Each year, we receive thousands of entries to the Tiny Desk Contest, and the Contest team watches every single one. We get to hear songs from artists all across the country. We get to see into the bedrooms and backyards (and practice spaces, offices, nearby parks, mountain ranges, beaches, etc.) of artists working in every conceivable genre and style. There may only be one Tiny Desk Contest winner — and we're looking forward to announcing that winner later this year — but the entire community of enthusiastic up-and-coming artists is what makes this annual Contest feel so special.
This year, when we spent much of the Contest season working from home, far from our teammates and from the real Tiny Desk, we appreciated that sense of community more than ever.
To give you a sense of it all, we've created a supercut video that shows off the incredible talent and creativity in this year's pool of entrants. Plus, we thought we'd count down the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest by the numbers.
- 50 states were represented in this year's entries — plus Washington, D.C. (home of the Tiny Desk!) and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hearing from every state in the country is a cherished Tiny Desk Contest tradition.
- 421 artists entered this year who have entered the Contest at least three times before. We love getting to watch artists grow year after year.
- 379 artists filmed their entries in the great outdoors.
- 166 artists included animal friends in their entries.
- 29% of entries came in on the very last day. (And we got 474 entries in the final hour of the Contest.)
- Over 400 entries were filmed during stay-at-home orders with band members in different locations.
- 13 songs included a reference to proper social-distancing distance in their title. (That's six feet, in case you've forgotten.)
- 422 entries featured houseplants. That's a lot of green thumbs!
- 2 of this year's entries featured theremins. (Perhaps inspired by the very first theremin at the Tiny Desk.)
If you're looking to discover even more Contest artists, we've got a new series for that. Our first episode of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf will be live on NPR Music's YouTube channel on Thursday, June 11 at 3 p.m. ET. Contest judges Bob Boilen and Bobby Carter will be watching and talking about their favorite entries to this year's Contest. See you there!