This year, I was blown away by the Tiny Desk Contest entries I saw. We received over 6,000 entries from all across the country. We saw tiny desks up on rooftops and down on a subway platform; tucked into treetops, pickup trucks and laundromats. We heard songs about the situations that make life difficult and the people that make life worth living.
But in the end, the judges and I could only choose one winning entry. We're so proud to share with you the music of Quinn Christopherson, this year's Tiny Desk Contest winner!
Quinn's entry astounded our judge panel from start to finish. His powerful song "Erase Me" is a nuanced take on his experience as a transgender man coming to terms with the power of his voice. Standing in front of a majestic painting of Denali, Quinn and his bandmate, Nick Carpenter, created their own work of art.
When I called Quinn to tell him the good news, he was amazed and surprised. "You just made my entire life," he said from his home in Anchorage, Alaska. He was also extremely humbled, saying he had "watched so many entries" featuring "so many talented people." He's right: We saw so much talent this year. But in the midst of all those entries we watched, it was his song the judges and I couldn't stop playing.
Lucy Dacus, another of this year's judges, agrees. She praised "Erase Me" for the way it concisely shares such a complex and personal message. "The song is so captivating, and his performance seemed so earnest," she tells NPR's Noel King and me on Morning Edition. "I kept coming back to the video." (Hear that interview at the audio link above.)
Soon, Quinn will be coming to Washington D.C. to play his very own Tiny Desk concert. After that, he'll come on tour with NPR Music to play alongside other artists who entered the Contest this year. We're excited to hit the road again to celebrate artists we love.
Thank you to everyone who shared a song with us this year; we saw so many amazing entries and were introduced to many new artists to love. Thank you to Blue Microphones for its support of the Contest. And again, congratulations to Quinn, our newest Contest winner.