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Kenny Beats: Tiny Desk Concert

"I know producers don't always get to do stuff like this," Kenny Beats said as he wrapped up his Tiny Desk concert. "I'm very lucky I get to do a lot of stuff people with my job title don't get to do." His keen sense of gratitude was palpable and radiated throughout the space. Before the music started, he rushed over to explore the shelves behind the Desk, then added some of his trinkets. He then insisted the music had to be perfect as his dad would be listening. Kenny's debut solo album, LOUIE, dedicated to his father, takes us on a journey through often inexplicable emotions regarding our parents. Kenny enlisted familiar voices to convey the feelings, sparingly incorporating their vocals over soulful beats.

He invited some of those vocalists, along with top-tier musicians including Nick Movshon and Leon Michels, to play something tailor-made for the Tiny Desk. For "Still," rapper JPEGMAFIAfinishes his thought through bars that we don't hear on the album. His rambunctious energy juxtaposed with the band's laid-back melodies is a bizarre sight, but it just works. When Remi Wolf sings, her powerful voice naturally cuts above everything else, and she stole the show on "Last Words." Newcomer Nami's falsetto brightened all of the harmonies, and he stepped up to close out with "Rotten."

Kenny Beats is one of the most sought after producers in music and is most certainly the go-to for marrying different genres. Producer-hosted albums are famously frowned upon in hip-hop due to their lack of direction, but LOUIE is clearly saying something. This Tiny Desk feels like a part of that statement.

SET LIST

  • "Still"
  • "Last Words" 
  • "Rotten" 
  • MUSICIANS

  • Kenny Beats: artist, drummer 
  • Leon Michels: keys, saxophone 
  • Nick Movshon: bass 
  • Nick Lee: horns 
  • Alexander Benjamin Goldblatt: guitar 
  • Jacob Reske: effects, vocals
  • JPEGMAFIA: vocals 
  • Nami: vocals 
  • Remi Wolf: vocals 
  • TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Director: Kara Frame 
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin 
  • Creative Producer: Bob Boilen 
  • Videographers: Kara Frame, Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Sofia Seidel
  • Editor: Sofia Seidel
  • Audio Assistant: Josephine Nyounai 
  • Production Assistant: Jill Britton
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Bobby Carter is a leader on the Tiny Desk Concerts team for NPR Music. He's brought an ever growing roster of big names and emerging artists through NPR's HQ to squeeze behind the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and record standout performances, including Usher, Mac Miller, Noname, Anderson.Paak and H.E.R.
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