We're one week into the 2018 contest and love what we're seeing. Submissions have already come in from all over the country featuring music and desks ofall varieties. With that, we'd like to take a moment to celebrate the first entry we received: Ian Bamberger's "A Privateer's Eyes."
His song is a rowdy folk-rock sea shanty, performed on a boat and written from the perspective of a fearless captain. A spirited guitar and harmonica function as the "loyal crew" he celebrates. "I have spent my entire life living by the water and have been a sailor and rower for many years," Bamberger tells NPR Music via email. "I have always been intrigued by epic tales of pirates and sailors." He cites Long John Silver, Captain Jack Sparrow, and the late Luke Kelly of The Dubliners as his influences.
Many other Tiny Desk Contest "alumni" — like Bamberger — have already sent us entries. We love that; it's great to see some familiar faces. If you're just starting out, we love that too — we're happy to see new folks every year.
As you're shooting your video, please remember: It doesn't have to be fancy. Gaelynn Lea filmed her video in her office on a cell phone camera; Fantastic Negrito filmed his in a freight elevator on an iPad. When the judges are watching your videos, they'll be picturing you behind our Tiny Desk, with our recording gear — so make your performance great and we'll imagine the rest. Remember, you have until March 25 at 11:59pm EST to submit your video via our website.