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Radio Station of Jorja Smith

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  • Jorja Smith: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    12:29

    Watch Jorja Smith play On My Mind, Teenage Fantasy and Blue Lights at the Tiny Desk.

    Did you know you can watch new Tiny Desk Concerts on npr.org ONE WEEK before they go up on YouTube? Click here:

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    June 11, 2018 | Sidney Madden -- It's a good thing the weather was gloomy the day Jorja Smith rolled in for her Tiny Desk concert. Even though the skies threatened rain and thunder, the overcast light lingering in our dimmed office space allowed the teardrop pendant lights, hung from the ceiling by her lighting team, to cast the desk in a warm, honey-hued glow. And while the nimble guitar strings and double-time drums of her supporting band was enough to dizzy the focus in the room, it was the U.K. singer's slow, silky cadence that anchored the performance in tranquility.

    As Smith worked her way up the scales to each high note in On My Mind (a track usually sung over a reverberated garage beat) and Teenage Fantasy (a ballad to love lost written when she was 16), there wasn't an ounce of pressure evident in her face or body language. When she closed her eyes to deliver the rap verse of Blue Lights, the anti-injustice song that first positioned her as a SoundCloud darling in 2016, a hush fell over the room in awe of her precision.

    Though Smith's boldface collaborations to date range from Drake to Kali Uchis, her debut album Lost & Found is free of featured acts. Much like this Tiny Desk performance, those 12 tracks show off Smith's talent in a minimalist way — musing about life and love with the ambiguity and sense of agency that only comes with newfound freedom.

    After she finished, but before retreating to the comfort of Supreme sweats, Smith and her band bestowed the Tiny Desk with a blue lava lamp signed by every member. Keep an eye out for that Easter egg in future episodes.

    Set List

    On My Mind
    Teenage Fantasy
    Blue Lights

    MUSICIANS
    Jorja Smith, Femi Koleoso, Benjamin Totten, Mutale Chashi, Amane Suganami

    CREDITS
    Producers: Sidney Madden, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Beck Harlan, Bronson Arcuri; Lighting: Tyler C. Trofatter; Production Assistant: Bobby Carter; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.

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  • Mac Miller: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    17:10

    Watch Mac Miller play Small Worlds, What's the Use? (Feat. Thundercat) and 2009 at the Tiny Desk.

    Did you know you can watch new Tiny Desk Concerts on npr.org ONE WEEK before they go up on YouTube? Click here:

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    Aug. 6, 2018 | Bobby Carter -- There was a shift in Mac Miller's boisterous demeanor as he started the third of his three-song Tiny Desk set. It's the first time he's performed tracks from his new album, Swimming, in front of an audience. On 2009, he rubbed his chin with clinched eyes, looking like a young man who's beginning to crack the code. Backed by a piano loop and a string quartet, he reflected on his journey's peaks and valleys thus far.

    I ain't asking why no more
    I know I'll take it if it's mine
    I don't stay inside the lines
    It ain't 2009 no more
    Yeah, I know what's behind that door

    With nearly a decade under his belt at 26 years old, these words ring like an artist twice his age.

    We were introduced to Mac Miller via 2011's XXL Freshman Class, which featured a special crop of MCs such as Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill and YG, all of whom are now considered in the upper echelon of hip-hop. After his big splash, he's been able to find a groove and consistently release quality rap records, ultimately keeping his name in the conversation with the other young greats. His 2011 album, Blue Slide Park, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the first independently distributed debut album to do so since 1995's Dogg Food by Tha Dogg Pound. These consecutive triumphs amassed plenty of fame, fortune and insurmountable obstacles, causing a stumble here and there. Throughout the years, however, Mac has brushed himself off and put it in the music.

    For this performance, Mac Miller invited frequent collaborator Thundercat, who graced the Tiny Desk last year and will join Mac on tour this fall. Thundercat put on a dazzling shaker routine and played the deep centerpiece bass line on What's The Use? These Swimming iterations don't veer far away from the recorded versions, but here, his lyrics seem easier to interpret under live instrumentation.

    Set List
    Small Worlds
    What's the Use? (Feat. Thundercat)
    2009

    Musicians
    Mac Miller (Vocals), Thundercat (Bass), Justus West (Guitar), Klynik (Keys), Joe Cleveland (Bass), Kendall Lewis (Drums), Robin Fay-Massie (Violin), YaShauna Swan (2nd Violin), Lelia Walker (Viola), Melanie Hsu (Cello)

    Credits
    Producers: Bobby Carter, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, CJ Riculan, Beck Harlan, Khun Minn Ohn; Production Assistants: Catherine Zhang, Téa Mottolese; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.

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  • Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    15:38

    Watch Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals play Come Down, Heart Don't Stand A Chance, Put Me Thru and Suede at the Tiny Desk.

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    August 15, 2016 by BOBBY CARTER • Good luck trying to classify Anderson .Paak and his band The Free Nationals. Much of their sound is layered atop a soulful hip-hop foundation; from there, your safest bet is to call it a hodgepodge of genres in the best way possible. Guitarist Jose Rios and bassist Kelsey Gonzalez inject a hard-rock edge into the Hi-Tek-produced Come Down, this set's opening number. When you hear them play the first few jazz chords of Heart Don't Stand A Chance, it's hard to simply call this R&B.

    It's been a slow build for .Paak, who released a few mixtapes before his 2014 debut album Venice. This year has marked his official breakout with Malibu, on which he did what so many in his position fail to do: He capitalized. After bursting into the spotlight with his appearances on Dr. Dre's Compton LP, he immediately prepped the release of Malibu. The album sculpted an entirely new lane for Anderson .Paak. He can rhyme with best of 'em, and his vocal styling, reminiscent of '70s and '80s greats, is invigorating when set against today's tender R&B elite. Before all that, he's a drummer-slash-bandleader.

    I've experienced three separate presentations of this band. First, there's the recorded version, on which .Paak collaborates with some of hip-hop's finest producers. Then, their tight stage show hits you in the chest with 90-plus minutes of pure energy. In the midst of a whirlwind tour, they stopped by the Tiny Desk and reworked three cuts from Malibu, along with an audience request that shocked even them. They stripped down and pulled back just enough to fill the room.

    Malibu is available now:
    iTunes:
    Amazon:

    Set List:
    Come Down
    Heart Don't Stand A Chance
    Put Me Thru
    Suede

    Credits:
    Producers: Bobby Carter, Niki Walker, Abby O'Neill; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Claire Hannah Collins, Nickolai Hammar; Production Assistant: Sophie Kemp; Photo: Cameron Robert/NPR.

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  • Lous and The Yakuza: Tiny Desk Concert

    18:22

    The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    Bob Boilen | January 27, 2021
    There's an elegant vibe as Lous and The Yakuza perform a Tiny Desk from the Book Bar in the Hôtel Grand Amour in Paris. And while the music is smooth, upbeat and warm, what lies beneath in Lous backstory, in her French lyrics, is, at times, deep and disturbing.

    Lous — an anagram for soul — is Marie-Pierra Kakoma, a 24-year-old artist based in Belgium but born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She came to Belgium because her family escaped war in the Congo. They were refugees. For her Tiny Desk (home) concert, she opens with her 2019 single, Dilemme. The song conjures up images of growing up in the Congo and Rwanda: Living haunts me, everything that surrounds me made me mean, she sings in French. Her songs are often set to Congolese rumba rhythms, filled with resilience, beauty and resistance.

    These songs come from her 2020 album, Gore, and are steeped in a life that saw her mother imprisoned in the Congo for being Rwandan, then become separated during their escape to Belgium. They were eventually reunited, butLous was a troubled teen and spent a period of time adrift before pulling her life together in pursuit of music and art. There's much to uncover and discover here. This Tiny Desk (home) concert is a deep journey.

    SET LIST
    Dilemme
    Bon Acteur
    Dans La Hess
    Solo
    Amigo

    MUSICIANS
    Lous: vocals
    Joseph Nelson: keys
    Jamiel Blake: drums
    Swaeli Mbappe: bass
    Ayelya Douniama: vocals
    Myriam Sow: vocals

    CREDITS
    Video: Lenny Grosman, Robin Conrad and Loris de Oliveira
    Audio: Charles Darnaud
    Directors: Lenny Grosman and Robin Conrad
    Camera: Loris de Oliveira
    FOH Engineer: Florent Livet
    Monitor Engineer: Antoine Lalbat
    Production: Jim Schachmes and Brieux Ferot
    Stage Manager: Maddly Mendy-Sylva

    TINY DESK TEAM
    Producer: Bob Boilen
    Video Producer: Maia Stern
    Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
    Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame, Morgan Noelle Smith
    Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
    Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

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  • Daniel Caesar: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    16:34

    June 4, 2018 | Bobby Carter -- Daniel Caesar and his band had a clear vision for their Tiny Desk performance. While already confined to a small space, they opted to congregate at the piano, where producer and music director Matthew Burnett sat to create what feels like a fly-on-the-wall moment. We're presented a purity that's nearly impossible to capture on an album.

    The success of Caesar's debut LP, Freudian, has created a groundswell of fanfare and exposure for the 23-year-old singer-songwriter. It was nominated for two Grammys and won two Junos (Canada's equivalent to the Grammys). We've seen him perform on Late Night with Seth Meyers, pop stars are serenading him with his own songs and his set at this year's Coachella festival was one of the most buzzed about (behind the queen Bey, of course). Caesar's is an organic ascent that's yet to reach its peak.

    Caesar carries a coy aura about him, until he opens his mouth to sing. The years of training in church, fused with natural talent, is on full display. Supporting vocalists Camille Harrison, Danah Berry and Nevon Sinclair are in tow for the whole ride, providing some of the richest harmonies we've heard at the Tiny Desk. I found myself fixated on the playful manner in which the band members interacted with each other.

    Caesar didn't hold back with the set list. He performed his three most-streamed songs (a combined 249,000,000 plays on Spotify alone), including Best Part, which included a Tiny Desk guest appearance by NPR Music favorite H.E.R.

    Set List

    Japanese Denim
    Get You
    Best Part (feat. H.E.R.)

    MUSICIANS
    Gabriella Wilson (H.E.R.), Ashton Simmonds (Daniel Caesar), Adrien Bent (Drums), Saya Gray (Bass), Matthew Burnett (Piano), Nevon Sinclair (Vocals), Danah Berry (Vocals), Camille Harrison (Vocals)

    CREDITS
    Producers: Bobby Carter, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, CJ Riculan, Kara Frame; Photo: Morgan Noelle Smith/NPR.

  • C. Tangana: Tiny Desk Concert

    15:31

    The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    Anamaria Sayre | April 20, 2021
    C. Tangana's extended family basking in the warmth of sobremesa with easy smiles and effortless baile looks otherworldly after more than 13 months amid a global pandemic. But considering the Spanish rapper's past year back home in Madrid, the simplicity feels fiercely authentic. (Check his mama and tía vibing in the corner.)

    This first live performance of his latest album, El Madrileño (including a global premiere of a fresh single, Me Maten) buzzes with communal energy, spotlighting talent from across Latin landscapes. From Mexican Regional to Spanish flamenco, C. Tangana is simultaneously coming home and reaching out to bridge Latin music boundaries. He's building a community of cross-cultural collaboration, rooted in a unifying love of language and tradition, making it clear he's intent on giving everyone a seat at the table.

    The entirety of the show, from impromptu harmony to string octet, hums along with a distinctly Spanish cadence, paying homage to the flamenco-infused streets the global superstar came up in. The concert's star-studded cast of Spanish collaborators, including long-time friends (producers Alizzz and Victor Martínez) and new contributors (rumba legend Kiko Veneno and flamenco-pop icon La Húngara), are each spotlighted for their contributions to the record.

    All these parts compound in a room full of people with a shared desire to connect and create juntos, manifesting an authentic joy we've seen again and again at the real Tiny Desk. And at the helm is C. Tangana, humming a melody and bringing the room to life: hands, harmonies, heartbeats, perfectly in sync.

