NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert searches for new acts

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NPR announced Tuesday a contest that will use the platform of its Tiny Desk Concerts to discover up-and-coming musicians.

For viewers, the appeal of the Tiny Desk Concert series is watching popular and rising artists — from T-Pain to Timber Timbre — perform in an unusual setting: the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen. But the new contest will give smaller acts not signed to a record label the opportunity to perform and gain exposure.

“I go to shows, most every night, hoping to find something new and surprising,” said Boilen in a press release. “This Tiny Desk Concert Contest is a way for me to, essentially, time travel around the country, hear hundreds of bands that are completely off my radar, and share the most exciting and surprising ones with our music-loving audience.”

To enter, musicians are asked to record an original song around a desk and upload the video to YouTube. Submissions will be accepted until Jan. 19, 2015.

A panel of musicians, producers, Boilen and All Songs co-host Robin Hilton will select the winning entry. Performers will have the opportunity to perform a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Lagunitas Brewing Company, a supporter of the contest, will also showcase the winning musician at their “CouchTrippin’ to Austin” show in Austin, Texas, in March. A winner will be picked by mid-February.

Before a winner is selected, performances can be viewed on the Tiny Concert Tumblr page, and updates can be followed using the Twitter hashtag #TinyDeskContest.

NPR started its Tiny Desk Concert series in 2008. The series has featured more than 300 performances.

  • WTMD, 89.7 FM

    Of course NPR Music could have called member stations and asked for recommendations.