We've watched thousands of 2021 Tiny Desk Contest entries. Now, it's time to highlight our favorites as we get closer to picking a winner: Welcome to Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf!
Every Thursday through Aug. 26, one of our Tiny Desk Contest judges will join us to play the videos that knocked them out. You're going to see talent you've never seen. And we'll invite some of our favorites on the show to talk about their entries.
For this episode of Top Shelf, we're joined by Contest judge Jewly Hight — NPR Music contributor and Editorial Director at WNXP — to share her favorites. Her Top Shelf selections include Calvin the II's powerful call for racial justice, Semler's evocative track about queer identity and Christianity, MI$HNRZ's moody R&B song and June Magnolia's expressive ode to strong women. Plus, featured entrant George Lovett joined us to talk about creating his entry, full of astounding vocal runs, and developing impressive whistling skills.
New episodes of Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf are streamed live every Thursday at 3 p.m. ET on NPR Music's YouTube page. You can learn more about the series — and sign up to be reminded about future episodes — at topshelf2021.nprpresents.org.
1. Calvin The II, "Black"
2. Semler, "Jesus From Texas"
3. George Lovett, "Ruby (whistle song)"
4. MI$HNRZ, "Delorean"
5. June Magnolia, "NEW LOVE"