    SET LIST
    C. Tangana and Antonio Carmona, Me Maten
    C. Tangana and Kiko Veneno, Los Tontos
    C. Tangana, Demasiadas Mujeres (contains replayed elements of “Campanera”)
    C. Tangana, La Húngara and Niño De Elche, Tú Me Dejaste De Querer

    MUSICIANS
    C. Tangana: vocals
    Alizzz: vocoder, keys
    Victor Martínez : guitar, percussion
    Antonio Carmona: vocals, percussion
    Kiko Veneno: vocals, guitar
    La Hungara: vocals
    Niño De Elche: vocals, guitar
    Juan Carmona: guitar
    Huberto Morales: percussion
    Lucia Fernada Carmona: vocals
    Pilar Cerezo: vocals
    Marina Carmona: vocals
    África Heredia: vocals
    María Rubio: vocals
    Mariola Orellana: vocals
    Patri Alfaro: vocals
    Mari Estrada: vocals

    STRING OCTET
    Pablo Quintanilla
    Paula Sanz
    Franciso Palazón
    Marina Arrufat
    Paloma Cueto-Felgueroso
    Adrián Vázquez
    Irma Bau
    Daniel Acebes

    CREDITS
    Video: Little Spain, Santos Bacana, Maria Rubio, Cris Trenas
    Audio: Jorge Rodriguez, Sergio Jiménez, Pablo Kohler, Harto Rodriguez, El Madrileño, Alex Cappa
    Director of Photography: Nauzet Gaspar
    Art Director: Mariola Viejo
    Costume Designer: Alex Turrión
    Hair and Makeup: Miky Vallés
    1st AD: Joel Marquez
    Editor: Maia de Zan Hatch
    Color: Marti Somoza
    Production Manager: Yago López Abril
    Recording Engineers: Jorge Rodriguez, Sergio Jiménez, Pablo Kohler
    Mixed: Harto Rodriguez, El Madrileño at Metropol Studios
    Mastering Engineer: Alex Cappa at Metropol Studios

    TINY DESK TEAM
    Producer: Bobby Carter
    Video Producer: Maia Stern
    Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
    Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame, Bob Boilen
    Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
    Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

    #ctangana #tinydesk #nprmusic

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  • Masego: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    20:26

    Watch Masego play Tadow, Nayhoo, Queen Tings, Black Love and I Do Everything at the Tiny Desk.

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    July 24, 2019 | Sidney Madden -- Imagine for a moment if Cab Calloway, the Cotton Club's exuberant bandleader, was reincarnated in the 21st Century. Now imagine if he was dropped in the middle of the music world of today. He'd no doubt be a tall and slender, silky-wearing goof ball with a moisturized braid-out, instruments inscribed as knuckle tattoos and a penchant for genre-blending. Yes, the spirit of Cab lives on in Masego, the singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who surprised NPR's Tiny Desk audience with a zany sense of showmanship and a demonstration of his own genre, TrapHouseJazz.

    Masego's five-song set at the Desk wound up feeling something like a jam session — props and surprise guests included. First, before opening with the jazzy Tadow, Sego pulled off a quick, mini-prank by sending his friend, comedian Lorenzo Cromwell, up to the mic before stepping forth himself. Next, Sego tossed up 100 dollar bills with his face on it and beckoned the crowd into a call-and-response of hi-di-hi-di-hi-di-ho. Finally, to have a few more moments of fun after I Do Everything — and to prove he really does do everything — Sego juggled water bottles to the rhythm of the luscious music his band providing.

    Born in Jamaica and raised in Virginia, Masego grew up on gospel, jazz and hip-hop. With an appetite for all genres and an ambidextrous nature for learning music, the 26-year-old's been mixing all his influences up, traveling the world and collaborating with the likes of GoldLink, SiR and Ari Lennox. Where his sound takes him next is anyone's guess, but at the Tiny Desk, the multi-hyphenate found his sweet spot.

    SET LIST
    Tadow
    Nayhoo
    Queen Tings
    Black Love
    I Do Everything

    MUSICIANS
    Masego: vocals, saxophone; Jon Curry: drums; Dan Foster: keys, saxophone; Maxwell Hunter: bass; Melanie Faye: guitar; Lex Nelson: vocals; Lorenzo Cromwell: comedic saxophone

    CREDITS
    Producers: Abby O'Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, Patrick Boyd; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Kaylee Domzalski, CJ Riculan, Tsering Bista; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR

  • Adele: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    14:35

    Watch Adele play Someone Like You, Chasing Pavements and Rolling In The Deep
    at the Tiny Desk.

    Did you know you can watch new Tiny Desk Concerts on npr.org ONE WEEK before they go up on YouTube? Click here:

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    In a stripped-down three-song set at the NPR Music offices, the Grammy-winning U.K. pop star showcases her brilliant voice and seemingly effortless charisma. Watch Adele perform two new songs to go with her ubiquitous hit Chasing Pavements.

    Set List:
    Someone Like You
    Chasing Pavements
    Rolling In The Deep

    For more videos, visit npr.org/tinydeskconcerts

  • Dua Lipa: Tiny Desk Concert

    15:58

    The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    Dec. 4, 2020 | Abby O'Neill -- With a genuine smile stretched across her face, Dua Lipa seems overjoyed to reconnect with her band for their only performance since their tour in support of her sophomore album, Future Nostalgia, was cancelled in March. Glowing from the inside out and accentuated by the apricot hues of a backdrop in a London studio, Dua and her backup vocalists and band bring life and warmth into households in need of levitating and some pep in their step this winter. This vibrant four song set of dance hits, all from Future Nostalgia, will surely have you cutting up the floor in your kitchen while quarantining in the cold weather.

    While we can't film our Tiny Desk concerts at NPR's D.C. office during the pandemic, our home series has created opportunity for global megastars like Dua Lipa to bring her uptempo dance joints all the way from London. Of Kosovar Albanian descent, Dua Lipa was raised in the UK and rose to super stardom in the three years since her eponymous debut album dropped in 2017. NPR Music featured her in our docu-series Noteworthy at the onset of her career. It's been extraordinary to witness her colossal takeover of the pop music landscape. Dua sums the times during her intro of Love Again: It's about manifesting good things into your life, when things aren't quite going your way.

    SET LIST
    Levitating
    Pretty Please
    Love Again
    Don't Start Now

    MUSICIANS
    Dua Lipa: vocals
    Matthew Carroll: bass
    Alex Lanyon: guitar
    Naomi Scarlett: vocals
    Ciara O'Connor: vocals
    Izzy Chase: vocals
    Matt Maijah: vocals

    CREDITS
    Video: Ceremony London, James Barnes
    Audio: WFB Live, Will Nicholson
    TINY DESK TEAM
    Producer: Abby O'Neill
    Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith
    Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
    Associate Producer
    Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Kara Frame, Maia Stern
    Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
    Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

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  • Alicia Keys: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    27:47

    This performance was recorded on Feb. 12, 2020. We will continue releasing Tiny Desk videos of shows that had already been taped. In light of current events, NPR is postponing new live tapings of Tiny Desk Concerts. In the meantime, check out Tiny Desk (home) concerts! They’re recorded by the artists in their home. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    June 17, 2020 | Abby O'Neill -- On a brisk February morning, Alicia Keys, full of effervescence, entered NPR through the loading dock wearing a canary yellow faux fur coat. During our ride to the fourth floor, she joked about how she hadn't been invited to play at the Tiny Desk. That, of course, wasn't exactly true. We worked on and off for years to make this moment happen, and I can say wholeheartedly that it was worth the wait.

    Alicia Keys has an aura that you can sense the second she enters a room, or in my case, an elevator. She radiates compassion and kindness. This spirit is the key to Keys's songwriting, which is rooted in introspection and mindfulness.

    As she approached her piano, a bit surprised at the amount of people in the room, she smiled and remarked over her shoulder, Gee, the Tiny Desk is tiny! She kicked off the set with an uncanny ode to combat the darkness of this moment in American history: Show Me Love, a single she released in 2019. No one could have predicted then how much her lyrics and musical healing would be crucial during this emotionally fraught time of unprecedented political and racial unrest, heightened by three months of quarantine due to a global pandemic.

    The stand-out moment during her Tiny Desk was the premiere of Gramercy Park, a song from her upcoming self-titled album, ALICIA, which is set to be released this fall. It's one of those timeless songs that will transcend radio formats and genres, with lyrics that address how utter selflessness and worrying about making everyone happy but yourself can throw your own center askew. The song's spiritual refrain is sure to be a sing-along moment for the rest of Keys's career.

    She told the crowd after Gramercy Park that she's struggled with appeasing people her whole life, but she's trying harder now to set boundaries. Luckily for the Tiny Desk audience, that resolution didn't pertain to this concert. After wrapping up what was to be a three-song set with her latest single Underdog, which you may have seen her perform at this year's Grammys, the crowd begged for an encore. After crowdsourcing suggestions, she and her band delivered a riveting rendition of Keys's breakout 2001 single, Fallin'.

    The world, now more than ever, needs more love, reflection and accountability – a mantra that's woven into every fiber of Alicia Keys's being and every lyric of her songs.

    SET LIST
    Show Me Love
    Gramercy Park
    Underdog
    Fallin'

    MUSICIANS
    Alicia Keys: vocals, piano; RAII & Whitney: vocals; Ant Parrish: bass; Curt Chambers: guitar; Mike Reid: drums; Omar Edwards: keys.

    CREDITS
    Producers: Abby O'Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith, Kara Frame; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineers: Josh Rogosin, Natasha Branch; Videographers: Kara Frame, Maia Stern, Melany Rochester, Shanti Hands; Editor: Maia Stern; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Kisha Ravi/NPR

  • H.E.R.: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    18:52

    Watch H.E.R. play Going (Interlude), Feel A Way, Hard Place and Focus at the Tiny Desk.

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    Dec. 12, 2018 | Bobby Carter -- It's been said that you only get one chance to make a first impression. In H.E.R.'s case, you get two. She stunned us as a special guest for Daniel Ceasar's Tiny Desk concert earlier this year, in an appearance that showcased her vocal mastery. That earned her an invite to play again, front-and-center. She attacked her second go 'round with more fervor than the first, highlighting her skills as a multi-instrumentalist, maneuvering between acoustic and electric guitars, then the Fender Rhodes.

    While H.E.R. stands for Having Everything Revealed, she's an artist who's built her reputation on a certain degree of anonymity. The cover art for her debut, 2016 EP, H.E.R. Volume 1, shows a woman's silhouette over a blue backdrop. Her visuals never provide the audience a clear shot of her face and her signature accessory for every outfit is a pair of large, dark sunglasses.

    As fans collectively squinted to get a better view, she delivered more projects. Another EP, H.E.R. Vol 2, came in 2017, followed months later by H.E.R. which combined songs from both volumes with a handful of new songs. The latter earned her five nominations for 2019's Grammy Awards, including Album Of The Year and Best New Artist Of The Year. She was born Gabriella Wilson to a Filipino mother and Black father. She first attracted the spotlight as a child prodigy, eventually signing a record contract when she was 14-years old. At 21, she's yet to release her debut LP.

    There were two standout moments during her Tiny Desk set. One came at the midway point of her biggest hit so far, Focus. When the instruments dropped out and background vocalists Ajanee Hambrick and Malik Spence chimed in with their lush harmonies, the audience melted. The second came when her focus was interrupted by a charming and sincere expression of gratitude for the Tiny Desk platform. For a split second it appears as though she's about to remove those sunglasses. Not saying that I'm your favorite artist, but maybe me being here today says a lot.

    Set List
    Going (Interlude)
    Feel A Way
    Hard Place
    Focus

    Credits
    Producers: Bobby Carter, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Kaylee Domzalski, Maia Stern, Bronson Arcuri; Editor: Kaylee Domzalski; Production Assistant: Brie Martin; Photo: Cameron Pollack/NPR

  • Sting And Shaggy: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    14:36

    Watch Sting And Shaggy play Englishman in New York, Don't Make Me Wait and Shape of My Heart/Lucid Dreams at the Tiny Desk.

