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Watch episode 1 of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf

Our Tiny Desk Contest judges have a very tough decision ahead of them. After reviewing tons of incredible entries, they need to determine who will be named the winner, and will get to come play a Tiny Desk concert at NPR's headquarters. But before that happens, judges are. Before we reveal the 2022 Contest winner, judges are sharing their favorite entries as part of our annual Top Shelf series.

In today's episode, Bob Boilen (Tiny Desk series creator, Contest judge and host of All Songs Considered) and Bobby Carter (Tiny Desk concert producer and Contest judge) shared some of their favorite entries live on NPR Music's YouTube channel.

Their top picks included entries from a handful of artists who entered the Contest for the first time this year, plus a returning artist who Carter calls "Top Shelf royalty." The featured entries span a variety of genres, styles and locations – hip-hop from St. Louis, a harpist from Los Angeles, folk from Colorado, rock from New York and more:

  • Selina Moon, "Let It Go" 
  • A Very Special Episode, "Cowboy" 
  • Kevonna Rose, "Thirty3"
  • dolltr!ck, "In The Blue" 
  • Lauren Frihauf, "Fragments of a Stranger" 
  • Blvck Spvde and the Cosmos, ""parallel I live again" 
  • Sophia Subbayya Vastek, "The Seas That Made Us" 
  • Rebirth Canal, "AI"
  • And these featured entries represent just a fraction of the talent and creativity in this year's entries; it's going to be a tough call for the judges. "I could think of five to 10 people who could win this thing!" says Carter.

    You can join us again next week to discover even more new artists live on NPR Music's YouTube channel, where Bob will chat with Contest judges and Tiny Desk alums iLe and Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast. Sign up for reminders at topshelf2022.nprpresents.org.

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.