NPR Is Holding Another Tiny Desk Contest. Submit, Won’t You?

By Ally Schweitzer

D.C.'s El Mansouris entered NPR's Tiny Desk Contest last year. Now it's your turn.
D.C.'s El Mansouris entered NPR's Tiny Desk Contest last year. Now it's your turn.

Remember when NPR invited musicians across the country to fight each other for the privilege of playing a cubicle in D.C.? It turned out to be a pretty great idea, and now the radio network is doing it again.

Today NPR announced the second edition of its Tiny Desk Contest, a national competition that gives unsigned musicians a shot at playing the media company’s popular Tiny Desk concert series at NPR’s D.C. headquarters.

NPR’s inaugural contest yielded nearly 6,000 videos from across the country. In February judges crowned the winner, California blues musician Fantastic Negrito, and the public-radio bump helped push him to the top of iTunes’ blues charts, according to NPR.

The contest also elicited numerous promising videos from D.C. artists, including a standout from Deanwood hip-hop artist Kokayi.

Want to get in on the Tiny Desk action? Musicians can submit original videos from Jan. 12 to Feb. 2, 2016 via the contest’s official website. Take note of the rules, which prohibit videos from artists under 21 years old and outside the U.S., among other restrictions. Entrants must also perform at a desk. (Oh, you thought they were kidding?)

The contest winner scores a four-stop national tour, including an appearance on NPR’s Ask Me Another and gigs at breweries owned by sponsor Lagunitas Brewing Company.

But even if you don’t win, NPR still may feature your video on its Tiny Desk Contest Tumblr — and all submissions from the D.C. region will be considered by WAMU’s Bandwidth for our own local contest. (Go-go and bounce beat bands, we especially want to hear from you!)

So have you started making your Tiny Desk video yet? Find a desk and get crankin’, D.C.

Top photo: A screenshot from The El Mansouris’ submission to NPR’s first Tiny Desk Contest. WAMU 88.5 is the NPR affiliate in Washington, D.C.