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    July 10, 2019 | Josh Rogosin -- Sting and Shaggy might not be the most likely musical pairing. But one thing is certain, they love playing each other's music. On a bright autumn morning, the legends arrived at the NPR Music office bleary-eyed yet excited to play for the diverse staff of Shaggy and Sting fans. What surprised many of my NPR colleagues is just how well the collaboration works.

    Their success as a duo shouldn't come as a total shock. After all, pulsing through many Police songs (Sting's famed band of the '70s and '80s) is a Reggae backbeat. It's impossible not to hear the influence in classics like Walking On The Moon and So Lonely.

    Shaggy (zoinks! - his nom de guerre comes from the Scooby-Doo cartoon character) was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He moved to New York when he was 18 and his music evokes only good vibes. The positive energy he brought to their opening song, Englishman [and Jamaican] In New York, had everyone in the room grinning ear to ear, early morning Reggae style, as he put it. After the tune, Sting announced I never sang that song before 8 PM... Ever!

    Sting's familiar, raspy voice was accompanied by his battered 1957 Fender Precision bass he's plucked for over 25 years. His long-time guitarist and collaborator, Dominic Miller, strummed Reggae offbeats on acoustic guitar and co-wrote the hauntingly beautiful Shape Of My Heart. That song is mashed-up with Juice Wrld's Lucid Dream, sung by Gene Noble, offering a refreshing counter to Sting's nuanced melody.

    Shaggy affectionately refers to his collaborator as Stingy, putting his arm around him mid-performance. It's easy to see the comradery that being on the road together affords these veteran musicians, to say nothing of the breath of fresh air they bring to each other's music.

    SET LIST
    Englishman in New York
    Don't Make Me Wait
    Shape of My Heart/Lucid Dreams

    MUSICIANS
    Sting: vocals, bass, guitar; Shaggy: vocals; Dominic Miller: guitar; Gene Noble: vocals; Melissa Musique: vocals

    CREDITS
    Producers: Abby O'Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, CJ Riculan, Maia Stern, Beck Harlan; Editor: Kaylee Domzalski; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Photo: Cameron Pollack/NPR

  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    14:46

    Tears and laughter in the span of about 15 minutes — that's what's so astonishing about these Macklemore & Ryan Lewis songs.

    The first time I heard Same Love, it brought tears to the eyes of a roomful of people, myself included. The song is about equality, specifically gay rights, with an unambiguous message: It's human rights for everybody / There is no difference. Then, in a flip of a backing-track beat, Macklemore (a.k.a. Ben Haggerty) sings about wearing a velour jumpsuit and some house slippers, grandpa style.

    The contrast in these songs, Same Love and Thrift Shop, makes the levity all that much memorable; as producer, Ryan Lewis is a master at the hook and clever with the melody. But this Tiny Desk Concert didn't end there: The live, sweet, soulful sounds of singer Ray Dalton belting, Like the ceiling can't hold us had Macklemore standing on my desk and shaking the dust off the ceiling tiles. Watching this video fills me with that inspirational feeling we shared watching it happen: I'm still cleaning dust around my desk, but it only makes me smile. --BOB BOILEN

    Set List
    Same Love
    Thrift Shop
    Can't Hold Us

    Credits
    Producer: Bob Boilen; Editor: Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Christopher Parks, Lauren Rock; photo by Lauren Rock/NPR

  • Snoh Aalegra: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    16:34

    Watch Snoh Aalegra play Love Like That, I Want You Around, Whoa, Fool For You and Find Someone Like You at the Tiny Desk.

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    Feb. 18, 2020 | Sidney Madden -- Almost without trying, Snoh Aalegra has an unforgettable presence. Strolling into NPR's music department on the day of her Tiny Desk Concert debut, the striking Iranian-Swedish singer donned Off-White Nike Dunks, baggy jeans, dewy skin and a sleek ponytail, carrying herself with the kind of camera-ready, cool-girl aura that silenced a mass of people waiting for her. Even with all that, the moment she started to sing is when the real beauty shone through.

    Like a fragile candle flame in a pool of melting wax, the texture of Aalegra's voice mesmerizes without overpowering. The 32-year-old has spent years perfecting that balance. Drawing her musical cues from Brandy and Sade while racking up a list of collaborators such as Vince Staples, James Fauntleroy and, most recently Pharrell Williams, Aalegra always finds her groove in the unexpected pockets of emotion. Much of her latest album, 2019's -Ugh, those feels again, is an ode to the comfortability of love, one that's even more appreciated within the close confines of the Tiny Desk.

    On this day in particular, Aalegra's tracks were stripped of their punchier, album-version kick drums and trap echoes. In their absence, it's Aalegra's delicate vocal runs and chemistry with her supporting singers that resonated most. I Want You Around and Whoa, which usually rest on a bed of glitchy, spiraling production, felt lighter thanks to the dreamy string section, and by the time she sang her concert closer, Find Someone Like You, the room was in full swoon. It's clear that at just 16 minutes, Aalegra and her crew knew how to create a memorable moment.

    SET LIST
    Love Like That
    I Want You Around
    Whoa
    Fool For You
    Find Someone Like You

    MUSICIANS
    Snoh Aalegra: vocals; O'Neil Doctor O Palmer: keys; Jef Villaluna: guitar; George Spanky McCurdy: drums; Ron Poindexter: vocals; Porsha Clay: vocals; Ashley Parham: violin; Johnny Walker, Jr.: cello; Asali McIntyre: violin; Brandon Lewis: viola; Thaddaeus Tribbett: Bass

    CREDITS
    Producers: Sidney Madden, Bobby Carter, Morgan Noelle Smith, Kara Frame; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineers: Josh Rogosin, Patrick Boyd; Editor: Kara Frame; Videographers: Kara Frame, Maia Stern, Jack Corbett, CJ Riculan; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

  • Tash Sultana: Tiny Desk Concert

    25:38

    Watch Tash Sultana play at the Tiny Desk.

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    Bob Boilen | April 7, 2017 - Last May, Tash Sultana posted a self-made video, just her in her living room with guitar, laptop and a great song called Jungle. Within five days it had drawn a million views.

    This 21-year-old Maltese-Australian got a guitar from her grandfather when she was three, she says, and has played it every day since. It's astonishing to watch Sultana's fluidity on her instrument, like a natural extension of her body. (She also plays bass, saxophone, trumpet, flute and more, but kept it simple at the Tiny Desk.) I thought I had a lot of energy — watching her bounce from guitar to drum machine to two separate microphones — and then hopping barefoot from looping pedal to effect pedal as she builds her songs was exhilarating and exhausting. There's more here than an exercise in virtuosity, her music is filled with adventure and ambition. These songs are rapturous and resonant.

    Tash has just finished a month-long, sold-out U.S. tour.

    The EP Notion is available now.

    iTunes -
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    Set List

    Jungle
    Notion
    Blackbird

    Musicians

    Tash Sultana (vocals, guitar)


    Credits

    Producers: Bob Boilen, Bronson Arcuri; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Morgan Noelle Smith; Production Assistant: A Noah Harrison; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.

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  • Seu Jorge: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert From The Archives

    18:34

    We've been filming Tiny Desk concerts for more than 10 years. While revisiting our archives, we discovered that some of our earliest concerts never made it to YouTube!
    Watch Seu Jorge’s Tiny Desk concert from 2010:


    Jasmine Garsd | September 13, 2010

    Like many in America, the first time I heard Seu Jorge was through his role as a melancholy singer in the movie The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. His rendition of David Bowie classics mesmerized me. The ache of his thick, raw vocals is nearly unbearable. Perhaps it's something about a burly grown man whose voice seems about to give in to tears that's simply heartbreaking. Or perhaps it was the shock of hearing Bowie's music, which in its original incarnation was pure glam rock, sung by a boy from one of Rio de Janeiro's worst slums.

    In his newest project, with the company of his fantastic band Almaz, Seu Jorge is far more versatile, almost as if the band were encouraging him to go to that bar, hit that dance floor, flirt with that supermodel. But no matter how smooth he is, he's still that melancholy guy who played Bowie on Steve Zissou's ship (not to mention his heartbreaking turn in the film City of God, as a victim of a sociopathic druglord). Jorge's covers of classic Brazilian songs like Saudosa Bahia' — which is about wanting to go back home — find him at his best.

    I've always been curious to find out what Seu Jorge sounds like live, and in this Tiny Desk Concert I finally got my answer: He sounds as powerful as he does on his records, if not better. And he loves to play live, feeding off the energy of the audience. Later, he mentioned to me — while on his fourth cigarette break; there's a reason behind this man's raspy voice — how much he enjoyed being able to play while sitting right next to audience members. Here's hoping he comes back soon.

  • Liniker e os Caramelows: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    18:38

    Oct. 29, 2018 | Felix Contreras -- Watching this performance is to witness a spell being cast, note-by-note. Liniker e os Caramelows (Liniker and the Caramelows) are from Brazil but steeped in the tradition of soul from here in the U.S. They started their turn behind the desk with the ballad Calmô, a testament to the power of slow songs dripping with soulful emotion. It was a bold statement of just who they are as a band and what they stand for.

    You have to go back to the co-mingling of jazz and Brazilian music in the late 1950s to appreciate the affinity our two countries have had for each other musically. Lead vocalist Liniker Barros has obviously done her share of listening to soul singers and she effortlessly slides from lower registers to an emotional falsetto, though the Tiny Desk space did restrict the kind of vigorous floor show of dancing and moving from all the band members that I've seen at the bigger live performances they've done.

    Liniker and the band shook things up to high-gear, Brazilian funk on the second part of Tua, complete with a mid-song, church-revival breakdown, featuring tenor sax. Remonta displayed the band's flexibility as they moved from ballad to a reggae bridge, eventually exploding into a majestic African-based Candomblé rhythmic finish.

    This performance catches Liniker e os Caramelows as they spiral upwards toward wider acclaim and recognition. Seeing them this close helps to understand just how they cast their musical magic on their audiences.

    Set List
    Calmô
    Tua
    Remonta

    Credits
    Producers: Felix Contreras, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Bronson Arcuri, CJ Riculan; Editor: Kaylee Domzalski; Production Assistant: Mary Mathis; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR

  • Tyler, The Creator: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    24:44

    Watch Tyler, The Creator play Boredom, See You Again and Glitterat the Tiny Desk.

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    Content advisory: The video above may contain language that is offensive to some.

    Dec. 11, 2017 | Sidney Madden -- Tyler, The Creator's Tiny Desk performance was a first for many reasons. It was the Los Angeles rapper's first time performing at our offices, but moreover, it was the Tiny Desk's first nighttime performance, a special request from Tyler and his team in order to professionally light the stage themselves. Members of Tyler's lighting crew came to the office a day before to set it up, eventually bathing him and his band in shades of fuchsia, orange and blue — one for each song — during the early evening show.

    Flower Boy, Tyler's latest album, is much like this Tiny Desk performance; a surprising departure from the expected. Four albums in, he has matured as a producer, rapper and human being. Often equated to hip-hop's class clown, the 26-year-old peels back his own mask of immaturity to reveal a young adult grappling with anxiety, fear and uncertainty of self.

    After he was done, Tyler did something of a modified mic-drop, throwing his tambourine in celebration of what he and his band had accomplished. Always one to stay casually connected with his fans, Tyler made time — nearly an hour after the performance was done —- to pose for photos, sign merch and crack jokes with (and on) everyone around him.

    Set List
    Boredom
    See You Again
    Glitter

    MUSICIANS
    Tyler Okonma (vocals, keys), Jaret Landon (MD/Keys) Dré Pinckney (Bass), Dalton Hodo (Drums), Kaye Fox (background vocals), Kiandra Richardson (background vocals)

    CREDITS
    Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Lighting: Max McDougall; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern, Beck Harlan, Alyse Young; Production Assistants: Paul Wichmann, Salvatore Maicki; Photo: Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR

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  • Taylor Swift: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    28:59

    Watch Taylor Swift play The Man, Lover, Death by a Thousand Cuts and All Too Well at the Tiny Desk.

