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Today, WBUR announced Anjimile as the local Tiny Desk contest favorite, a competition judging Massachusetts musicians who entered NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest earlier this year. Named the Wicked Good Boston Favorite, Anjimile now will perform at the inaugural Wicked Good Festival from WERS 88.9 FM, Emerson College’s public radio station, on August 18 on the Boston Common.
“I am honored that WBUR selected me as the Wicked Good Boston Favorite from all the local entries into NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest,” said Anjimile. “I’m looking forward to performing at the Wicked Good festival this summer alongside many other gifted local and national musicians.”
The ARTery, WBUR’s art and culture website, hosted the local contest to showcase the rich musical talent in Boston’s own backyard. The judges panel selected Anjimile’s submission “1978” from a pool of more than 150 Tiny Desk Contest entries that came from Massachusetts musicians. In addition to performing at the Wicked Good Festival, Anjimile will be profiled in The ARTery’s “Up Next” series highlighting emerging local artists.
“Anjimile completely enchanted the panel,” said Amelia Mason, music critic for The ARTery and one of the judges of the contest. “The singer-songwriter's clever phrasing and exquisite sense of melody had us hooked.”
The Wicked Good Festival will feature performances from Bleachers, Buffalo Tom, Juliana Hatfield, Air Traffic Controller, as well as other local groups still to be announced. The festival is free, open to the public, and will be located at the Boston Common Parade Grounds on the corner of Beacon and Charles Street on Aug. 18. Families are encouraged to attend this daylong event.
"We are very excited to feature Anjimile at our Wicked Good Festival this August," said WERS festival organizer, Kevin Cooney. "Their music is interesting and highlights the best of what Boston's local scene has to offer."
Readers also have the chance to weigh-in on the Wicked Good Boston Favorite contest and vote for a Fan Favorite from 16 finalists. The Fan Favorite will win a gig at WBUR’s new performance space, CitySpace, which is scheduled to debut in 2019. Voting closes at midnight on Sunday, July 8.
Judges of the Wicked Good Boston Favorite included Amelia Mason, music critic at The ARTery’s music critic; Lindsey Goldin, student music coordinator at WERS; Eddie Cepeda, music journalist, musician and ARTery contributor; Mali Sastri, singer, composer and frontperson for Boston-based art-rock outfit Jaggery; and Mark Simos, associate professor of songwriting at Berklee College of Music.
NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest debuted in 2014 and is a national competition offering unsigned artists a shot at performing on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk concert series. Of the thousands of eligible entries to the 2018 contest, 158 were from Massachusetts. Naia Izumi from Los Angeles was the national Tiny Desk winner.
Anjimile is a first-generation Malawian-American who grew up in the suburbs of Richardson, Texas. Their experiences with racism, homophobia and xenophobia in the deep south form the basis of their radical queer politics. The crux of their musical output is a gooey center of emotionality and tenderness informed by the power of their intersectional identities.
They have been a staple in the Boston indie music scene since their debut EP 'In the Garden' in 2012, Anjimile's eclectic forays into ambient folk, indie rock and electro pop are bound together by an incredibly haunting and otherworldly singing voice. Anjimile is currently signed to Human Nature Records, a Boston-based independent label, and two tracks ("Golden Hands" and "To Meet You There") from their most recent EP 'Good Boy' were featured in the independent film Anything (2017) starring John Carroll Lynch, Maura Tierney and Matt Bomer.
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