For Tiny Desk Playlists, we ask musicians, creators and folks we admire to choose the Tiny Desk concerts they've come to love. For this edition and as part of our Black Music Month celebration, we asked GIVĒON to make us a playlist.
GIVĒON has made quite the impression on the music industry over the past few years. When he performed his Tiny Desk (home) concert last year in celebration of Black History Month, he expressed how excited he was to celebrate Black culture on the NPR Music platform. With the recent release of his debut studio album, Give Or Take, we thought it would only be right to have the emotive R&B singer pick his five favorite Tiny Desk concerts to help us celebrate. —Ashley Pointer
• Summer Walker — Summer Walker's performance feels like we've been let into her world, you can tell that her lyrics are straight from the heart. I love the way her music feels like a breath of fresh air and nostalgic at the same time. Her voice is so beautifully effortless and truly reflects her natural talent. Her smooth vocals and band accompaniment makes it the perfect performance to put on when I'm relaxing during my downtime.
• Sampha — Sampha has a very beautiful and unique voice and when paired with his nostalgic chord progressions it creates a vessel for raw emotion in its finest form. I relate especially to "(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano." Music in general has always been — and will forever be — my favorite form of expression. When I'm writing in the studio or playing a melody on the piano, I feel like I can bring my open emotions up to the surface without judgment.
• Tems — Tems' vocal tone is pure magic and emotion. It exudes passion and soul, to the point where it almost feels hypnotizing. The way she can create so much variety from a purely solo performance is incredibly impressive. I love the way her writing feels like a wave of hope and power at the same time, especially on her track "Free Mind."
• Yebba — Yebba's lyricism is like no other, and paired with her incredible vocal control and tone there's no question as to why I keep finding myself coming back to this performance. I feel like I'm watching a soundtrack in visual form, and the way the camera pans around them makes it all the more cinematic. She is an effortless talent and I take a lot of inspiration from her art form.
• Tyler, the Creator — Tyler is so incredibly versatile and his Tiny Desk performance reflects that. This performance of his doesn't only feel like a concert, it feels like the coolest type of safe space. The way he directs the band and improvises lyrics gives it such a special touch. Not only that, but the colors and overall vibe is so visually pleasing to the eye. I'm sure I'm not the only one when I say this is definitely a piece that I come back to any type of day for a pick-me-up.
Tiny Desks In This Playlist
• Summer Walker
• Tyler, the Creator