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    Oct. 15, 2019 | Lyndsey McKenna -- As Taylor Swift settled in for her Tiny Desk, she looked out at the 300-plus NPR employees and guests. Wow! This is a lot of people in a tiny office! she said. I love it! Then, after introducing herself, she explained her objective: I just decided to take this as an opportunity to show you guys how the songs sounded when I first wrote them.

    It should come as no surprise that someone who commands stadium stages could hold court in NPR Music's corner of our Washington, D.C., office — specifically, behind Bob Boilen's desk — but Swift was truly at home in stripped-down, solo-session mode. (It's just me. There's no dancers, unfortunately, she quipped.)

    Opening with an acoustic rendition of The Man, from her 2019 album, Lover, Swift delivered a critique of gender double standards with a sense of humor (and a perfectly deployed hair toss), Leonardo DiCaprio name check and all. Turning to the piano with a smile for Lover's title track, she explained the guitar-string scars of the song's bridge. Picking up the guitar again for Death by a Thousand Cuts, Swift confronted a question that she says has haunted her career: What will you ever do if you get happy? Across the song's run-on thoughts and relentless searching, Swift offered an answer: She'll continue to excel at crafting superb story-songs.

    Though most Tiny Desk concerts stop at three songs, we couldn't turn down the chance to hear All Too Well from Swift's 2012 album, Red. Routinely cited by critics and fans alike as a favorite, the beloved track has become the stuff of Swiftie legends, striking in its specificity (that scarf!) and relatable in a way that anyone who has loved and lost can understand.

    That sense of connection is at the heart of it all. Some 800 Tiny Desk concerts since we published our very first back in April 2008, the aim remains the same: In the midst of meetings and conference calls, Tiny Desk concerts offer respite from the workday and opportunities to see artists reimagine their work in a strange setting. It's always special, but on some days, it feels downright magical. Watching Taylor Swift perform — and then interact with co-workers and guests who have grown up with her — was simply enchanting.

    SET LIST
    The Man
    Lover
    Death by a Thousand Cuts
    All Too Well

    MUSICIAN
    Taylor Swift: vocals, guitar, piano

    CREDITS
    Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, Natasha Branch; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Kara Frame, Maia Stern; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Production Assistants: Jack Corbett, Mito Habe-Evans; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey; Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Bob Boilen/NPR

  • Kirk Franklin: Tiny Desk Concert

    15:33

    NPR Music's Tiny Desk series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring four weeks of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and playlists by Black artists spanning different genres and generations each week. The lineup includes both emerging and established artists who will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time. This celebration highlights the beautiful cornucopia of Black music and our special way of presenting it. We hope you enjoy.

    Bobby Carter | February 25, 2021
    Kirk Franklin, set up with his band and choir in a corner of Uncle Jessie's Kitchen, makes a declaration. I know you're at home right now, in your draws, listening to some Jesus music. It's ok. Jesus loves you in your draws! The Arlington, Texas studio, named after a long time close friend, features a large photo of the iconic I AM A MAN protest signs from the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike on the wall. The jubilant energy that Franklin and company emit, juxtaposed with a visual reminder of the strife that Black people have endured is illustrative of the importance of gospel music in the Black community.

    For nearly 30 years, Franklin has been widely regarded for revolutionizing gospel. He incorporated secular music, particularly hip-hop, while preserving the message and integrity of traditional gospel. Here, he and his powerhouse choir pace through a decades-long, sixteen Grammy award winning discography of faith, praise and encouragement while cracking plenty of jokes. I cannot recall a more moving Tiny Desk home performance.

    All month long, we've presented artists that speak to the diversity and complexity of Black music--where we've been, where we are and where we're going. For the final show, we take it back to the spiritual roots and there's no one more fitting to cap things off than Mr. Kirk Franklin.

    SET LIST
    Love Theory
    Silver and Gold
    Melodies From Heaven
    I Smile

    MUSICIANS
    Kirk Franklin: vocals, keys
    Melodie Pace: vocals
    Darian Elliot: vocals
    Michael Bethany: vocals
    Eboni Ellerson: vocals
    Deon Yancey: vocals
    Tia Rudd: vocals
    Shaun Martin: keyboard
    Matthew Ramsey: bass
    Terry Baker: drums, percussion

    CREDITS
    Video: Clear Scope Media
    Audio: Michael Havens Reese Brooks

    TINY DESK TEAM
    Producers: Bobby Carter
    Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith
    Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
    Art Director: CJ Riculan
    Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Kara Frame, Maia Stern
    Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
    Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

    #nprmusic #kirkfranklin #gospel #tinydesk

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  • Damian Jr. Gong Marley: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    15:14

    Watch Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley play Slave Mill, So a Child May Follow and Speak Life at the Tiny Desk.

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    Sept. 9, 2019 | Felix Contreras -- There was a distinct feeling of history in the air when Damian Jr. Gong Marley took his place in our office with his band, and it wasn't just the legend behind his surname. For fifteen minutes, we were treated to the same socially relevant reggae that his father, legendary Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley, made popular when he put the genre on the international music map.

    With eyes shut, Marley dug deep into the healing power of music with songs from his 2017 album Stony Hill. So A Child May Follow addresses the troubles youth confront around the globe and how to persevere to succeed. Speak Life sums up the message of his music and his turn behind the Tiny Desk: live a life that will enable us to survive life's slings and arrows with dignity and love. But what makes his music stand out on this session is the prominence of the acoustic guitar and piano in the arrangements, which makes the familiar sound somewhat new.

    And let's address the elephant in the room: Damian's father cast a giant, magnificent shadow on the world and it can't be easy to follow in those footsteps as a songwriter and musician. Jr. Gong (after his father's nickname of Tuff Gong) seems to be undaunted by that legacy and instead draws on it for inspiration and guidance. Not to mention there is more than a hint of his father's unmistakable singing voice that so often preached the same messages of self-identity and self-determination that his youngest son is now doing so successfully.

    SET LIST
    Slave Mill
    So a Child May Follow
    Speak Life

    MUSICIANS
    Damian Jr. Gong Marley: vocals; Roselyn Williams: vocals; Sherieta Lewis: vocals; Sean Pow Diedrick: keys; Courtney Bam Diedrick: drums; Shiah Coore: bass; Elton Elly B Brown: guitar

    CREDITS
    Producers: Abby O'Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, Andy Huether; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Bronson Arcuri, Jeremiah Rhodes, CJ Riculan; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Production Assistant: Paul Georgoulis; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Shuran Huang/NPR

  • Leon Bridges: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    18:02

    September 08, 2015 by BOB BOILEN

    We probably should have shot this Tiny Desk Concert in black-and-white. Listening to Leon Bridges, I hear a sound with its heart and soul rooted in 1962. There's purity in his voice that's unadorned, untouched and unaffected by 21st-century pop. It's just soul.

    Still, the songs from this 26-year-old Fort Worth singer feel refreshing in the context of the day. Surely there's touches of Sam Cooke's spiritual sound, but Leon Bridges has a way of making the familiar feel adventurous and new. It may be because this is all new to him. He only picked up the guitar around the age of twenty and only began listening to classic soul music after friends told him he sounded like R&B musicians from long ago. What Leon Bridges has tapped into on his debut album with fellow Fort Worth musicians including Austin Jenkins from White Denim is a universal sound, an undeniably heartfelt sound which transcends age, race and musical tastes. He's easy to love and tough to resist and his performance at the Tiny Desk with his fabulous band is a testament to what it means to sing from the heart.

    Set List
    Coming Home 00:00
    Smooth Sailin' 04:06
    Twistin' & Groovin' 07:30
    River 12:48

    Credits
    Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Walker; Audio Engineer: Neil Tevault, Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Walker, Colin Marshall, Lani Milton; Assistant Producer: Elena Saavedra Buckley; photo by Lydia Thompson/NPR

  • Tom Misch: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    17:25

    June 1, 2018 | Bobby Carter -- I learned a few things while watching Tom Misch perform at the Tiny Desk that should've been obvious to a longtime fan like me: He produces beats with a live audience in mind. As much as his drums slap, guitar is the foundation for most of his songs and he showcases a burgeoning talent on the instrument throughout his set.

    I first caught wind of this UK wunderkind in 2014. Crafting his own instrumental projects and remixing tracks by artists ranging from Busta Rhymes to Lianne La Havas, Misch steadily garnered a dedicated following on SoundCloud. From there, he collaborated with other London artists and released EPs of original music on the platform. Misch's style doesn't revel in what's going on in pop music today; like a handful of other artists from the UK, his interpretation of hip-hop and R&B is a continuation of what the greats who came before him started. A healthy dose of that inspiration is drawn from the late J. Dilla, while Misch's up-tempo dance numbers align him with the Kaytranadas of the world. In 2016, Misch — still just 21 years old at the time — decided to dabble more in songwriting and explore that soothing timbre of his voice on Reverie, and all of a sudden, his potential rose exponentially.

    Misch and the band arrived bright and early to get situated behind the Tiny Desk and rehearse. Misch has said before that he isn't a jazz purist intrinsically, but the way he opens up a guitar solo or jams with saxophonist Braxton Cook, jazz music certainly runs through him.

    If you haven't heard of Tom Misch before this performance, now's a good time to catch up. Check out his breakthrough album, Geography, as well as his earlier collaborations, then come back and watch his Tiny Desk again for a true appreciation of his growth as an artist.

    SET LIST
    It Runs Through Me
    I Wish
    Movie

    MUSICIANS
    Tom Misch (guitar/vocals), Tobias Tripp (guitar/violin/vocals), James Creswick (bass), Jamie Houghton (drums), Joseph Price (keys), Braxton Cook (saxophone)

    CREDITS
    Producers: Sidney Madden, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, CJ Riculan, Beck Harlan; Production Assistant: Stefanie Fernández; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.

  • Erykah Badu: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    15:08

    Aug. 15, 2018 | Felix Contreras -- Some folks around the NPR Music office said they felt an almost spiritual connection to Erykah Badu during her visit to the Tiny Desk. And that was before she and her band even played a single note. It came from the waft of earthly scents that followed in her wake, to the flowing dreads and clothes that hung on her like robes.

    After her self-introduction, which included a rundown of her spiritual and creative aliases, Badu rolled into one of her earliest musical calling cards, Rimshot. It's an ode to the sound the percussionist makes when a drumstick is struck against the metal edge of the snare drum. On this performance, as on her 1997 album Baduizm, it becomes a device to play with time — stretching it, stopping it, suspending it. Propelled by jazz chords on the piano and the steady pulse of the acoustic bass, the playful performance unfolded in the tradition of the best bebop.

    But the panoramic song Green Eyes is the centerpiece of Badu's Tiny Desk performance. It's wide-ranging in scope and musical arrangement and brilliantly executed by the jazz and hip-hop musicians in her backing band. The story of heartbreak is striking enough, but her interpretation showcases her formidable vocal skills. By the time it was over, we were all just as emotionally and spiritually spent as she was from the experience.

    Erykah Badu is an artist for the ages. To old-school jazz fans like myself, names like Nina Simone, Betty Carter and Shirley Horn come to mind as much as Billie Holiday because of Badu's singular approach to a lyric. They all cut their own creative path and left behind a legacy that you can identify with just one note. Erykah Badu is on that same path, and one day her name will be mentioned along with the other Elders who share her spirit of musical adventure.

    Set List
    Rimshot
    Green Eyes

    Musicians
    Erykah Badu (lead vocals), RC Williams (Keys), Braylon Lacy (bass), Cleon Edwards (Drums), Frank Moka (Percussion), Kenneth Whalum (Sax), Keyon Harrold (Trumpet), Dwayne Kerr (Flute)

    Credits
    Producers: Abby O'Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern, Kara Frame, Khun Minn Ohn, CJ Riculan; Production Assistants: Catherine Zhang, Téa Mottolese; Photo: Morgan Noelle Smith/NPR.

