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NPR's Tiny Desk Contest returns for a 10th year

Tiny Desk Contest

NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest is returning for its tenth year, with applications opening Tuesday, January 23 at 10am ET and closing Wednesday, February 21 at 11:59pm ET. Conceptualized in 2014, the annual contest gives undiscovered artists an opportunity to prove their talent and launch their musical careers. Past contest winners have gone on to sign with major labels, open for big-name performers, and even receive Grammy awards.

Here are the rules. If you’re 18 or older and live in any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands, you are eligible to enter. However, applicants must be undiscovered, meaning you cannot have a current recording contract. You then create a new video playing an original song you wrote while performing at a desk (any desk!) and submit your entry. The winner will play a Tiny Desk concert at NPR in Washington, DC, be featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and headline NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest On The Road tour.

A panel of judges – including members of NPR Music, DJs from NPR Member stations, industry experts, and Tiny Desk alums – will choose the winner. If you are interested in applying, take this quiz to see if you’re eligible.

Winners from past years have spanned across many genres, including pop, jazz, folk, funk, R&B, and country. 2023’s champion, Little Moon, is a Utah band led by singer-songwriter Emma Hardyman that mixes folk, pop, and indie rock. The group’s entry “Wonder Eye” is about how “accepting the mysterious, shadowy nature of death can deepen one’s sense of humanity and soften the ways we see ourselves and each other.”

For more information, visit the Tiny Desk Contest website.