When considering the spectrum of artists and genres of music that NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series has given the spotlight to over the past few years, perhaps none of those performances stick out more than T-Pain’s from 2014. A stripped-down type of stripper music, the rapper performed bare-bones versions of classics tracks like “Buy U A Drank” and “Up Down,” all while giving them an earthier, more soulful spin. The arrangement also avoided an overindulgence in auto-tune, a production effect with which he has now become synonymous. Now, it looks like he’s taking the DNA of that Tiny Desk Concert performance and bringing it on the road with him.
T-Pain took to his Instagram page earlier today to announce a small batch of new dates for what he’s calling an “acoustic” tour. For an artist who was copied and ripped off into oblivion, he’s trying to carve out a new sound and potentially a new niche in the music industry. “For my whole career I’d been trying to convince people that I actually have a real speaking voice,” he told NPR. “So showing my singing skills on such a big platform was a huge accomplishment for me. 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.”
He wasn’t done there, saying how that particular performance that he did for NPR has changed him. “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.” His new tour, which kicks off in the fall, will stop in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C. and other locales around the United States. Check out all the details, including ticket info, via his website.