Without a doubt, the Tiny Desk Contest was one of the most inspiring musical happenings of the past year.
After developing a global fan base with their uniquely-curated videos of unfussy, informal concerts held at producer Bob Boilen’s desk, the NPR Music team this winter opened up the floor to the public, inviting them to shoot their own DIY Tiny Desk-esque videos and submit them via YouTube for a chance to win a slot on the series.
On the one level, it felt like the small-time local heroes from around the country were being given a chance at stardom in that special, Tiny Desk kind of way. Beneath the surface a bit, those of us who work in music know that many of the artists already featured in the series are in the midst of some sort of press cycle, a national promotional push for whatever album they happen to be selling at the time.
As I said, it’s a well-curated run of videos, but most of the artists who make their way to Boilen’s desk are doing so with some level of industry connectedness in hand. Continue reading →