T-Pain Ditches Auto-Tune: 'You Can't Stick with One Thing Forever'
Auto-Tune really is dead for T-Pain on his upcoming album, "rEVOLVEr."
The Atlanta MC tells Billboard.com that he's ditching the audio production software that dominated his previous three albums in favor of technology of his own invention -- The T-Pain Effect, a joint venture with Boston-based iZotope that has just gone on sale to the public. "You can't stick with one thing forever," T-Pain explains. "After you figure out how stuff works, you've got to start making your own. When everybody talks about (Auto-Tune), they pretty much say T-Pain. So what simpler thing to do? It's supply and demand. You want the T-Pain sound? I'm gonna give you the T-Pain effect."
The T-Pain Effect, which lists for $99, gives users access to the rapper's "whole vocal chain" of effects, along with 50 beats and a full complement of recording and distribution software. "They can sonically sound like me," T-Pain notes, "but nobody's ever gonna be able to write songs like T-Pain. There's only one of those."
T-Pain says the new recording technology makes "rEVOLVEr," which he plans to release in late September or early October, "a real crazy mix of things" that was drawn from "seven albums' worth" of material. "There's so much different stuff on it. I almost confused myself on what I wanted to do because I've gotten such a completely different audience from...the Taylor Swift stuff and the Bud Light commercial and Toshiba...I've just gotten so many other people and so many different audiences. I had to make different kinds of music for everybody but still keep it classic T-Pain at the same time. That got kind of confusing and hard, but it all worked out."
Guests on the album include Ke$ha, Pharrell, Pitbull and Bei Maejor, according to T-Pain, while Chris Brown duets on the Top 40 single "Best Love Song." "I didn't even write that song; once I named it, I just went in the booth and blurted out whatever came to my head," T-Pain explains. "Chris came to the studio while I was doing it, and he refused to NOT be part of the song, so I told him to go in the booth and do the same thing I did, don't try to write nothin' down, just go in there and let's get it done. And he just blurted out lyrics and it came out really nice."
"Best Love Song" has been followed by another single, "Booty Wurk (One Cheek at a Time)" with Joe Galaxy, though T-Pain says some other recent singles such as "Take Your Shirt Off," "Rap Song" and "Reverse Cowgirl" were simply "time-fillers, just kind of, 'Hey, I'm still here. Don't forget about me, everybody' songs," and won't be included on "rEVOLVEr." As for his previous threat that he won't release the album until he hits a million followers on Twitter, T-Pain predicts that "It's gonna happen. I'm halfway there, 500,000. It took me a couple months to get there, so I figure (in) the couple months I've got left, kapow! It's definitely gonna happen."
T-Pain is performing Friday in Seoul, South Korea, and Saturday in Macau, China and is also planning European dates prior to "rEVOLVEr's" release, with a North American tour to follow. Besides making his own music, he's recorded new features for Ne-Yo and The-Dream and is expecting to hit the studio with Ke$ha and Ciara. And he's confident that his contribution to Lil Wayne's "The Carter IV" will be on the album when it drops Aug. 29.
"I think it's gonna be the outro," T-Pain reports. "Without knowing it, Wayne wrote a song called 'How To Love' and I wrote him a song called 'How To Hate;' we were in the same studio, but completely across the parking lot from each other and writing the songs at the same time. It was weird. I think he's starting out his album with 'How To Love' and ending it with 'How To Hate.' " And, T-Pain adds, "I've heard some of ('Tha Carter IV') and I gotta tell ya, Wayne has gone pretty crazy with his music -- crazy in a good way. This is gonna be an awesome album."