tiny desk contest

Tiny Desk Seeks Big Talent

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 and go on tour with NPR Music.

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 2022 Tiny Desk Contest, you join a nationwide community of music-makers and creators. Get started on your video now! Entries open on Feb. 8.


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 Feb. 8 and before 11:59 p.m. ET on March 14, 2022.

The winner will:

  • Play a Tiny Desk concert at NPR in Washington, D.C.
  • Be featured on NPR’s All Things Considered
  • Headline NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour

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., U.S.V.I. or Puerto Rico 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

Nominate An Unsigned Musician

Have a talented friend or up-and-coming musician whom you’ve been rooting for? Nominate them to enter the Tiny Desk Contest!

Steps to nominate:
  • Download this nomination card.
  • Post the card to your Instagram story, tag your nominee and @nprmusic.
  • Remind your nominee to enter the Contest by March 14th!

Meet The Judges

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Bob Boilen

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

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Bobby Carter

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

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Nate Chinen

Nate Chinen is a regular contributor to NPR Music, and editorial director at NPR Member station WBGO. He’s also the author of Playing Changes: Jazz For the New Century

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Big K.R.I.T.

Southern rapper and Tiny Desk alum Big K.R.I.T. is a salient storyteller who spits with clarity and preaches perseverance. 

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iLe

Hailing from Puerto Rico, Tiny Desk alum iLe is a rising star whose ever-changing sound spans an impressive variety of genres, all rooted in classic Latin styles.

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Michelle Zauner

Best-selling author and lead singer of Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner is beloved for her ability to write about grief and love over indie rock and dreamy pop sonic landscapes. 

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Raveena

Tiny Desk alum Raveena is an artist whose soothing R&B music embraces vulnerability and showcases her shining vocal abilities.

Meet The Past Winners

2021:
NEFFY

NEFFY is a singer-songwriter from Arlington, Va., with a stunning, singular voice whose songs combine influences from folk, soul and R&B. Her entry video for “Wait Up,” which reflects on the healing power of nature, is a testament to her honest, emotional songwriting. Since teaching herself guitar as a teenager, NEFFY has played hundreds of shows in New York and Washington, D.C., and says she considers live performances as the best part of her creative process.

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

Tiny Desk Contest

Announcing the winner of the 2022 Tiny Desk Contest

May 17, 2022 • Choosing one winner from all the incredible entries NPR Music receives each year is no small feat — but this year, one songwriter gave a captivating performance that rose to the top.
NPR
Read more on the contest blog

Stay in Touch

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