tiny desk contest

Big Dreams, Tiny Desk

Got a big dream of playing the Tiny Desk? 

Send us a video of you playing one song behind a desk of your choosing. If you win, you'll get to play your very own Tiny Desk concert.

Are you eligible?

Only eligible entries can win the Contest. Does your entry have what it takes? We’ve got a quick and easy way to help you find out!

Make your video

When you enter the 2021 Tiny Desk Contest, you join a nationwide community of music-makers and creators. Get started on your video now! Entries open on May 11.


Here's what you do:

  • Create a new video that shows you playing one song you've written.
  • Do it the way you'd perform a Tiny Desk concert: at a desk. (Any desk!)
  • Upload your video to YouTube.
  • Fill out our entry form after it opens at 10 a.m. ET on May 11 and before 11:59 p.m. ET on June 7, 2021.

The winner will:

  • Play a Tiny Desk concert at NPR in Washington, D.C.
  • Be featured on NPR’s All Things Considered

Keep these things in mind:

  • We're looking for undiscovered talent; you can't have a current recording contract.
  • You must be at least 18 years old and live in the U.S. to enter.
  • Our panel of judges — including members of NPR Music, DJs from NPR Member stations and Tiny Desk alums — will choose our winner.
  • Check our Official Rules for all the requirements. Take this quiz to see if you're eligible.

 

Questions? Contact us

Meet The Judges

Bob Boilen v2
Bob Boilen

Bob hosts NPR Music's All Songs Considered and is a creator of the Tiny Desk concert series.

tdc judge bobby
Bobby Carter

Bobby is the producer for Tiny Desk concerts at NPR Music.

tdc judge jewly
Jewly Hight

Jewly is a music critic and journalist based in Nashville. She’s also an NPR Music contributor and the Editorial Director of WNXP.

John Morrison v2
John Morrison

John is a DJ and freelance journalist from Philadelphia. He also hosts the monthly hip-hop show Culture Cypher Radio on WXPN.

tdc judge linda
Linda Diaz

Linda is a singer-songwriter from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She won the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest and is a co-host of the PBS musical education series Sound Field.

tdc judge pheobe
Phoebe Bridgers

Having performed as a solo artist and as a member of the groups boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center, Phoebe is alum of the Tiny Desk a few times over. As a singer-songwriter, she’s beloved for her knack for poetic detail and biting wit.

tdc judge tobe
Tobe Nwigwe

A Nigerian-American singer and rapper hailing from Houston, Tobe is known for the undeniable attention to detail and powerful sense of purpose he brings to his music.

Meet The Past Winners

2020:
Linda Diaz

Hailing from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Linda Diaz is a singer-songwriter — and former scholastic chess champion — with a sparkling stage presence. Her euphoric and calming music swirls R&B hooks with soulful melodies, often wrapping powerful, self-affirming messages in a warm yet refreshing sound.

2019:
Quinn Christopherson

Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Quinn Christopherson is an Athabaskan and Inupiaq songwriter who combines thoughtful songwriting with a powerful sense of perspective. His music is warm and vulnerable; in it, he reflects on his childhood, honors the relationships in his life and addresses his role as a transgender individual navigating Alaska's social landscape.

2018:
Naia Izumi

Naia Izumi's entry video for "Soft Spoken," recorded in his home studio in Los Angeles, showcases his virtuoistic talent and the gentle spirit he brings to his music

2017:
Tank and the Bangas

New Orleans’ Tank and the Bangas conveys its freewheeling spirit through a sound that combines pop, hip-hop, funk, spoken word and musical theater. The band’s entry video won over our judges with its undeniable, joyful energy. 

Since winning the Contest, Tank and the Bangas has played to sold-out crowds across the United States and Europe, including performing at Coachella and headlining NPR Music's 10th birthday party.

2016:
Gaelynn Lea

Gaelynn Lea has been playing violin for more than 20 years. She builds on a repertoire of traditional Celtic and American fiddle music, writing original songs that incorporate folk-rock influences, looping tracks and an inventive style. 

Since winning the Contest, Gaelynn has toured the world and played at renowned venues including The Kennedy Center and House of Blues Chicago. She is also an advocate for people with disabilities.

2015:
Fantastic Negrito

Fantastic Negrito’s winning entry in the 2015 Tiny Desk Contest was a raw, soulful performance captured at a makeshift desk in a freight elevator.

Since winning the Tiny Desk Contest, Fantastic Negrito has played at a number of major music festivals and at Madison Square Garden, and has won three Grammy awards.

See the latest

All Songs Considered

You Can Now Enter The 2021 Tiny Desk Contest

May 12, 2021 • Send in your video before midnight on June 7. If you win, you'll play your very own Tiny Desk concert at NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
NPR
All Songs Considered

Announcing The 2021 Tiny Desk Contest

May 5, 2021 • Unsigned musicians: We want to hear from you. Starting May 11, send us a video of you performing one original song at a desk — and you might get to come play behind Bob Boilen's.
NPR
Read more on All Songs Considered

Stay in Touch

Sign up to be the first to know when the 2021 Tiny Desk Contest is open for submissions.

You'll get contest updates and inspiration to help with your entry.