Perhaps no artist is more responsible for the rise of autotune in the early aughts than T-Pain.
His filtered voice was simply everywhere, whether it was one of his hit singles or providing the chorus to an A-List rapper, T-Pain was ubiquitous.
Then he kind of disappeared for awhile.
A couple years ago T-Pain resurfaced on NPR’s Tiny Desk series, an intimate, stripped-down set in which the artist performed with an accompanying keyboard player and nothing else.
Most notably, there was no autotune for T-Pain and… he’s pretty damn good.
The Tiny Desk performance became rather infamous, racking up over 10 million views and the response from that show has driven T-Pain to go on an acoustic tour.
T-Pain announced the tour on Instagram saying he “wanted to do something different” for his fans as the tour will span six cities in October.
The Rappa Ternt Sanga artist spoke to NPR about what turned out to be a career-defining performance,
“For my whole career I’d been trying to convince people that I actually have a real speaking voice. So showing my singing skills on such a big platform was a huge accomplishment for me.”
And his inspiration for going on this acoustic tour,
“Fans, fans, fans. The love and respect I’ve received from my NPR performance has not only shown a different side of me to fans, but it also has introduced me to a whole different set of fans. All I see on social media is how all my fans want to see this in person, live, with their own eyes.”
Not only has this been a career-changing move, but T-Pain’s entire life has improved since his Tiny Desk performance,
“It improved my health, I know for a fact that I could’ve sounded better that day if I hadn’t been smoking so many cigarettes beforehand, and because of that I quit a week later and haven’t touched a cigarette since. My heart problems have gone away. I feel great. I can breathe again. A lot came from this performance.”
Shoutout T-Pain for reinventing himself at this stage of his career, it’s a beautiful thing to see.