Since 2008, National Public Radio have hosted an online live music series called ‘Tiny Desk Concerts’. Featuring artists from all genres, the show has starred musicians such as Chance The Rapper, Sampha and Cigarettes After Sex, to name a few. The format continues to routinely deliver, allowing artists to perform a few of their favourite tracks in an intimate office enviroment. After watching Jorja Smith‘s mesmerising performance in her latest Tiny Desk Concert, I decided to pick out five of my favourite sets from recent months.
As I’ve just mentioned, this incredible performance from Jorja Smith led me to write this post and sharing other great recent Tiny Desk Concerts, that everyone needs to watch. She has a truly captivating voice, and her songwriting delves into subjects such as insecurities and love. Her new album ‘Lost & Found’ is out now, and you can read my opinion of it here.
Khalid was one of the breakthrough acts of last year, with his debut album ‘American Teen’ recieving critical acclaim and peaking at no. 4 on the Billboard 200. Here he makes his NPR Tiny Desk debut, performing three tracks from that album, ‘Young, Dumb & Broke’, ‘Location’ and ‘Saved’. With five Grammy nominations already under the 20-year-old’s belt, the singer offered insights into each track in a hugely entralling acoustic session.
In true Tom Misch fashion, his Tiny Desk performance brought together an array of different musicians wonderfully, full with trumpet, violin and the usual band accompaniments. The set had a quiet, but soothing confidence about it, as Tom played three tracks off his latest album ‘Geography’. The London-born artist offered a fun and uplifting set, effortlessly moving through jazz and hip-hop inspired sounds.
After reviewing over 5,000 entries the NPR music team announced Naia Izumi as the winner of the 2018 Tiny Desk competition. The competition gives a platform for unsigned artists to gain more exposure, and in Naia Izumi NPR have really unearthed a hidden gem. He has a very unique style of playing the guitar, which culminates in beautiful soul-filled soundscapes, eloquently blended with his vocal range he is defintely an artist to keep tabs on.
And last, but defintely not least, it’s American hip-hop artist GoldLink. This is one of my favourite Tiny Desk Concerts from an extremely talented performer, who is clearly at the top of his game. The ease of his flow, the confident swagger and lyrisim, all accompanied by a beautiful arrangement of back-up singers and musicians.