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When it comes to career-altering gigs, it doesn’t get much bigger than a Tiny Desk Concert. The series, hosted by Bob Boilen of NPR Music, unfolds at the host’s cluttered desk in Washington, D.C. The desk has attracted plenty of celebrities, from Adele to T-Pain to Yo-Yo Ma, but it is best known for boosting emerging acts.
Likewise, the Tiny Desk Contest, which debuted in 2015, seeks to highlight undiscovered talent from across the nation. Any unsigned artist with an original song and a video camera can enter. The winner gets to perform in the Tiny Desk Concert series — a major coup for an independent musician.
Last year, 158 artists from Massachusetts entered NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest. In recognition of all that homegrown talent, we decided to convene our own judging panel to choose our favorite Massachusetts entry. Our judges were musicians, journalists and educators with close ties to the Boston music scene and a diverse set of tastes. (I was also on the panel.) We weighed artists' performance, technical excellence and originality, but most importantly we considered the strength of their songwriting. In the end, we chose "1978" by Anjimile, a Boston-based singer-songwriter with an exquisite sense of melody and an intimate style.
This year, we’ll be doing the same.
Every Massachusetts entry to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest will be eligible to be chosen as our panel’s favorite. The national contest is open through Sunday, April 14, so make sure to submit your video before then! (Here's the link to submit.) Even if it doesn’t win the Tiny Desk Contest, your song could grab the attention of our panel of judges. We’ll be featuring some of the standout entries on The ARTery, and the panel’s favorite will be profiled as part of our Up Next series on emerging local musicians.
So, if you’re thinking of throwing your hat in the ring, do it. We know you’ll do Massachusetts proud.
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