My guest today makes some of the most stunning music I've ever heard. It's raw, it's visceral, it's real. Quinn Christopherson hails from Alaska, and even though he's released less than a handful of songs, they've left quite an impression on people. You might know Quinn's name if you're fan of the Tiny Desk Concert series.
A Tiny Desk Concert is a big deal. Musicians like Lizzo, Dave Matthews, Taylor Swift and hundreds of others have crowded around the desk of our friend, NPR Music's Bob Boilen, since 2008. And NPR has a contest for up and coming bands to get their chance to perform at Bob's desk. This year, there were over 6000 entries and Quinn won for his moving song, "Erase Me," which is a powerful expression of his experience as a transgender man.
Winning the contest brings exposure and attention. We talk about that, and why he made, in my opinion, the wise decision not to perform the song "Erase Me" for us. That's right, he didn't play it! And you'll find his reasoning to be among the most real and honest answers I've heard.
We will get to hear a live performance of his song "Loaded Gun."
"It's crazy because I wrote that song a week before I got the call from Bob Boilen and he told me that I'd won," Quinn says. "I wrote that song because I had never gone on tour before."
That's not the case anymore. Watch the performance from Quinn's tour stop at World Cafe Live and hear the full conversation in the player above.