everything they’ve got to hit those high notes for a perfect live, but must remain in the shadows and watch on as the more popular members take the spotlight.
While other members are praised for their beautiful looks and witty variety skills, main vocals are often shuffled back to their dorms. It’s not enough that they’re being generalized as an average ‘idol’ member; many feel that their role in the group simply doesn’t seem all that important to fans, since their fellow team members appear to be gaining more accomplishments for looking ‘pretty’ and being ‘funny’ or ‘charming’.
A group definitely cannot exist without a main vocal; they are the very foundations for the group’s success. Hopefully a day will come when vocals matter more than one’s beauty or ability to be the funny-girl.
Source: Nate | akp