T-Pain—singer, producer, voice-modification pioneer—will be the host of this year’s Your Next Record contest, presented by Guitar Center. The winner of the competition will record a single co-produced and co-written by T-Pain as part of a 3-song EP produced by Young Fyre, one of his frequent collaborators. T-Pain follows in the footsteps of past YNR hosts Slash, Keith Urban, and Travis Barker—a roster that’s given serious cred to the competition.

We asked T-Pizzle if there was any one person who’d given him the type of break he’s preparing to offer an industry rookie. He paused for a second before replying, “possibly Akon. You know, he signed me and let me do my thing… but other than that I pretty much did this on my own.”

Even so, T-Pain is all about giving up-and-comers a shot. “Me and Young Fyre, we’re going to literally just take days and listen to all the music,” he explained of his process for picking a winner. “I’m just looking for something new, you know? Something I’ve never heard before.”

When asked what studio equipment he’s relying on these days, T-Pain went straight to The T-Pain Effect (obvious enough), his own branded take on the vocal technology that made him famous. T-Pain has been working lately to break out of the Auto-Tune box, rapping and singing without any effect at all.

His final words of advice for potential contestants: “good luck, [expletive omitted].” Submissions for the competition will be accepted today through April 4th at YourNextRecord.com.