Cincinnati Musicians: Submissions Open for NPR's 2020 Tiny Desk Contest

Need something to do while you're in quarantine or self-distancing? Make some music.

click to enlarge Quinn Christopherson - Photo: Ash Adams
Photo: Ash Adams
Quinn Christopherson

Now that you likely have a little more indoor time on your hands: NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest is now taking submissions 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 an eclectic array of artists perform intimate sets in the network’s offices for their long-running video series. 

For the contest, unsigned 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 11:59 p.m. on March 30. The contest is open to unsigned acts from the United States whose members are 18 or older. The video must be specifically made for the contest and, of course, feature a desk. The single song performed in the video must be an original composition and feature no samples of other works. 

Even if you’re just a casual hobbyist, there are no experience requirements, so why not grab your phone, find a desk and sing a song if you’re stuck in the house for a while? You never know…

More info: tinydeskcontest.npr.org.

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