  • Burna Boy: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    14:45

    Watch Burna Boy play Gbona, Wetin Man Go Do, Dangote and Ye at the Tiny Desk.

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    Nov. 18, 2019 | Bobby Carter -- While preparing for Burna Boy's Tiny Desk appearance, it was evident early on that his performance would be strictly business. After exchanging pleasantries on the phone with his mother and manager, Bose Ogulu, she made it clear there wouldn't be time for much of anything else. Burna has been working really hard so please bear with us, she told me. The band will arrive well before him. Let me know the latest time at which he can arrive.

    The Nigerian singer and songwriter is one of the biggest African artists in the world. He's also a pioneer of Afro-fusion which incorporates sonics and influences from a myriad of genres, laid on an Afrobeat foundation. The sound has been inescapable this year. The man born Damini Ogulu has been touring the world for the majority of 2019 and has at least 10 songs in the current nightclub rotation. Beyoncé took notice and offered him a place on The Lion King soundtrack, The Lion King: The Gift.

    Sandwiched between two sold-out concerts in Washington D.C., his Tiny Desk performance offers something relatively different from what we're used to seeing at his rowdy stage shows. He's more reflective here and restrained, allowing his songwriting to shine. In the spirit of one of his heroes, Fela Kuti, he weaves through highlights from his breakout album, African Giant, that are liable to move your body as much as your social consciousness.

    SET LIST
    Gbona
    Wetin Man Go Do
    Dangote
    Ye

    MUSICIANS
    Burna Boy: vocals; Emmanuel Manny Abiola-Jacobs: drums; Michael Maestro Masade Jr.: keys; Jola Ade: keys; Gaetan Judd: guitar; Christina Matovu: vocals; Otis Bdoc Mensah: bass

    CREDITS
    Producers: Bobby Carter, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Bronson Arcuri, CJ Riculan, Jack Corbett; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Mhari Shaw/NPR

  • Lianne LaHavas: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    14:20

    Watch Lianne LaHavas play at the Tiny Desk.

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    October 02, 2015 by SURAYA MOHAMED
    In 2012, my kids introduced me to Lianne La Havas' debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough? One play and I was hooked; I've been a fan ever since. Her music works for any activity, any emotion.

    The first time I saw La Havas live, I was unprepared for the experience: Her music touched my heart in a way I'd never experienced before. I cried through the entire performance. Her music was that powerful, with lyrics woven together with beautiful harmonies; it pulled emotions out of me I didn't even know existed.

    La Havas is soulful yet playful, raw and vulnerable in a commanding kind of way, and her new second album, Blood, is as amazing as the first. In this Tiny Desk performance, she plays two new songs — What You Don't Do and Unstoppable — as well as Forget, from her first album. She and her talented collaborators, James Wyatt on piano and Frida Mariama Touray on backing vocals, rehearsed this special arrangement during the sound check just moments before the performance. It's wonderfully intimate, with just guitar accompanied by vocals that embellish without getting in the way. If you're like me, you will never get enough.

    Blood is available now.
    iTunes:
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    Set List
    What You Don't Do 00:00
    Unstoppable 04:00
    Forget 08:41

    Credits
    Producers: Suraya Mohomed, Morgan Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Walker, Nick Michael, Julia Reihs; Production Assistant: Kate Drozynski; photo by Jun Tsuboike/NPR

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  • The Roots feat. Bilal: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    12:04

    Watch The Roots feat. Bilal play at the Tiny Desk.

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    Oct. 30, 2017 | Abby O'Neill -- Can you believe it? Yes, those are The Roots packed behind the Tiny Desk. Black Thought, Questlove and the crew carved out a few hours in their hectic Tonight Show schedule to visit NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. Why travel four hours for a 12-minute concert when you own the late-night airwaves? The answer can be found in the lyrics to The Roots' new song, It Ain't Fair.

    Armed with the incredible vocalist Bilal, The Roots performed the signature track from Detroit, a film about the race riots in 1967. It Ain't Fair glares unflinchingly, takes a knee and raises a fist against the societal construct that has systematically denied equality of experience to those presumed inferior, to quote one of Bilal's verses. And it achieves all this while covering its heart with its right hand. This reflective hymn tenderly yanks your heart strings and offers a window into the ethos of those who would like to stand for the flag but cannot in good principle, lest these same evils continue to exist.

    Those lucky enough to be in the Tiny Desk audience witnessed masters at work. Black Thought is truly one of the most intelligent emcees ever, and his razor-sharp lyricism was on full display. Questlove, a musical and cultural historian nonpareil, was both a metronomical and moral anchor. It felt like the culmination of decades of academic rigor and boom-bap sessions, fittingly backed by a seven-piece horn section. Bilal's falsetto-laced vocals and warm resonance evoked powerful messaging reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield's Don't Worry, delivered with the eccentricity of Prince.

    Late last year, Common premiered Letter to the Free at the Tiny Desk and later won an Emmy for the song. It wouldn't surprise me if It Ain't Fair becomes another award-winning performance when the Oscars roll around early next year. This is a song that deserves to be heard in the millions of households that watch The Roots every night.

    Set List

    It Ain't Fair

    MUSICIANS

    Curtis L. Jones Jr (Trombone), Arnetta Johnson (Trumpet), Hiruy E. Tirfe (Sax), Richard L. Tate II (Sax), Joseph Streater (Trumpet), Norman J. Bradshaw (Trombone), Damon Bryson (Sousaphone), Ahmir (Questlove) Thompson (Drums), Tarik (Black Thought) Trotter (Emcee), Bilal Oliver (Vocals)

    CREDITS

    Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Producers: Abby O'Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern, Kara Frame, Alyse Young; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR

    For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.

  • Harry Styles: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    19:14

    This performance was recorded on February 25, 2020. We will continue releasing Tiny Desk videos of shows that had already been taped. In light of current events, NPR is postponing new live tapings of Tiny Desk Concerts. In the meantime, check out Tiny Desk (home) concerts! They’re recorded by the artists in their home. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    Watch Harry Styles play Cherry, Watermelon Sugar, To Be So Lonely and Adore You at the Tiny Desk.

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    March 16, 2020 | Lyndsey McKenna and Marissa Lorusso -- Like many who have graced the Tiny Desk before him, the awkwardness of performing in a working office wasn't lost on Harry Styles. It just feels like you're in the way, he joked. But when you watch his set from behind Bob Boilen's desk, you'd never suspect any discomfort.

    Backed by his touring band, Styles performed several songs from his latest solo album, Fine Line. Between tracks, he talked about the process of writing these songs: From the day off in Nashville that led to Watermelon Sugar, to the feeling of lovesickness he tried to capture in Adore You. The camaraderie between the band was clear; and Styles was in on the joy, twirling in his seat between verses.

    Styles might not necessarily be the first name that comes to mind when you think of public radio's only working, desk-music-discovery platform. After all, he's got a wildly devoted fanbase that's followed his every move since his One Direction days. In fact, before soundcheck had even started, a crowd of fans had begun to gather outside NPR HQ. They rightly suspected he would be playing a Tiny Desk concert after word got out that the former One Directioner was spotted in D.C. with no tour date on his public schedule.

    But beyond the headlines, Styles has proven to be an artist who takes his songcraft and aesthetic seriously, interested in subverting expectations of what a pop star can and should sound like in 2020. That sense of unpretentious creativity is exactly what he brought to his Tiny Desk performance – and it definitely earned him some new adoring public radio fans in the process.

    I have to come into NPR more often, Styles said after he and his band played their first song. It's nice here.

    We — and our massive crowd of colleagues — couldn't agree more.

    SET LIST
    Cherry
    Watermelon Sugar
    To Be So Lonely
    Adore You

    MUSICIANS
    Harry Styles: vocals, guitar; Sarah Jones: drums, vocals; Mitch Rowland: guitar; Adam Prendergast: bass, vocals; Ny Oh: guitar, vocals; Charlotte Clark: piano, Wurlitzer, guitar, vocals

    CREDITS
    Producers: Robin Hilton, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineers: Josh Rogosin, James Willetts; Videographers: Kara Frame, CJ Riculan, Melany Rochester, Morgan Noelle Smith; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Production Assistant: Shanti Hands; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Max Posner/NPR

  • Tank And The Bangas: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    23:49

    Bob Boilen | March 10, 2017 — Out of over 6,000 entries — more submissions than we've ever received — Tank And The Bangas won, unanimously, this year's Tiny Desk Contest. I fully expected their victory performance here at NPR headquarters in D.C. to be celebratory. I didn't know we'd all end up in tears.

    This band combines R&B with hip-hop's poetry and rollercoaster storytelling, with a flair and alchemy that could only come from New Orleans. Their winning song, Quick, mixes liquor and revenge — a sort of modern day take on a great folk tale, but peppered with their own idiosyncratic flair and humor. What I couldn't see, until they took over my desk, was the depth of their lyricism and the versatility of their players. At one moment fun-filled funk, the next laid-back jazz, rhythm-driven blues — and it all flows seamlessly. And it's fun to watch: There's a magic kinship between Tarriona Tank Ball and Anjelika Jelly Joseph as they share singing roles, like two best friends finishing one another's sentences.

    This is the third year that NPR Music has put out a call in hopes of finding a shining star. I'm still amazed how, after sifting through thousands of videos from abundantly talented musicians, we can find a common winner amongst a range of judges with such different musical backgrounds. But in the end, my All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Miguel, Anthony Hamilton, Ben Hopkins (PWR BTTM), BANKS, and folks who listen to an awful lot of music — NPR member station hosts Rita Houston (WFUV), Talia Schlanger (WXPN), Stas THEE Boss (KEXP) — and myself were all equally charmed, delighted and captivated.

    And so here it is, a chance to see an artist truly blossoming. It's just the beginning: A few years ago, for our first Contest, Fantastic Negrito won our hearts. This year he won a Grammy. Last year Gaelynn Lea, an unknown violinist, teacher and singer sent a video captured on a phone and won our affection and souls. A few weeks ago, her Tiny Desk Concert had been seen more than a million times. These days she's taken to the road, touring the world.

    Tank And The Bangas will be hitting the road in April with NPR Music to find their new audience — I'll be along for the ride — visiting many of our member stations with help from those music-loving beer brewers at Lagunitas. I can't wait to see the reaction in these crowds' eyes, as they fill with wonder and tears like ours did, experiencing this band for the first time.

    Set List
    Boxes And Squares
    Quick
    Rollercoasters

    Musicians
    Tarriona Tank Ball (vocals); Jelly Joseph (vocals); Merell Burkett Jr. (keys); Norman Spence II (keys); Joshua Johnson (drums); Jonathan Johnson (bass); Albert Allenback (saxophone)

    Credits
    Producers: Bob Boilen, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Nick Michael, Bronson Arcuri, Morgan Noelle Smith; Production Assistants: A Noah Harrison, Ameeta Ganatra; Photo: Niki Walker/NPR.

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  • Natalia Lafourcade: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    15:20

    Watch Natalia Lafourcade play at the Tiny Desk.

    Did you know you can watch new Tiny Desk Concerts on npr.org ONE WEEK before they go up on YouTube? Click here:

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    Oct. 27, 2017 | Felix Contreras -- Natalia Lafourcade is a successful singer-songwriter whose voice and music live on the edge of pop, but maintain a distinct independence.

    A few years ago, while Lafourcade was traveling Brazil, she felt a great nostalgia for her native Mexico and its folk music. When she finally returned home, she immediately called some friends for the kind of party that is ubiquitous in Latin America: lots of social drinking, lots of food and lots of guitars and singing. Classic folk songs were on the playlist and a good time was had by all.

    Someone recorded the informal jam session and Lafourcade's management team heard the tapes. This is your next record! they told her.

