Although T-Pain recently proclaimed himself to be “done with Auto-Tune,” don’t expect his cyborgian croon to disappear from his next album, rEVOLVEr.
“It’s still there,” the R&B showman tells Rolling Stone of his signature pitch-correction, which he’s now using under his own trademarked tool, “The T-Pain Effect.” Released this week, the computer program is a serious upgrade from his popular “I Am T-Pain” app, which lets users record their own digitally altered voice singing hits like “Buy You a Drank” and is in the top five paid music apps for the iPhone. “It’s basically everything T-Pain uses in the studio, from vocal changes to reverb chords and compressers,” he explains. “It’s only 100 bucks, so this is for everybody. And I’m using it on my whole album, so that proves it works for professionals.”
Slated for an October release, rEVOLVEr will also mark the first time that T-Pain works with outside producers – “I’m having a hard time adjusting to it,” he concedes – including the Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams, whom he says brought “super soulful chords” to their collaboration. “The vibe is one of them classic Pharrell joints,” T-Pain says. “I didn’t want the new Pharrell, trying out stuff.”
As for featured artists, T-Pain plans to follow his latest Chris Brown collaboration on the set’s lead single, “Best Love Song,” by teaming up with Pitbull, Ke$ha and Lily Allen. “I sampled one of Lily’s songs [“Who’d Have Known”], and she heard it and wanted to do it official,” he says of the resulting “5 O’Clock,” which may also feature Drake and is on deck to be a single.
While T-Pain says he won’t meet with Ke$ha until after the pop star returns from her European tour, he expects the good times they had at a recent Las Vegas strip club outing to keep going in the studio. “I tweeted about her one night when we were in L.A. and I saw her perform, and that’s how we ended up hanging out,” he explains. “She’s the new pop version of a rock & roll artist. Trashing hotel rooms, doing what they want. I love that she does that and doesn’t care.”