Anyone familiar with Auto-Tune knows that the robotic-sounding voice modulation is a big controversy in music. Singers like T-Pain and Kanye West have been criticized for using it, even while Web shows like "Auto-Tune the News" have become massive hits because of the process. So we have heard a ton of Auto-Tune singing recently, but never anything quite like that of Emmalene (Emma) Robinson, a St. Petersburg, Florida, high school junior who seems to be able to sing in Auto-Tune with no computer software helping her out.
Robinson told Gainesville.com that her boyfriend, unbeknownst to her, posted a video of her singing Rihanna's "Stay" to Reddit's Music section, where he was careful to note that it had not been put through the Auto-Tune process. Her YouTube page jumped quickly from around 600 subscribers to more than 7,000. She says that half of the comments are very kind, while the other half either express doubt that her ability is legitimate or are outright rude. But she swears that her talent for sounding like Auto-Tune is authentic and that it is pretty much how she has always been singing. Of her style, she said, "I'd say it's a variation of yodeling or Celtic-type singing. It brings back those old Irish (songs) ... I don't know how I got it; I just can't sing without it."
The comments on Reddit are actually very complimentary. People wrote things like, "Please cover every T-Pain song." Robinson said that some people have gotten in touch with her about professionally recording but she doesn't know how real any of the offers are. With her talent, though, it seems that stardom is in her future.