Publication: Fast Company
Title: We Are All T-Pain
Article by: Jason Feifer
In this article Fast Company meets with T-Pain about the importance of branding yourself as a musician and exploring ventures outside of the record business.
The article explains the evolution of Auto-Tune:
“Cher’s “Believe” used the trick in 1998, earning it the name the “Cher effect.” T-Pain followed in 2005–an unknown rapper with a thing for top hats, who Auto-Tuned so consistently and colorfully that by 2009 he had three platinum records and had unseated Cher in Auto-Tune lexicon.”
And how T-Pain came to capitalize on the Auto-Tune technology.
According to Fast Company,
“We were like, what the hell do we do? Do we tell Pain, ‘Don’t use Auto-Tune anymore?'” says his manager, Michael Blumstein of Chase Entertainment. (Note: When you’re on a first-name basis with T-Pain, just call him Pain.) But no. The man had found a niche, an identity. “It just got to a point where, from a business standpoint, you’ve got to capitalize on it. It’s sitting right there in front of you.”
In 2009 the “I am T-Pain” app was released and sold more than 2 million units at $3 a piece. Both T-Pain and Antares (the company that licensed the software) made a nice profit.
T-Pain has since split with Antares and developed his own software with a company called iZotope. The software sells for $99 and is called the T-Pain Effect.
He has a new toy microphone out on the market for $40 called I Am T-Pain.
According to the article:
“… Auto-Tune has become a catchall verb, like Photoshopping. So T-Pain’s task is to change the lexicon one more time, to own it outright. “I drop the software off to every studio I go to,” he says. “I know Wayne’s using it. Kanye’s using it. Drake thought about it. There’s a lot of people, man. I love it. I love it. It’s all-out war.””