© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Tiny Desk Contest Is Back For 2020

In the past year, we've had some pretty big names come perform at the Tiny Desk: Lizzo, Jimmy Eat World and Taylor Swift, to name a few.

While seeing these artists' stripped-down sets is impressive, that's not all the Tiny Desk is about. For me, what's really magical and memorable about Tiny Desk concerts is discovering and connecting with musicians our audience likely doesn't know and then getting to share them with our listeners.

We started the Tiny Desk Contest in 2014 in an effort to do even more of that: discover and share great unknown artists. Since the Contest's launch, we've had five outstanding winners, invited even more Contest artists to play at the Desk and heard from countless artists we love along the way. We're excited today to announce that the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest is here.

Here's what you need to know:

  • We'll start accepting Contest entries next Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. ET. Entries close at midnight ET on Monday, March 30.
  • To be eligible to win, you must be an unsigned musician and at least 18 years old.
  • To enter, record a video of yourself playing one original song at a desk (any desk will do!) and upload it to YouTube.
  • Send us your song by submitting your video at npr.org/tinydeskcontest.
  • The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges. I'll be joined by some great Tiny Desk alums: Brittany Howard, Gina Chavez and last year's winner, Quinn Christopherson. Bobby Carter, Tiny Desk concert producer extraordinaire, will be part of the team, plus Raina Douris of WXPN's World Cafe and Tarik Moody of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.
  • If you want to make sure your video is eligible to win, you can take this easy quiz or read the official rules.

    If you win, you'll play a Tiny Desk concert and then go on tour across the U.S. with NPR Music. And even though we only choose one winner, we feature artists from the Contest community in plenty of other ways: on our blog, in a Contest supercut video, on NPR's newsmagazines and at the Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour stops.

    Speaking of tour stops, this year, we're expanding our tour to 10 cities! We'll be visiting Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Seattle. We hope to see you there.

    We can't wait to discover even more great music this year and are looking forward to meeting our winner. Could it be you?

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
    KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

    Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
    Related Content