Story Corps

Asher Jaffe entered the Tiny Desk Contest with the song "Alphabet Soup."


Throughout the next few months, we'll be sharing some of the many 2020 Tiny Desk Contest entries that have caught our eyes and ears. You can enter the Contest until 11:59 p.m. ET on March 30. Check out a playlist of all the entries we've featured on the blog on YouTube — and if you think you've got what it takes, you can check out the Official Rules and fill out the eligibility checklist, then film your video and submit it here.

We're also hoping to hear from unsigned artists who had been planning on performing at SXSW. Let us know via this form once you've entered the Contest; we might feature your video on our blog next week.

Curious about what our Contest judges are looking for in entries? Bring your questions to our Reddit AMA with Tiny Desk producer and Contest judge Bobby Carter at 2 p.m. ET on Friday, March 12.

Mamii, "I'm All Yours"


Hometown: Hammond, Ind.
Pairs well with:
Wearing velvet and swaying in love

Shawtoni Nichols, aka R&B singer Mamii, immediately caught my attention with her mesmerizing presence in "I'm All Yours." She professes her feelings with an unmistakable clarity in this stripped-down rendition of a groovy love song, which gives us a glimpse into what a Tiny Desk concert from this artist would look like — no bells or whistles. Come for Mamii's swoon-worthy, smooth voice, stay for her genuine and raw tenderness. —Elle Mannion

The Flying Vees, "Back Up (Mutherf*****)"


Hometown: Fayetteville, Pa.
Pairs well with:
Shutting down strangers without repercussion

The Flying Vees song "Back Up (Mutherf*****)" recounts a straightforward yet fierce message many have felt the need to say while out in public. The harmonies, infused with blues, country and rock and roll, produce an undeniable, energized anthem from this first-time Contest entrant. —Tolu Igun

Ms. Jaylin Brown, "Out Of Time"


Hometown: Richmond, Va.
Pairs well with:
Slow dancing in the living room and red, red wine

"We all have our days, at least that's what they say," sings Ms. Jaylin Brown, with a particular sense of warmth and presence, on the lovelorn tune "Out of Time." Whether the rain is coming down or you're having coffee on a sunny Sunday morning, songs like this one act as a salve for the soul, an anthem for both the downturns and triumphs of life and love. —Emma Bowers

Alyssa Hankey, "Love Song"


Hometown: Rural Valley, Pa.
Pairs well with:
Unwinding with a beer; hazy, rustic road trips

"Love Song" is the type of tune you want to put on after a long day, as Alyssa Hankey's gorgeous voice could be a soothing antidote for any trying inconvenience. With a remarkable Americana sound, the Pittsburgh-based singer humbly asks that you go easy on her heart: "I've been up / I've been down / I been chewed up and then spit out / I've been going it alone / I never learned to dance / but if you give me a chance / I'll give your heart a home." —Elle Mannion

Andrew Gray Y Los Colores, "Technicolor"


Hometown: Austin, Texas
Pairs well with:
Setting the volume on your speakers irresponsibly loud; being told to keep the racket down

Andrew Gray Y Los Colores' entry "Technicolor" takes a sharp left turn. Between the opening shout of "And we're f****** rolling" and the dark arpeggiated guitar chords, the group sets us up for a heavy alt-rock vibe — but then channels that energy into a funky, swaggering, Ratatat-style jam. And in case you're disappointed by that shift away from the heavier stuff, Gray still kicks up the distortion for a satisfyingly intense solo at the end. —Jon Lewis

Asher Jaffe, "Alphabet Soup"


Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Pairs well with:
A fun, fresh lunch date with an old fling

Right on cue comes Asher Jaffe, sliding and gliding to center stageas smooth as the opening notes of "Alphabet Soup." Accompanied by a lively tune that's sure to make you smile and dance along, Jaffe's play on words points out an essential element he seems to be missing from his alphabet soup: you. —Tolu Igun

Charlie Wilks, "Waves"


Hometown: Wichita, Kan.
Pairs well with:
An extremely vivid daydream; imagining life on the high seas

What Charlie Wilks does in his song "Waves" can maybe best be described as "narrative acoustic guitar shredding." Wilks is blind, and says that part of his songwriting inspiration comes from hearing descriptions of images. You certainly get that sense here, as his astoundingly dexterous fingerpicking creates an almost orchestral sound that tells the story of a ship setting out to sea, finding a peaceful cove and then heading back into the storm. —Jon Lewis

All Songs Considered

Jun 08, 2021

Roséwave: Back 2 Basic

Enlarge this image It's not a genre; it's a lifestyle. Kara Frame/NPR hide captiontoggle caption Kara
Dec 29, 2020

Roséwave: Lost Summer

Enlarge this image We danced in kitchens, took long drives, caught up in backyards or on video chat, watched weddings from our
Jun 29, 2020

Heat Check: Underrated And Elevating

Enlarge this image cupcakKe switches her flow up so many times that "Discounts" is a raunchy and hilarious three-minute shopper bargain.
Jun 22, 2020

Heat Check: Can't Get It For Free

Enlarge this image Miami duo City Girls returns with their second full-length album, City on Lock. Prince Williams/WireImage/Getty Images hide…
Jun 15, 2020

Heat Check: Bigger Picture

Enlarge this image Lil Baby's "The Bigger Picture" is a conscious trap anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement. Matthew Geovany
Jun 08, 2020

Meet The 2020 Tiny Desk Contest Community

YouTube Each year, we receive thousands of entries to the Tiny Desk Contest, and the Contest team watches every single one. We get to hear songs from…
May 31, 2020

Heat Check: 'Black Joy Is Radical'

Enlarge this image Nubya Garcia's latest single "Pace" is all about diving into the many layers of joy. Adama Jalloh/Courtesy of
May 25, 2020