    That record, Musas: Un Homenaje al Folclore Latinoamericano en Manos de los Macorinos, Vol. 1, was a commercial and critical hit, and received a Latin Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. It only made sense for Lafourcade to bring her Musas tour to the Tiny Desk. The performances are an ode to a magical time in Mexican popular music, one that is revived with every note this singer and her band perform.

    One important historical note: The two older gentlemen on the video are Juan Carlos Allende and Miguel Peña, two revered musicians who played with the iconic ranchera singer Chavela Vargas.

    Set List

    Soledad y el Mar
    Mi Tierra Veracruzana
    Tú Sí Sabes Quererme

    MUSICIANS

    Natalia Lafourcade (vocals), Ernesto Anaya (traditional Mexican guitar), Uriel Herrera (drums), Jorge Molina (double bass), Juan Carlos Allende [Los Macorinos] (acoustic guitar), Bernardo Ruiz (electric guitar)

    CREDITS

    Producers:Felix Contreras, Bronson Arcuri; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Bronson Arcuri, Morgan Noelle Smith, Tsering Bista, Maia Stern; Production Assistant: Jenna Li; Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR

    For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.

  • Billie Eilish: Tiny Desk Concert

    10:02

    The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    Aug. 26, 2020 | Stephen Thompson -- It didn't take long for Billie Eilish to become one of the biggest pop stars in the world, sweep the Grammy Awards' major categories and release the latest James Bond theme. And today, at just 18, she and her brother, Finneas, have accomplished what no one has been able to do for five and a half months: perform a Tiny Desk concert in what certainly appears to be the NPR Music offices.

    Of course, due to safety concerns, even the NPR Music staff can't set foot in the building that houses Bob Boilen's desk. But if you look over Eilish's shoulder, there's no mistaking the signs that she's appearing at the Tiny Desk in its present-day form: On the last day before staff began working from home, I took home the Green Bay Packers helmet that sat on the top shelf — the one Harry Styles had signed a few weeks earlier — for safe keeping. In this performance, that spot is empty.

    So how the heck did they do it?

    Honestly, it's best that you watch the whole video to experience the extent of the technical feat — which, in the spirit of Eilish's Saturday Night Live performance, they're willing to share with you. And thankfully, we still have our ways of photographing the desk, even if the room has fallen silent.

    So settle in for a welcome jolt of Tiny Desk innovation, not to mention two of the excellent standalone singles Billie Eilish has released in the past year: my future and everything i wanted. And, seriously, be sure to watch until the very end.

    SET LIST
    my future
    everything i wanted

    MUSICIANS
    Billie Eilish: vocals, keys; Finneas: keys, guitar

    CREDITS
    Video by: Matty Vogel; Audio by: Finneas; Art Director: Henry Hickman; Producer: Bob Boilen; Audio Mastering Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Photographer: Michael Cullen; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey; Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

  • Koffee: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    15:03

    Watch Koffee play Raggamuffin, Rapture, Toast and W at the Tiny Desk.

    Watch Tiny Desk Concerts ONE WEEK before they go on YouTube at

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    Jan. 27, 2020 | Sidney Madden -- It's been a fairly short musical journey and we have seen fairly much success, Koffee told the NPR Music offices between songs during her Tiny Desk set. Flashing her braces with each grin, Jamaica's 19-year old tour de force wasn't exaggerating. Her debut EP, Rapture, just won a 2020 Grammy for Best Reggae Album, making her the first woman and the youngest artist to ever win in the category. It comes just two years after her tribute song to sprinter, eight-time Gold Medalist and fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt went viral online. Koffee has sustained a steady upwards momentum since then, finding her footing on festival stages and collaborating with others outside her genre. (Her latest single, W features Atlanta rapper, Gunna.)

    Above all, what makes Koffee so refreshing is that she centers her music around faith, resilience and gratitude. She has a new perspective to add to the pantheon of mostly male reggae greats and it's resonating with a new generation that's just getting hip to the iconic sounds. As her Tiny Desk performance shows, Koffee makes the best of her surroundings, channeling the day's buzzy energy into a balancing act of youthful heart and old-pro precision, proving why she has become one of the most invigorating voices in reggae.

    I want to thank everybody who's been involved, Koffee told the crowd halfway during her show. You have now become a part of my journey.

    SET LIST
    Raggamuffin
    Rapture
    Toast
    W

    MUSICIANS
    Koffee: vocals; Stephen Asamoah-Duah: drums; Stephen Forbes: percussion; Nana Pokes: bass; David Melodee: keys; Thomas Broussard: guitar; Zhayna France: vocals; Shanice Drysdale: vocals

    CREDITS
    Producers: Abby O'Neill, Sidney Madden, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineer: Josh Rogosin; Editor: Maia Stern; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Jack Corbett, Kara Frame, CJ Riculan; Associate producer: Bobby Carter; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Laura Beltran Villamizar

  • Lizzo: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    17:00

    Watch Lizzo play Cuz I Love You, Truth Hurts and Juice at the Tiny Desk.

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    July 29, 2019 | Stephen Thompson -- Lots of musicians cut corners during sound check. It's a time to make sure everyone's in tune and in balance, everyone's blocked properly for the cameras, and every piece of recording equipment is doing its job the way it's supposed to, but it's not as if anyone's rolling tape for posterity. Sometimes, Tiny Desk artists do their sound check in shabby street clothes before ducking into the green room to don their fancy performance wear. It's standard procedure, and no big deal at all.

    But from the second Lizzo entered the room, fresh off a long interview with Fresh Air's Terry Gross, she was on: all charm, vibrant and gracious, dressed to the nines and ready to sing her face off. In rehearsal, Lizzo belted out Cuz I Love You, the title track from her wonderful new album, with nothing off her fastball; if you were standing six feet away at the time, you'd swear the gale force of her voice was blowing your hair back. She was the star and the mayor rolled into one, at once ingratiating and commanding, as an audience of maybe 25 milled around and prepared to let in the crowd.

    Once we opened the room, there were as many people as we've ever had at a Tiny Desk concert, hanging on Lizzo's every word as she held court and waited for the cameras to roll. She literally needed no introduction; one of us usually says a few words and gets the crowd to applaud for the start of the performance, but Lizzo was master of ceremonies from the second she walked in. Naturally, she needed all of two seconds to blow everyone's hair back once more.

    Everything around the singer must have felt alien to her, starting with this tiny-ass desk and continuing through the crowd — perched mere feet away, with only a bit of office furniture and a few cameras as a barrier — and a backing band assembled, at Bob Boilen's request, just for the occasion. Lizzo usually performs with dancers and a backing track; the former, though much-missed here, stood in the crowd and bobbed along, while the latter got mothballed in favor of slyly funky arrangements. Together, Lizzo and that brand-new band preside over three songs from Cuz I Love You: the aforementioned title track, Truth Hurts (so winning, in spite of its repeated references to the Minnesota Vikings) and the literal and figurative show-stopper, Juice, which gave her the opportunity to pick up the flute she'd been waiting the whole set to bust out.

    SET LIST
    Cuz I Love You
    Truth Hurts
    Juice


    MUSICIANS
    Lizzo: vocals, flute; Devin Johnson: keyboard; Dana Hawkins: drums; Vernon Prout: bass; Walter Williams: guitar

    CREDITS
    Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Beck Harlan, Bronson Arcuri; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR

  • GIVĒON: Tiny Desk Concert

    14:24

    NPR Music's Tiny Desk series will celebrate Black History Month by featuring four weeks of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and playlists by Black artists spanning different genres and generations each week. The lineup includes both emerging and established artists who will be performing a Tiny Desk concert for the first time. This celebration highlights the beautiful cornucopia of Black music and our special way of presenting it. We hope you enjoy.

    Sidney Madden | February 9, 2021
    Just bear with me while I just enjoy this and soak in it, GIVĒON admits with a laugh. Switching between the demeanors of a seasoned, nonchalant crooner and a giddy-grinned newbie, the fast-rising R&B star makes a point to show his humility during his long-awaited debut at Tiny Desk.

    Accompanied by a minimal, masked-up band and only one background vocalist (a fellow Pisces at that), the baby-face baritone fills the set with resonance and light. He radiates gratitude with every note. Against a blue, moody backsplash of projected music video stills, GIVĒON notes the divine timing of this performance. Any moment to do this would be special, he says between songs, but I think Black History Month ... just celebrating Black culture for this month, I'm really excited to get to do this on this platform.

    Through the throes of the pandemic, GIVĒON has remained remarkably busy. In a span of eight months, the Long Beach, Calif. newcomer has released two solid EPs, the Grammy-nominated Take Time and When It's All Said And Done. (The latter included one of our favorite songs of 2020, Still Your Best.) For his Tiny Desk (home) concert, he borrows from each project to arrange a tantalizing 14-minute sampler — showing off just enough to get you to do your Googles and discover more.

    Much like the moment he's trying to savor, GIVĒON's strength as a singer-songwriter is his ability to make his listener feel suspended in time. As fans quickly discovered on his breakthrough Chicago Freestyle feature last year, the peaks and valleys of GIVĒON's tone and the satisfying patterns of his runs don't just serenade; They immerse, they engulf. GIVĒON's star rising during a time of such sustained uncertainty is no accident, either. Between vulnerable storytelling and clear vocals, GIVĒON's work provides so many with what they're craving right now: intimacy and consistency.

    SET LIST
    THE BEACH
    LIKE I WANT YOU
    Stuck On You

    MUSICIANS
    GIVĒON: vocals
    Deondre Ellis: keys
    Ivan Chatman: bass
    Andre Montgomery: drums
    James Murray: guitar
    RaVaughn Brown: vocals

    CREDITS
    Video: Jan Lim, Mitchell Schultz, Will Houlihan
    Producer: Zack Warren
    Director: Eric Longden
    Audio: Jeremy Gray, Reggie Jones, Al Richardson

    TINY DESK TEAM
    Producer: Bobby Carter
    Video Producer: Maia Stern
    Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
    Art Director: CJ Riculan
    Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Kara Frame, Morgan Noelle Smith
    Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
    Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

  • Jhené Aiko: Tiny Desk Concert

    18:09

    The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    Oct. 1, 2020 | Bobby Carter -- In this Tiny Desk (home) concert, R&B star Jhené Aiko coasts through an eight-song medley that plays like the ultimate nod to her legions of fans — fans who've been begging for a Tiny Desk for a long time.

    The Los Angeles native's star status is a result of her music's versatility and vulnerability. Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo has carved out a space of her own over the past decade, despite a rapidly changing R&B landscape. As a songwriter, she leaves no stone unturned, explicitly expressing her struggle, joy and sexuality while always administering the vibe.

    Her latest album, Chilombo, released just before the pandemic hit the U.S., doubled down and leaned into the therapeutic nature of her songs — and that same aesthetic fuels her Tiny Desk. Backed by an ensemble of masked players, Aiko bookends her set with a sound bath of singing bowls that's peace personified through sound.

    SET LIST
    Lotus (Intro)
    Stranger
    Do Better Blues
    To Love & Die
    Born Tired
    W.A.Y.S.
    Summer 2020
    Eternal Sunshine

    MUSICIANS
    Jhené Aiko: vocals
    Julian Le: keys
    Bubby: bass
    Gracie Sprout: harp
    Brain Warfield: percussion

    CREDITS
    Video By: Brandon Parker
    Audio By: Gregg Rominiecki
    Producer: Bobby Carter
    Audio Mastering Engineer: Josh Rogosin
    Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith
    Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
    Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

  • Anthony Hamilton: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    20:28

    March 28, 2016 by BOBBY CARTER

    Anthony Hamilton's soul sound was refined in the churches of Charlotte, N.C. Watching the Grammy winner perform, you get the hunch that it's harder for him to keep the soul inside than it is to actually unleash it. What he and his backup singers, The Hamiltones, do would be better classified as a musical purge, with a stage show that can double as couples therapy and church service. Their warm harmonies have the ability to shrink theaters and stadiums, so we knew this intimate setting was perfect for them.

