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Toki Wright, 2018 Tiny Desk Contest Judge, On What Makes An Entry Stand Out

Toki Wright is one of the judges of this year's Tiny Desk Contest.
Toki Wright is one of the judges of this year's Tiny Desk Contest.

Getting noticed as a musician can be an uphill challenge. There are numerous factors at play: practice, natural ability, accessibility, market saturation, etc. I've spent my artistic career working to open doors for emerging artists while recognizing established musicians who haven't had the chance to be celebrated.

The Tiny Desk Contest is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be seen and heard, and I'm so excited to be a part of such an amazing platform. As I'm watching your videos, here are three areas that I'll be focusing on:

  • Creativity: Does the artist have some quality in their work that pushes creative boundaries?
  • Natural Ability: If you took away all of the props, fashion and other visual aesthetics, would this be great music?
  • Content: If applicable, are the lyrics of this piece unique in an industry oversaturated with generic perspectives?
  • You've worked hard for this! Put some real thought into your video, and I'm sure that will come across. I'm looking forward to seeing how they all turn out!

    Want to enter the Tiny Desk Contest, but have questions about your entry? Check out the Contest's Official Rules, take the Contest rules quiz to see if your video is eligible, or browse our FAQ page. For all other questions, feel free to get in touch with us via the NPR Help Desk by going to "Contact an NPR department" and clicking "Tiny Desk Contest." Remember, you have until March 25 at 11:59 p.m. EST to submit your video via the entry form on our website.

    Copyright 2018 The Current