Attention Local Musicians: NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest is Taking Submissions

The annual, nationwide unsigned artist competition has opened submission for its 2020 contest

Feb 14, 2020 at 10:10 am
click to enlarge Former Cincinnati musician Jennifer Simone in her 2019 Tiny Desk Contest submission - Screenshot
Former Cincinnati musician Jennifer Simone in her 2019 Tiny Desk Contest submission

NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest is now taking submission for its 2020 competition.

The annual contest (now in its sixth year) is an offshoot of NPR's popular Tiny Desk Concert series, for which a wide range of artists perform intimate sets in the network's offices for their long-running video series.

For the contest, musical acts from across the country submit videos and the chosen winner (picked by a committee of artists and music professionals) gets their own Tiny Desk Concert, a sponsored national tour and a considerable career boost from all of the exposure.

The winners of the contest over the past five years have experienced major success after their victories. The first year's Tiny Desk Contest winner, Fantastic Negrito, has won multiple Grammys, while the 2018 winner, Naia Izumi, toured with The Lone Bellow and earned a record deal with Sony Masterworks. Last year's Tiny Desk winner was Alaskan singer/songwriter Quinn Christopherson, who toured North America in 2019 with Indie fave Lucy Dacus and also did shows with Courtney Barnett (including at Covington's Madison Theater).

Artists can submit their videos up until March 30 at 11:59 p.m. Here are some basic ground rules (you can also complete a quick "checklist" quiz if you're wondering whether or not you can submit):

• To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the United States. You can't currently have a record deal.

• When you're ready to enter, create a new video of you playing one original song (at a desk) and upload it to YouTube. Then, fill out the entry form on our website.

• Our panel of judges — including members of NPR Music, colleagues from NPR Member stations and alumni of the Tiny Desk — will choose our winner.

Find more about the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest here.

Cincinnati has had a good showing in the Tiny Desk Contest over the years. Check out some of the best submissions by local artists from 2018 and 2019.