Q&A: T-Pain talks new book, embracing his musical legacy

New York (AFP) – There may be a plethora of adjectives to describe music star T-Pain, but boredom is never included. So when the idea to write a book was presented, he knew what he wouldn’t write: an autobiography.

“I want to bring joy to others. I don’t want to kill the mood. I want people to feel good when they read what I’m doing,” said the Sommelier singer. “So, I felt why not do something that people can get something from?”

The “Buy U a Drank” singer goes from consumer to coach with his new book, “Can I Mix You a Drink?” Co-written with professional cocktail guru and beverage executive Maxwell Britten, the book, which displays gorgeous photographs of cocktails on elegant black pages, is filled with 50 alcoholic drink recipes inspired by Pain’s music and career journeys. He also offers brief personal anecdotes before each recipe, many of which are named after some of his biggest hits.

“When I go to these different places, all these different things that I probably didn’t think I would like, I ended up liking when it was done right in the area and from the culture I was getting it from,” the Blame It Coordinator explained. “He helped make this book so broad.”

In an interview with the Associated Press, T-Pain talked about the book’s authorship, his passion for music, and whether he’s finally ready to embrace his place in history as a musician. Answers have been modified for clarity and brevity.

AP: How hands-on have you been with “Can I mix you a drink?”

T-Pain: I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a book like screwdrivers, so I was definitely working on a lot of it. I made my odd requests…I’m So Hood drink, I asked to be served in a paper bag. At 5 o’clock I made sure there was ice cream inside, as if it was floating a beer, basically. I had a song called “The Red Cup” – one of the recipes is called The Red Cup. It had to be served in a red cup – it’s the finer portions, and you pour in the lines onto a red cup.

AP: What’s your favorite drink?

T-Pain: It was I’m Sprung because I was drinking at the time. But now, I’m So Hood, just for the sheer irony of being presented in a brown paper bag… Seeing that paper bag only brings light into my day.” (laughs)

AP: Can you tell us about your new music? I Like Dat has already racked up 22 million views on YouTube, and “I’m Cool With That” just dropped.

T-Pain: It’s fun not having to chase anything. I’m actually enjoying making music again, and it’s not a job. Actually it is still my passion. It’s not something I have to do to survive. It’s just something I do with my hobby in my spare time, and if it’s dope, why not let the world hear it?

AP: You’re a freelancer, so were you surprised by the success of “I love dat?”

T-Pain: Absolutely. Like I said, I’m not chasing first place, I’m not chasing money, so, you know, I see the exposure and seeing the acceptance it gets, yeah, that’s amazing…. the fact that people are still reacting to T-Pain in 2021 – yeah , I love him. This is a dream come true. People were killing and dying to keep playing the game for a long time.

AP: In the end, you’ll have an album called “The Gems.” What can we expect?

T-Pain: The reason it’s called a “gem” is because I feel like the world has been flooded with the same white diamonds – like white diamonds, meaning metaphor like the same kind of music everywhere. Everyone makes the same music, everyone makes the same video… I look at jewelry like that and say, “Why are diamonds so expensive if there are so many of them?” Everything has diamonds in it, everything – but what you don’t find a lot of are those gems.

AP: You’ve received a lot of criticism in the past for popularizing auto-tune, but are you starting to realize how much it really is appreciated by your fans and music lovers?

T Payne: I see it sometimes, man. And he cuts through the negativity a lot… As an artist and as a public figure, we always see the negative first. This is just what happens first. When we sit down and really relax and chill out and stop trying to impress everyone, we see appreciation. This is where I am in my life. I actually feel relaxed, relax and sit back and enjoy it. ___

Follow Associated Press entertainment journalist Gary Gerard Hamilton on social media with his handle GaryGHamilton

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