I Wayne: Tiny Desk Concert The reggae star said little between his van and the NPR Music offices. But as soon as the cameras started rolling, he came to life right on cue, showcasing his smooth voice and vibrant energy.

Tiny Desk

I Wayne

I Wayne: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143122106/143457251" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Amid drizzling rain, I walked out to I Wayne's black van, which had been outfitted with tinted windows and fat rims. Reaching for the door to let him out, I spied the door handle — which read "Dutty" in big gold lettering — before unleashing a cloud of that oh-so-reggae aroma as I pulled back the sliding door.

Between the van and the fifth floor of the NPR Music offices, I Wayne and his entourage said little. But as soon as our cameras started rolling, he sprang to life. He was quickly transformed into performance mode — vibrant and full of energy, right on cue.

I Wayne first made a splash in 2004 after the release of "Can't Satisfy Her"; with his messages of peace and love, he's largely credited with bringing the roots and rock back to mainstream reggae. Starting with "Real and Clean," from his recent Life Teachings, he captivated us with his smooth voice, supported only by an acoustic guitar. Then he got the NPR audience grooving with "Can't Satisfy Her," which closed with the crowd singing the words to the chorus. It might have been a rainy day outside, but I Wayne still brought island warmth into our office, even if only for a few minutes.

Set List

  • "Real And Clean"
  • "Can't Satisfy Her"

Credits

Filmed and edited by Michael Katzif; audio by Kevin Wait; photo by Cristina Fletes

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Jenny Lewis plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Jenny Lewis

A consummate storyteller, going as far back to her days with her band Rilo Kiley, the words of Jenny Lewis comfort and inspire.

Chris Dave & The Drumhedz perform during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 9, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Chris Dave And The Drumhedz

Chris Dave, your favorite musician's favorite drummer, takes listeners on a journey through a virtual record store, picking up different genres along the way and putting them in your bag.

Elisapie performs during tiny desk on November, 26, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Elisapie

The Canadian singer-songwriter gives a deep, soulful performance against a sometimes moody backdrop of bass saxophone and bowed guitars.

Snoh Aalegra plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Snoh Aalegra

The Iranian-Swedish singer draws her musical cues from Brandy and Sade while racking up a list of collaborators such as Vince Staples, James Fauntleroy and, most recently, Pharrell Williams.

Laura Stevenson performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 12, 2019. (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Laura Stevenson

Backed by a small string section, Stevenson performed three songs that sounded so gorgeous, an actual marriage proposal broke out shortly after her set ended.

Mount Eerie plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Mount Eerie With Julie Doiron

Phil Elverum shares his open wounds — of death, love and the loss of love — in close harmonies, accompanied only by electric and nylon-string guitars.

Baby Rose plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Kisha Ravi/NPR). Kisha Ravi/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Kisha Ravi/NPR

Baby Rose

At 25, she mixes the bluesy melisma of Nina Simone and the deep register of Sarah Vaughan — two of her influences — with songwriting as devastating as her delivery.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra performs during tiny desk on December, 4, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

Here's a first: Steelpans at the Tiny Desk. It's true. Nearly a thousand performances into the series and the instrument has never been featured, until now.

Another Sky performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 5, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Another Sky

The strength of this London band is matching message with music. There's intensity and clear intention in their use of rock as an art.

SiR plays a Tiny Desk Concert bob boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption bob boilen/NPR

SiR

The R&B singer from Inglewood, CA made his performance a family affair, dedicating it to his late godson, with his mother and older brother on backup vocals.

Back To Top