Heat Check: Got A Big Ego

Enlarge this image Amaarae cuts it up better than a moon-walking Samurai on "Body Count." Philip Boakye/Courtesy of the artist hide
May 03, 2020

Heat Check: Hippocampus Two-Steps

Enlarge this image Dreya Mac spits bars at a level far beyond a novice on her debut track "Skippin." Clara Setian/Courtesy
Apr 26, 2020

Heat Check: Shake Your Senses

Enlarge this image Rooted in languid rhythm, Octavian's "Poison" featuring Santi with OBONGJAYAR sounds like nothing else out. Crowns & Owls/Courtesy…
Apr 19, 2020

Heat Check: Double My W's

Enlarge this image Kenny Mason unveils his debut project Angelic Hoodrat with a cool-under-pressure, low-lid resolve. Nasser Boulaich/Courtesy of the…
Apr 12, 2020

Heat Check: Money In My Hand

Enlarge this image Don't play with Kari Faux. Play with your kids. Quil Lemons /Courtesy of the artist hide captiontoggle caption Quil
Apr 05, 2020

Heat Check: I Feel Void

Enlarge this image Empress Of's "Void" feels like a euphoric cross-genre culture clash, a dance party in a summer storm. Dorian Lopez/Courtesy
Mar 29, 2020

Heat Check: Teleport And Transform

Enlarge this image Bongeziwe Mabandla's "masiziyekelele" sends you racing through the streets of Johannesburg. Justice Mukheli/Courtesy of the artist…
Mar 22, 2020

Heat Check: Make It Make Sense

Enlarge this image Alex Isley's "Gone" perfects the art of subtle, fear-inducing seduction. Lauren Desberg /Courtesy of the artist hide captiontoggle…
Mar 08, 2020

Heat Check: Homecoming

Enlarge this image The laboriously-delayed Eternal Atake finally delivered big time for Lil Uzi Vert fans. Erika Goldring/FilmMagic/Getty Images hide…
Feb 23, 2020

Heat Check: Caught Up And Curious

Enlarge this image Linda Diaz's "Magic" swirls in the watercolor pools of a quirky, young love. Jonah Zorn Koplin/Courtesy of the artist
Feb 17, 2020

Heat Check: Répéter, Répéter

Enlarge this image Arlo Parks' "Eugene" spins a stinging reminder of getting left for convention. Charlie Cummings/Courtesy of the artist hide…
Feb 09, 2020

Heat Check: Going All Out

Enlarge this image Victoria Monét melds fantasy with reality for her latest, "Moment." Dana Trippe/Courtesy of the artist hide captiontoggle caption…
Feb 03, 2020

The Tiny Desk Contest Is Back For 2020

YouTube In the past year, we've had some pretty big names come perform at the Tiny Desk: Lizzo, Jimmy Eat World and Taylor Swift, to name a few.
Default Image
Dec 17, 2019

Bob Boilen's Top 20 Albums For 2019

Big Thief released two of Bob Boilen's favorite albums in 2019: U.F.O.F. and Two Hands. Michael Buishas hide captiontoggle caption Michael Buishas
Dec 16, 2019

Heat Check: Favorite Discoveries Of 2019

Enlarge this image Kirby, Odunsi (The Engine) and Hope Tala Courtney Loo & David Karp/Folarin Omolayole/Freddie Stisted/Courtesy of the artists hide…
Dec 01, 2019

Heat Check: Ode To The Cap

Enlarge this image Kilo Kish's glitchy, pithy "SPARK" sets fire to procrastination, pushing you to keep creating. Kish Robinson/Courtesy of the artist
Nov 17, 2019

Poll: Your Favorite Songs Of The 2010s

Oivind Hovland/Getty Images/Ikon Images What are your favorite songs of the past decade? These are tracks released between 2010 and 2019. We know
Nov 17, 2019

Heat Check: Charge The Haters Interest

Enlarge this image Denzel Curry's Super Saiyan energy offsets Glass Animals' eerie, horn-submerged production on "Tokyo Drifting." Elliot Arndt…
Nov 10, 2019

Heat Check: Lived-In R&B, Rap And Ragga

Enlarge this image With rich, cascading runs, Ayoni's "September" is a stand-out on this week's Heat Check. Caleb Griffin/Courtesy of the artist
Nov 10, 2019

Heat Check: Lived-In R&B, Rap And Ragga

Enlarge this image With rich, cascading runs, Ayoni's "September" is a stand-out on this week's Heat Check. Caleb Griffin/Courtesy of the artist
Oct 20, 2019

Heat Check: Getting Lost, Giving In

Enlarge this image TeaMarrr's mesmerizing new single "Kinda Love" is the type of daydream to put into action. Tyren Redd/Courtesy of the
Oct 06, 2019

Heat Check: Songs That Let It All Out

Enlarge this image The Pendletons provide a jazzy, dancing-in-your-living-room soundtrack to self-care. Ivan Noble/Courtesy of the artist hide…
Sep 29, 2019

Heat Check: Euphoric Shuffle Play

Enlarge this image Daniela Andrade's "Ayayai" (single artwork pictured here) shows off the artist's linguistic versatility. Yi-Shuan Lee/Courtesy of…
Sep 15, 2019

Heat Check: Future Nostalgia

Enlarge this image KIRBY's "Kool Aid" injects just the right doses of doo-wop and soul. Courtney Loo & David Karp/Courtesy of the
Sep 02, 2019

Heat Check: Friends Of Friends Of Friends

Enlarge this image Sudan Archives' "Confessions" is included in this week's Heat Check. Alex Black/Courtesy of the artist hide captiontoggle caption…

Northern California
Public Media Newsletter

Get the latest updates on programs and events.