What’s in Store for the Future of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Under New Host Bobby Carter?

NPR’s beloved program, Tiny Desk Concert, has been delighting music lovers for more that 15 years. The unique, stripped-down setting gives listeners a one-of-a-kind way to experience their favorite artists. NPR’s actual office space in Washington, D.C. helps showcase artists’ vocal and instrumental prowess through limited space and equipment.

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Now, the program has a new host in Bobby Carter, who has worked with NPR since the late 90s when he was a radio DJ for WJSU in Mississippi. He was an intern for All Songs Considered, and helped build the digital infrastructure for NPR’s online presence. He has worked diligently on various NPR Music programs, and now he’s taking on the responsibilities of the highly cherished Tiny Desk Concert.

Carter spoke to NPR about what he envisions for the future of the program, and also his plans for hosting the show. First, he mentioned that the Tiny Desk is unlike anything artists have done, ever. There’s a particular intimacy involved with playing behind an office desk to a handful of NPR staffers that makes Tiny Desk Concerts magical. Carter is making sure that will never change.

[RELATED: Caroline Polachek Brings ‘Desire, I Want To Turn Into You’ Songs to Intimate NPR Tiny Desk Concert]

NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts Will Work to Maintain Essential Intimacy of Performances Under Host Bobby Carter

“We always let [artists] know that this is unlike what they’re used to doing on stage,” said Carter. “There are no bells and whistles and tricks. What you hear and what you see is what you get. But intimacy is still the key. That won’t ever change.”

Long-time host and creator Bob Boilen stepped down from the Tiny Desk in October 2023, leaving big shoes to fill. Carter, who has already been producing Tiny Desk Concerts for more than a decade, was promoted to host.

“We can continue to evolve by just not touching this,” Carter said when asked how he sees Tiny Desk evolving. “Of course, we can grow in many ways, but it’s more so, how do we maintain the essence of what we’re doing?”

Essentially, Bobby Carter believes NPR has a good thing going with Tiny Desk Concerts, and fans would most likely agree. At the end of the day, Carter said, “I salute each and every artist who’s willing to be that vulnerable behind the desk, because it is not easy.”

Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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