SM Entertainment‘s new boy group, RIIZE, recently made a notable appearance on NAVER’s new variety and music show NPOP. The show — which aims to showcase the best of Korean pop culture — had the boy band dazzling viewers with a repertoire of activities. However, Sohee‘s bold effort to show off his vocals seems to have gone wrong.
During their stint on NPOP, the group left an impression by performing their pre-release single “Memories.” Not only did they set the stage on fire with this number, but they also gave fans a sneak peek into what’s next with a pre-recorded performance of their upcoming title track, “Get A Guitar.”
riize shotaro dancing to exo’s growl on npop pic.twitter.com/mP8e87r3ux
— 🐈⬛ (@antonleekr) August 29, 2023
Among the group’s members, Sohee stood out by taking a bold step. He attempted to leave a mark by covering No Yoon Kwon‘s renowned ballad “If It Was Me,” a song known to demand a potent vocal prowess to genuinely do it justice.
Unfortunately, instead of applause, it seemed that Sohee’s rendition of the song became a topic of contention. Korean netizens quickly took to online platforms, especially TheQoo, where a video of his performance went viral.
소희 나였으면 커버 진짜 미침 ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ pic.twitter.com/oRfeJKtzcv
— 이유 (@lu_ve__e2) August 29, 2023
A post that has a clip of Sohee’s cover attached garnered more than 47,300 views and over 830 comments that had a shared sentiment of surprise and disappointment.
Many highlighted the stark difference between Sohee’s studio recordings and his live singing abilities, feeling that the latter was not up to par, especially when compared to other main vocalists from SM Entertainment’s line-up.
Some even expressed concerns over the declining standard of vocalists in new-age K-Pop groups, with the RIIZE star becoming a focal point in this discussion.
The online community also grappled with uncertainty about Sohee’s exact position within RIIZE. Was he truly the main vocalist? If so, the expectations were presumably not met for many. This ambiguity added fuel to the already blazing fire of criticism.
- “There must really be no available talents these days….”
- “There are a lot of performance-based idols^^ these days who can’t sing. In general, it’s the truth that our expectations for vocals are low.”
- “I thought he was main vocalist????????”
- “He’s the main vocalist..?”
- “I guess the talent in the male side has dried up these days.”
- “They never said he’s the main vocalist, so why is everyone talking about him being the main vocalist?”
- “He’s the main vocalist?”
- “Maybe I expected too much?”
- “They say there’s a trainee famine. Could it be true?”
- “The main vocalists for NCT or aespa are not that amazing either, so why are you making a problem out of this guy?”
- “I think he has the voice for recorded audio; his live is not as good as I expected. He’s for sure a lot weaker than other SM groups.”
- “He’s just at the Sinchon busking level lolㅠㅠ”
- “Whether he’s main vocalist or not, he’s just not a good singer in general…?? He doesn’t have the basic vocalization skills down.”