NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest recently closed its entry portal. As judges sift through entries, fans can vote on their favorite videos. Not only does the winner get a highly coveted Tiny Desk gig at NPR, but they will also appear at a taping of NPR’s show “Ask Me Another,” and tour the United States. A winner will be announced the first week of March.
Tiny Desk concerts are intimate live video performances recorded at the desk of Bob Boilen, host of the All Songs Considered. The Tiny Desk series hosts a wide range of musicians, both in and outside the U.S. and spanning countless genres.
Among the hundreds of entries, at least four are from Minnesota. Here are some local musicians who have put their hats in the ring — or on the desk, as it were.
Niki Becker is a singer/songwriter who describes her sound as garage pop folk. Becker has released four albums to date and has played local festivals such as the Stone Arch Bridge Festival and Mid West Music Fest. Her entry features an original song off her 2015 album Reactor, titled “The Reminder.”
Rachelle LaNae is a singer and cellist. Her entry features an original song titled “Change My Stars.”
Teenage Moods are a local band whose sound is variously described as garage, pop, grunge, and punk. Known for being cute and fun, the band have received nods from City Pages, Fader, and Impose Magazine. Recorded from a bedroom, their entry features a song titled “Sweeties Only.”
Gaelynn Lea is a musician, fiddle teacher, and public speaker from Duluth. A classically trained violinist, Lea plays traditional Celtic and American fiddle tunes. Her entry features an original song, “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun.”
Brenda Tran is a Rochester native who now attends the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. She is an avid supporter of all things Beyoncé, dry humor, and gouda cheese.