Listen up music lovers! It’s that time of year again when the best-undiscovered artist gets their shot at Tiny Desk fame.
From the late, great Mac Miller, who brought his signature blend of wit and vulnerability to the Desk, to Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, who tore the roof off with their irrepressible funk and soul. And who could forget T-Pain, the undisputed king of autotune, who showed us all just how much heart and soul goes into his music? And then there’s the incomparable Florence and the Machine, whose soaring vocals and ethereal melodies left us all breathless.
These are the kinds of artists that make the Tiny Desk the cultural touchstone that it is. And who knows, maybe the next great act is just waiting in the wings, ready to take the stage and blow us all away. Because it’s that time of year again, when the best-undiscovered artist gets their shot at Tiny Desk fame.
That’s right, the Tiny Desk Contest is back for the ninth year, and the stakes have never been higher. The winner gets to strut their stuff on the legendary Tiny Desk stage and join the Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour.
Let’s talk judges. This year’s panel is stacked with heavy-hitters in the music biz. We’ve got Bob Boilen, the Tiny Desk series creator and All Songs Considered host. We’ve got Bobby Carter, the Tiny Desk series producer. And we’ve got Sharon Van Etten, the musical genius who graced the original Tiny Desk back in 2010. But wait, there’s more! Baby Rose, the voice that launched a thousand goosebumps, and Sudan Archives, the singer and violinist who effortlessly blends R&B, hip-hop, and experimental electronic music. And last but certainly not least, Albina Cabrera of Seattle station KEXP, a true champion of independent musicians and Latin American music.
Now, here’s the deal. To enter, all you need to do is record a video of you playing one original song behind a desk. It’s that simple. Once you’ve got your masterpiece recorded, upload it to YouTube (but make sure it’s public!). Then, review the checklist to make sure your video follows all the rules and is eligible to win. Finally, submit your video here by March 13 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
But wait, there’s more! If you enter early, you might just get featured by NPR Music in the run-up to the deadline and announcement. And even if you don’t win, multiple entrants will be featured this year on the Contest blog, NPR Music’s social media channels, NPR’s Top Shelf series on YouTube, and the Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour. So what are you waiting for? Get those creative juices flowing and show us what you’ve got. The contest is open now through March 13, 2023.