Meet Our Winner: All Songs Considered: NPR
We’ve watched thousands of Tiny Desk contest entries from unsigned artists across the country this year. And, after weeks of sharing favorites from our contest judges in our Top Shelf series … we have a winner! In the seventh and final episode of Top Shelf, I speak with our 2021 contest winner Neffy, a rising singer-songwriter from Arlington, Virginia, with a breathtaking, moving and unmistakable voice.
In the episode, Neffy and I talk about his winning entry, “Wait Up,” which involves returning from New York during the pandemic and finding solace in familiar surroundings. We also talk about how her music-loving family inspired her to start writing songs as a teenager and how artists like Adele, Joan Armatrading and Tracy Chapman influenced her music.
In addition to her winning contest entry, we also hear Neffy’s song “Hangin ‘On Too Long” (which was filmed by Emergent Seed, an organization that supports emerging musicians in the Washington, DC area), as well as her entry into the 2018 contest, “Ms. Jones.”
Neffy will be giving his own Tiny Desk concert (at home) next month. And, as is the tradition of the Tiny Desk Contest, it will be performing behind my Tiny Desk at NPR Headquarters when it is safe.
Thanks to all of our contest judges who helped select this year’s Tiny Desk contest winner: Bobby Carter of NPR Music; Jewly Hight of WNXP in Nashville; John Morrison of WXPN in Philadelphia; and Tiny Desk alumni Linda Diaz, Tobe Nwigwe and Phoebe Bridgers. Thanks also to the NPR staff who worked on this project: Marissa Lorusso, Jessica Goldstein, Bruce Grant, Will Mitchell, Josh Rogosin and Ron Scalzo.
“Wait”, entry of Neffy in 2021
“Hold on too long”
“Mrs. Jones”, Neffy’s entry in 2018