NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest is Open for Submissions

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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Calling all unsigned artists. This year’s NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest is officially open! Aspiring musicians have from now until Mar. 13 at 11:59 p.m. ET to submit their entries in hopes of winning the ninth edition of NPR Music’s popular music discovery series.

“Each year, the Tiny Desk Contest reaches out to U.S.-based musicians, and it’s a thrill to watch the amazing submissions and see the wealth of talent in our country,” the Tiny Desk series creator Bob Boilen said in a press release. “I can’t wait for what’s in store for 2023.”

This year, the judging panel consists of Boilen, the Tiny Desk series producer Bobby Carter, and Tiny Desk alums Sharon Van Etten, Baby Rose, and Sudan Archives. It will also feature KEXP’s Albina Cabrera. “I’m one of the jurors so my beloved latinxs better send their videos!!!!” Cabrera wrote on Twitter to encourage emerging Latine artists.

The NPR Tiny Desk has been around since 2014. Per the press release, almost 40,000 aspiring artists have submitted their musical proposals to date. Since then, only two Latine artists have won the competition. In 2020, the Afro-Latina Puerto Rican based in New York, Linda Diaz, won the competition with her song “Green Tea Ice Cream.” This accolade took her to headline SOB NYC in Jan.

Last year, the Boston Boricua artist Alisa Amador–who was raised in Boston, Maine, Puerto Rico, and Argentina–won the competition. Her song “Milonga accidental” became the first Spanish-language song to have won the Tiny Desk Contest. Now, she will perform at the Boston Calling Festival from May 26 to 28.

NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest encourages submissions of all genres, as well as welcomes past participants to submit new material. To submit an entry, musicians must be unsigned and at least 18 years old. They also must live in the U.S., the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico. Artists must also play an original song at a desk and upload the performance video on NPR’s official website.