    Following a spot at the final In Performance show of the Obama presidency, the singer, The Hamiltones and his band made their way over to our offices to give us a dose of what's to come, as well as a heavy helping of what fans have grown to love about him. He opens the set with Amen — the debut single from his introspective new album, What I'm Feelin' — and followed it with three songs that have defined his career.

    What I'm Feelin' is available now:
    iTunes:
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    Set List:
    Amen
    Best Of Me
    Cool
    Charlene

    Credits:
    Producers: Bobby Carter, Niki Walker; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, Neil Tevault; Videographers: Niki Walker, Kara Frame, Cameron Robert; Production Assistant: Jackson Sinnenberg; Photo: Brandon Chew/NPR.

    For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast:

  • Coldplay: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    18:14

    This performance was recorded on January 23, 2020. We will continue releasing Tiny Desk videos of shows that had already been taped. In light of current events, NPR is postponing new live tapings of Tiny Desk Concerts. In the meantime, check out Tiny Desk (home) concerts! They’re recorded by the artists in their home. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    Watch Coldplay play Cry Cry Cry, Viva La Vida, Broken, 1999 (Prince cover) and Champion Of The World at the Tiny Desk.

    Did you know you can watch new Tiny Desk concerts on npr.org ONE WEEK before they go up on YouTube? Click here:

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    March 12, 2020 | Robin Hilton -- Shortly into Coldplay's soundcheck, singer Chris Martin cut off the opening song, Cry Cry Cry, right in the middle. His band had brought along a nine-piece choir, and he asked them to take Cry Cry Cry one more time. When one of the singers asked if there was a problem, Martin replied, No, I'm just in f****** heaven right now!

    That feeling was obvious throughout the performance. Watching Martin at the keys, with the For Love Choir behind him and Coldplay guitarist Jonny Buckland at his side, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the happiest day of his life. Laughing, bouncing to the music and playing off the crowd, Martin and company gave one of the most jubilant, uplifting and memorable performances we've ever had at the Tiny Desk.

    Watching their gospel-infused take on Viva La Vida, it was hard not to beam with joy; hearing their stirring cover of Prince's 1999 brought on a mass urge to leap up and dance. The entire set was a perfectly executed showcase of the band's creative spirit and love of community through music.

    Viva La Vida was the only older track Coldplay performed, in addition to the surprise Prince cover. (The band had just performed at a Prince tribute show in January.) The other three songs — Cry Cry Cry, Broken and Champion of the World — are all from the band's stellar new album, Everyday Life, which was recorded with some of the singers on hand for the Tiny Desk. Martin joked that, In a very real way, they've Photoshopped our songs to be much better than they actually are. Whether or not that's true, for at least this one sunny afternoon at the NPR Music offices, the choir — and Coldplay's inspired reworking of its own music — felt transcendent.

    SET LIST
    Cry Cry Cry
    Viva La Vida
    Broken
    1999 (Prince cover)
    Champion Of The World

    MUSICIANS
    Chris Martin: vocals, keys; Jonny Buckland: guitar; Denise Green: vocals; Shaneka Hamilton: vocals; Dorian Holley: vocals; Stephen Mackey: vocals; Lamarcus Eldridge: vocals; Lawrence Young: vocals; Surrenity Xyz: vocals; Tiffany Smith: vocals; Mabvuto Carpenter: vocals

    CREDITS
    Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineers: Josh Rogosin, James Willetts; Editor: Maia Stern; Videographers: Maia Stern, Morgan Noelle Smith, CJ Riculan, Jack Corbett, Melany Rochester; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Production Assistant: Shanti Hands; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Emily Bogle/NPR

  • The Cranberries: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    19:32

    After a long hiatus, the best-selling Irish pop-rock band is about to return with a new album called Roses. But if this performance at the NPR Music offices is any indication, the group isn't afraid to dip into its arsenal of early hits.

    Set List:

    Linger
    Tomorrow
    Ode To My Family
    Zombie
    Raining In My Heart

    For more videos and to subscribe to the Tiny Desk Concerts podcast, visit npr.org/tinydeskconcerts.

  • Chance The Rapper: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    12:53

    Robin Hilton | July 5, 2017 — Chance The Rapper knew he wanted to try a different approach for his Tiny Desk performance, so he decided to do something he said he hadn't done in a long time. He wrote a poem. More specifically, he wrote a poem in the short time it took him to ride from his hotel in Washington, D.C. to the NPR Music offices. Calling it The Other Side, Chance debuted it in the middle of his remarkable set, reading from his notes written out in black marker on sheets of typing paper.

    I still have all the keys that are of no use to me, he began. They used to, though. On the other side was a mansion on a hill, complete with L.A. pools and fireplaces and a rim made specifically for people that lie about being six feet to dunk on.

    Chance didn't get much further before he was interrupted by one of the hazards of performing in an actual, working office: a building-wide page for someone to call the mailroom. But Chance rolled with it, cracking a quick joke before starting over again.

    The night before arriving for his Tiny Desk set, Chance performed for more than 23,000 people at Jiffy Lube Live, an outdoor theater in Bristow, VA. The sold out arena and amphitheater shows of his current tour offer a stark contrast to the first time I saw Chance in concert back in 2013. Then, he was a 19-year old upstart rapping and singing for a handful of people at a tiny club in Austin, Texas. A lot has changed since then, and quickly. Chance's most recent mix tape, Coloring Book, was widely ranked among the best albums of 2016 (some called it a masterpiece) and featured collaborations with a cast of hip-hop luminaries, from Kanye West to Lil Wayne and T-Pain.

    Chance's poem The Other Side was sandwiched between an opening version of Juke Jam from Coloring Book and another special gift just for his Tiny Desk appearance, a moving cover of Stevie Wonder's 1974 song They Won't Go When I Go.

    Coloring Book is available now:
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    Set List
    Juke Jam
    They Won't Go When I Go (written by Stevie Wonder)

    Musicians
    Chance The Rapper (vocals); Nico Segal (trumpet); Peter Wilkins (keys); Rachele Robinson (background vocals); Ben Lusher (background vocals); Elliot Skinner (background vocals); Richard Saunders (background vocals); Greg Landfair Jr., aka Stix (drums)

    Credits
    Producers: Robin Hilton, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Nick Michael, Morgan Noelle Smith, Tsering Bista; PA: Colin Marshall, Jenna Li; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.

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  • John Legend: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    16:02

    At 34, John Legend has sold millions of records, won nine Grammys, collaborated with many of the biggest stars in music (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, The Roots, et al), and achieved the kind of statesmanlike musical-ambassador status usually afforded to artists twice his age. He is, in short, the sort of star who doesn't usually perform behind desks in offices.

    But once we'd wedged a piano back there, Legend sounded perfectly at home. His rich, soulful voice never suffered for a lack of processing and production as he performed three songs for NPR Music and a few hundred of our rapt coworkers, loved ones and hangers-on.

    Though he recently released a fine new album titled Love in the Future, from which Made to Love and All of Me were drawn for this set, Legend took special care to provide the backstory for Move, which he'd recorded for the soundtrack to 12 Years a Slave. Legend executive-produced that soundtrack himself — don't be surprised if you wind up hearing him perform Move again on Oscar night — and recorded the album version with U.K. musician Fink. Here, though, it's stripped down considerably, with just Legend's piano and the acoustic guitar of guest Bobby Anderson providing accompaniment.

    Legend doesn't play settings this intimate very often, and it's not as if he has anything to prove at this point in his career. But, just in case he did, he retains a busker's lung capacity, the charisma of a born star and the easygoing grace of a performer fit for any stage — even a tiny one. --STEPHEN THOMPSON

    Set List
    Made To Love
    Move
    All Of Me

    Credits
    Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Becky Harlan, Abbey Oldham, Meredith Rizzo

  • Suzanne Vega: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    18:21

    In pop-music circles, Suzanne Vega is known almost entirely for two songs from the late 1980s: the child-abuse ballad Luka and a song that launched literally dozens of dance remixes, Tom's Diner. But Vega has been making vital, inventive music the entire time — much of it folk-based, though her sound has taken many smart detours along the way — and is about to put out her first album of original material in seven years, Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles. The challenge, then, lies in capturing a snapshot of her career in only four songs.

    For this Tiny Desk Concert — performed with her brilliant guitarist and producer, Gerry Leonard — Vega splits the difference evenly between old and new, bookending her set with the aforementioned classics and tucking two about-to-be-released songs in the middle. Game and good-spirited throughout, Vega performed Luka and Tom's Diner as if she hadn't played them thousands of times before — aided greatly by Leonard, who's worked extensively with David Bowie and lends these songs an extraordinary amount of color and texture. (Check out the bells he adds near the end of Tom's Diner.)

    Vega's songwriting gifts haven't waned at any point in her long career, and the new songs here — taken from a concept album about the way our world and the spiritual realm intersect — sound as sharp as anything she's done. It only makes sense that, nearly 30 years after her debut, she still examines new realms with grace, empathy and an explorer's spirit. --STEPHEN THOMPSON

    Set List
    Luka
    Crack In The Wall
    I Never Wear White
    Tom's Diner

    Credits
    Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Olivia Merrion; photo by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

  • Ozuna: Tiny Desk Concert

    13:54

    The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, NPR Music presents four very special Tiny Desk Home Concerts recorded especially for this week. This video from global superstar Ozuna is a world premiere.

    Oct. 16, 2020 | Stefanie Fernández -- From a verdant room tucked away in Miami, Ozuna's Tiny Desk performance might allow you, as it did me, to forget for a moment that he's one of the most watched and listened-to artists on earth. For someone whose work often operates at galactic proportions, this performance of five songs makes room for Ozuna's sweet tenor to take center-desk in a love letter to the global communities that supported and streamed him to god tier status.

    The Puerto Rican singer kicks it off with a breezy rendition of Caramelo that leads into a solo version of the sun-drenched Del Mar from ENOC, his fourth album that he's deemed a return to his roots. This pared-down performance makes good on that promise, reworking star-studded collaborations, like the ballad Despeinada, as they should be sung: languorously and with intimacy. Even the pop smash Taki Taki sounds brand new, buoyed by his alchemical flow and energy.

    Ozuna is a crown jewel in the global crest of Latin pop, a movement whose modern success in reggaeton and Latin trap is indebted to the Caribbean genres Ozuna heard growing up in Puerto Rico, sounds like old-school reggaeton and reggae en español, dembow, dancehall and more. From then to now, Ozuna's bare talent remains his greatest asset. It's rare to see a star of his magnitude brush the earth so closely, and when it does, it's even rarer for it to feel and sound like second nature.

    SET LIST
    Caramelo
    Del Mar
    Despeinada
    Taki Taki
    Mamacita

    MUSICIANS
    Ozuna: vocals
    Freddie YoFred Lugo: bass
    Elí Bonilla: drums
    Carlos Mercader: guitar
    Benson Pagán: guitar
    Edgardo Santiago: keys
    Hector Meléndez: piano
    Erick Yonell Pachecho: DJ
    José Aponte: vocals

    CREDITS
    Video By: Miguel Gonzalez UnEnano
    Director: Nuno Gomes
    Audio By: Jose Rivera, Raymond Perez
    Producer: Bobby Carter
    Associate Producer: Stefanie Fernández
    Audio Mastering Engineer: Josh Rogosin
    Video Producer: Morgan Noelle Smith
    Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
    Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

  • ENNY ft. Jorja Smith - Peng Black Girls Remix | A COLORS SHOW

    3:28

    South East London-based rapper @Enny is joined by @Jorja Smith for a special performance of 'Peng Black Girls Remix' prod by Paya and Srigala

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    COLORSXSTUDIOS is a unique aesthetic music platform showcasing exceptional talent from around the globe. COLORS focuses on the most distinctive new artists and original sounds in an increasingly fragmented and saturated scene. All COLORS shows seek to provide clear, minimalistic stage that shines a spotlight on the artists, giving them the opportunity to present their music without distraction.

