Want to play your own Tiny Desk concert? The 2023 Contest is now open for entries


February 7, 2023 | 9:59 AM ET

By: Bobby Carter

The Tiny Desk Contest, NPR Music’s annual search for the next great undiscovered artist, is back!

First, let’s meet this year’s esteemed panel. Returning judges Bob Boilen (Tiny Desk series creator and All Songs Considered host) and Bobby Carter (Tiny Desk series producer) will be joined by five new experts: The inimitable Sharon Van Etten, who performed behind the original Tiny Desk in 2010 and then played again at today’s Tiny Desk; Baby Rose, who graced the Desk with her incredible voice in early 2020; fellow Tiny Desk alum Sudan Archives, a gifted singer and violinist whose sound pulls from R&B, hip-hop and experimental electronic music and, last but not least, Albina Cabrera of KEXP, a champion of independent musicians and Latin American music. Each of these judges has an ear for exceptional talent, is passionate about up-and-coming artists and knows exactly what it takes to perform behind the Tiny Desk.

Are you an unsigned artist 18 years or older? Here’s how to enter:

  1. Record a video of you playing one original song behind a desk.
  2. Upload your video to YouTube.
  3. Submit your video at npr.org/tinydeskcontest before the Contest closes on March 13 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The winner will play a Tiny Desk concert, be interviewed on All Things Considered and headline our Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour. But even if you don’t win, there are tons of ways you might benefit from entering – first, you join a supportive community of creatives from across the country. You also have a ton of opportunities to be featured by NPR Music over the next few months – we’ll be sharing standout entries on the Contest blog, on NPR Music’s social channels, on YouTube as part of our annual Top Shelf series and more.

We’re also expanding our Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour this summer. After this year’s winner plays their Tiny Desk concert, they’ll hit the road to play shows alongside other entrants in Los Angeles, Oakland, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Brooklyn.

Questions? We recommend first completing this quick checklist to make sure your video is eligible to win. You could also check out our FAQs, or if you’re feeling ambitious, the official Contest rules.

One last, important thing to keep in mind: Your video doesn’t need to be fancy. The Tiny Desk was born as a DIY project and is a space where artists perform stripped-down sets. While some of our winners had ambitious entry videos, most filmed theirs while simply sitting at their regular old desks in their bedrooms and basements. Our judges are looking for artists with a story to tell, a new perspective to share and a singular talent. Show us what you’ve got.

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