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My Top 5 Favorite Tiny Desk Performances

Tiny Desk is a segment hosted by NPR music where artists perform their music in a more intimate setting.

Tiny Desk is held at the desk of All Songs Considered located in Washington D.C.

This location is typically used for artists to perform acoustic sets.

Every year, Tiny Desk holds a contest for musicians all over the country who are not signed to any label to submit a video of their music for a potential feature on the Tiny Desk stage.

These are my top five favorite Tiny Desk performances.    

Anderson .Paak

The first and best Tiny Desk performance I ever saw was Anderson .Paak.

This performance is how I found out about him as an artist, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

Anderson .Paak and his support from the Free Nationals create the perfect combination of hip hop and soul, two genres of music that are incredibly different from one another, yet they create the perfect balance in their music.

One thing I admire about Anderson .Paak is how natural he sounds in all performances.

Sometimes, what you hear in a recording and what you hear live can be entirely different things, but .Paak shines in all areas of his Tiny Desk performance.

The energy he gives off is fun, authentic and engaging.

This setlist contains “Come Down,” “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance,” “Put Me Thru” and “Suede.”

Mac Miller

This performance is one of the most valued ones because it was one of the final performances by Mac Miller before he died in 2018.

He performed music from his album, Swimming, for the first time.

Fans find a lot of comfort in this video, and I have found myself watching it when I think of Miller and his passing.

He invites Thundercat to this performance as well. It’s obvious in the way they perform together that they have an unbreakable bond.

Miller performs “Small Worlds,” “What’s the Use” and “2009.

Tyler, the Creator

This performance was a special one in NPR’s history books because it was the first nighttime performance.

Regardless of the darkness in the video, Tyler still shined his light in this performance.

He plays songs from his masterpiece album, Flower Boy.

Anyone who listens to Tyler knows how intense he and his music can get.

However, his Tiny Desk performance reveals a more peaceful, acoustic side to his talent that stands out compared to what people typically hear of him.

Regardless, his vibrant energy remains the same.

He brings female background singers to harmonize in his songs, which compliments them extremely well.

Tyler throws his tambourine at the end because of the joy he experienced when accomplishing his Tiny Desk performance.

In this performance, Tyler plays “Boredom,” “See You Again” and “Glitter.”

Harry Styles 

Harry Styles has been a heartthrob since his One Direction days.

As he has ventured out into his solo career, he has improved drastically as a musician.

One admirable thing about Harry Styles is the fact that he grows with his audience.

The 12-year-olds that loved him back in 1D are now over 21 and still have the same fondness for him.

Something about his acoustic performances are more soothing and appealing to the ear.

It almost reminds you of a lullaby that you can fall asleep to.

Regardless of what style of music one is into, people cannot deny that Harry Styles is a man of talent.

His setlist consists of “Cherry,” “Watermelon Sugar,” “To Be So Lonely” and “Adore You.

Toro Y Moi

Tory Y Moi, also known as Chaz Bear, had his Tiny Desk performance shortly after his album Outer Peace came out back in 2019.

Toro Y Moi has always maintained a different sound in comparison to other artists.

In his performance, he sits pretty in the front with this contagious energy that remains the same throughout the whole video.

Outer Peace is one of my favorites from Toro Y Moi, which makes this performance even more special.

His setlist consisted of “Laws of the Universe,” “New House,” “Freelance” and “Ordinary Pleasure.”

Olivia Trejo is a 3rd year public relations major at the University of Florida. With a strong passion for people and music, she hopes to pursue a career in the music industry after college.
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