    #colors #ENNY #JorjaSmith

  • Raveena: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    17:25

    Watch Raveena play Honey, Bloom and Still Dreaming at the Tiny Desk.

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    Dec. 9, 2019 | Sidney Madden -- From the moment Raveena Aurora stepped into NPR's Music Department and looked at the Tiny Desk for the first time, she was ready. The Queens, N.Y. singer-songwriter and her team showed up early (which rarely happens) to meticulously arrange her stage props of homemade mushrooms and flowers, in the already endearingly cluttered space. These extra touches were meant to make clear that this performance would be all about community and safe spaces.

    A lot of my music talks about growing out of these really traumatic experiences, Raveena told the audience once the cameras started rolling. And if you've ever gone through something similar that I talk about in my music, I just want you to know that in this space that we're in, you're extremely, extremely loved.

    As Raveena pulled her audience in with the 2018 fan-favorite single Honey, and dreamy standouts from her 2019 debut album, Lucid, a hush fell over the office. Though sweet and soft-spoken, she exudes the confidence and clarity of a seasoned vet. Beyond an astounding vocal ability — the rising star cultivated her range by growing up on Minnie Riperton, Sade and Asha Puthli, India's '70s disco queen — it's Raveena's precision and charisma that shines brightest within the close quarters of the desk. From a coordinated band rocking a melted creamsicle palette to surrounding themselves with Raveena's homemade decor, it's the genuine attention to detail that makes this performance so mesmerizing.

    SET LIST
    Honey
    Bloom
    Still Dreaming

    MUSICIANS
    Raveena Aurora: vocals; Cale Hawkins: keys; Aaron Liao: bass; Tyler Newson: drums; Tiana Ohara: guitar; Gayathri Menon: vocals; Ada Obieshi: vocals

    CREDITS
    Producers: Sidney Madden, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineers: Josh Rogosin, Natasha Branch; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern, Jack Corbett, Bronson Arcuri; Associate producer: Bobby Carter; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Catie Dull/NPR

  • Jazmine Sullivan: Tiny Desk Concert

    19:50

    The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    Bobby Carter | January 8, 2021
    I don't recall any other artist at the Tiny Desk harmonizing their own introduction, but Philadelphia's own Jazmine Sullivan didn't waste a second, greeting us all by flexing those once-in-a-generation chops from the jump. The singer-songwriter, draped in a trench coat while her band sports all black, are nestled in the corner of a dimly lit space resembling a cabaret.

    We don't see or hear much from Jazmine Sullivan until she has something to get off her chest. She drops a body of work every five years or so, shakes up the world of R&B with each offering, then quietly goes back to minding her own business. Her latest project, Heaux Tales, is a bold and timely conversation piece addressing truths regarding relationships, sex, social norms, self-worth and a myriad of other topics that women graple with. Each song is masterfully connected to another through unique yet familiar testimonies by women from all walks of life.

    She starts her Tiny Desk (home) concert with three extended and reworked selections from Heaux Tales, squeezes in thee fan favorite from 2015's Reality Show, then invites Tiny Desk alum H.E.R. to the stage to close with Girl Like Me. Ms. Sullivan, her background vocalists and H.E.R. ate this performance up and left not a crumb on the floor.

    SET LIST
    Bodies (Intro)
    The Other Side
    Lost One
    Let It Burn
    Girl Like Me (featuring H.E.R.)

    MUSICIANS
    Jazmine Sullivan: vocals
    H.E.R.: vocals
    Alisa Joe: vocals
    Natalie Curtis: vocals
    Ayana George: vocals
    Dave Watson: drums
    Simon Martinez: guitar
    Jermaine Blandford: bass
    Eric Wortham: keys

    CREDITS
    Video: Mansa Twin Johnson, Mignotae Kebede, Evan Morsell
    Audio: Chauncey Burney
    Creative Director: Amaya Segura
    Set Design: Matthew Englebert
    Executive Producer: Omari Williams

    TINY DESK TEAM
    Producer: Bobby Carter
    Video Producer: Maia Stern
    Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
    Tiny Production Team: Bob Boilen, Kara Frame, Morgan Noelle Smith
    Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
    Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

  • Khalid: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    13:30

    June 18, 2018 | Sidney Madden -- Before Khalid performed Location, his debut single that's now four-times platinum, at the Tiny Desk, he told the audience the story of how he wrote the track during his senior year of high school not knowing where music would take him. (FYI: He graduated in the Class of 2016. Feel old yet?) And before singing Saved, Khalid explained that this was one of the first songs he ever wrote and remembers that when he put it up on SoundCloud, a rude commenter tried to diminish his talent. Obviously, he didn't let the negative energy stop him.

    I honestly couldn't tell you what that guy is doing with his life but he's not doing this, Khalid said with a contagious laugh.

    Khalid's music narrates life's awkwardly necessary moments: the butterflies of young love, the angst of craving freedom, the apprehension of teetering on that next step in life. He creates honest, comforting pop for teens and young adults that speaks to the kid in all of us. Accompanied only by acoustic guitarist Jef Villaluna, the 20-year-old sensation captured this fleeting fearlessness of youth and brought it to the Tiny Desk for a heartfelt serenade session. The way his voice glided calmly over the guitar notes, switching between baritone and tenor, was fitting given that he sings about teenage peaks and pitfalls. Khalid's sense of wide-eyed yet humble wonder permeates through the entire set.

    Khalid finished his set with a mini bow and a peace sign to the audience, but made sure to squeeze in time for some of the diehard fans in the crowd of NPR employees and their guests — many of whom were gleeful teens, some just as awkward, angsty and wide-eyed as he when penning his first songs in high school. He understood.

    Set List

    Young Dumb & Broke
    Location
    Saved

    CREDITS
    Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Beck Harlan, Khun Minn Ohn; Production Assistant: Catherine Zhang; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.

  • Summer Walker: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    14:48

    Watch Summer Walker playSession 32, Wasted, Girls Need Love, Riot and Playing Games at the Tiny Desk.

    Watch Tiny Desk Concerts ONE WEEK before they go on YouTube at

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    Oct. 21, 2019 | Rodney Carmichael -- Seconds before the cameras started to roll, Summer Walker showed just how much she was willing to sacrifice for her day at the Tiny Desk: She clipped her nails. It wasn't an aesthetic choice but a pragmatic one. Not even her love for a fresh set of bedazzled acrylics would get in the way of her strumming the soul out of her six-string Fender electric. The guitar wasn't the only thing she'd brought with her from Atlanta. In her lap sat Friend, the pink stuffed animal who no doubt provided a bit of emotional support during a five-song set that forced the shy enigma out of her creative shell.

    Look, I'm really freaking excited to be here but I have social anxiety like a mother******, Walker told the NPR crowd at the end of her set, barely mumbling the expletive in an attempt to censor herself. I'm freaked the hell out, I'm sweating, but this is so exciting for me.

    A 23-year old singer-songwriter with an uncensored pen and brown-liquor vocals, Walker has become something of a patron saint for colored girls who've considered bossing up when heartbreak is too much. With the release of her official studio debut Over It, she made history last week by racking up the biggest streaming week of any female R&B artist ever. Meanwhile, the first lady of upstart label Love Renaissance (LVRN) is lowkey leading a sonic revolution in Atlanta that's turning the trap capital back into an R&B town. Her team was equally insistent on tricking out the Tiny Desk space by hanging lights that brought a diffuse glow to Walker's creative set.

    For an artist who rarely grants interviews and admittedly dreads the public spotlight — despite an Instagram feed that clearly shows off her humorous, exhibitionist flair — Walker's Tiny Desk is revealing. In the span of 15 minutes, she performs fan favorites (Session 32, Wasted, Riot) and the song that made Drake hop in her DMs, Girls Need Love, before ending with current single Playing Games. Even behind the bright lights and oversized eyeglass frames, her unadorned soul shines through.

    SET LIST
    Session 32
    Wasted
    Girls Need Love
    Riot
    Playing Games

    MUSICIANS
    Summer Walker: vocals, guitar; Elijah Whittingham: guitar; Angel White: vocals; Autumn Tuesdae: vocals; Slim.wav: keys; Stox: bass; Remey Williams: drums

    CREDITS
    Producers: Rodney Carmichael, Bobby Carter, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, Patrick Boyd; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Niki Walker, Maia Stern, Beck Harlan, Jack Corbett; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey; Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

  • Dave: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    13:24

    Watch Dave play Location, Black and Hangmanat the Tiny Desk.

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    Nov. 8, 2019 | Rodney Carmichael -- Rather than squeezing in a stop by NPR's Washington D.C. headquarters between tour stops, the rapper Dave made a special trip all the way from the UK just for his Tiny Desk performance. If that isn't proof that it was a big deal, his nervousness before the show confirmed it. But he powered through in a performance that puts his gift for making the personal political on full display.

    Behind Dave's British stoicism, you get an up-close look at the honest storytelling and stripped-down vulnerability that earned him a Mercury Prize in the UK for Psychodrama and an acting role in Netflix's crime drama reboot Top Boy. He blacks out, lyrically, with a four-piece band and background singer backing him after sharing the inspiration behind the aptly-titled song Black from his opus of a debut. It's just about the black British experience, he says. Everyone's experience of being black is a little bit different, but this is my take on it. I wanted to deliver it to the world and here it is for you guys.

    But the climax here comes near the end, when Dave takes a seat at the piano to accompany himself while rapping his 2018 hit, Hangman. In the moment before he plays the opening keys, he pauses to take a breath before channeling the weight of the world through his fingers.

    SET LIST
    Location
    Black
    Hangman

    MUSICIANS
    Dave: vocals, piano; Darryl Howell: drums; Aaron Harvell: keys; Markelle Abraham: guitar; Thomas Adam Johnson: bass; Tashera Robertson: vocals

    CREDITS
    Producers: Rodney Carmichael, Bobby Carter, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, CJ Riculan, Bronson Arcuri, Kara Frame; Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

  • Chika: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

    18:01

    This performance was recorded on February 24, 2020. We will continue releasing Tiny Desk videos of shows that had already been taped. In light of current events, NPR is postponing new live tapings of Tiny Desk Concerts. In the meantime, check out Tiny Desk (home) concerts! They’re recorded by the artists in their home. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

    March 13, 2020 | Abby O'Neill -- Showing her playful side, the 23-year old rapper, Chika came to the Tiny Desk chock-full of jokes and lots of flair, even bringing her sister in-tow to celebrate the occasion as a family affair. Chika was also the first hip-hop act to anchor her set with just a Peruvian cajón instead of a full, hard-hitting kit. The surprisingly stripped-down performance allowed her lyrics, with all their nuance, to take center stage — and the result was remarkable.

    The impressive harmonies from Chika's four backup singers brought all the feels right out of the gate. Backed by a guitar melody that was both catchy and eerily haunting, Chika ripped through Industry Games, the first single and title cut to her major label, debut EP. Moving seamlessly between rap verse and melodic hooks, Chika showcased her unusual tonality, multi-cadence delivery and vocal range, with an effortless, double-time lyrical bounce.

    These days, most hip-hop artists who come to the Tiny Desk try to one-up performances by their peers and think a blowout production is better. But Chika knew less was more. When your level of talent cuts through — and hits you directly in the gut as hers did — there's no need or time for any industry games.

    SET LIST
    Industry Games
    Songs About You
    Balencies
    Crown
    Intro

    MUSICIANS
    Chika: vocals; Dominic Missana: cajon; David Levitan: guitar; Chris McClenny: bass; Jabri Rayford: vocals; Rachel Robinson: vocals; Darius Dixson: vocals; Danielle Withers: vocals

    CREDITS
    Producers: Abby O'Neill, Morgan Noelle Smith, Jack Corbett; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineers: Josh Rogosin, Alex Drewenskus; Editor: Maia Stern; Videographers: Jack Corbett, Maia Stern, Melany Rochester, Bronson Arcuri; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Production Assistant: Shanti Hands; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Max Posner/NPR

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