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Watch the first entry to the 2023 Tiny Desk Contest

Karen Bridges Tiny Desk

The 2023 Tiny Desk Contest, our annual search for the next great undiscovered artist to play a Tiny Desk concert, opened for entries at 10 a.m. ET today — and musician Karen Bridges submitted her entry at a cool 10:01. The Bloomington, Ill., singer-songwriter performs her ballad "Break Me Down" while playing a piano (beside a desk) in a dimly lit studio.

"I'm not gonna let you break me / I'm not gonna let you break me down," Bridges repeats, her stunning voice radiating throughout the space with each repetition. She told us the song "was born out of the struggles of being a woman making music in a small midwestern town."

Bridges has now entered the Contest three times, so she certainly knows what she's doing on the video production side — but newcomers, don't let her sharp multi-camera setup discourage you from entering. Our judges, a mix of Tiny Desk producers and artists who have already played the Tiny Desk, will be selecting a winner based on who has the best song. Recording an entry on your iPhone, at your kitchen table, is perfectly fine.

The Contest will be open until March 13 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Unsigned artists who are 18 years or older and living in the 50 United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or U.S.V.I. can submit their entries at npr.org/tinydeskcontest. And we'll be featuring more standout entries over the next few months here on the Contest blog, so stay tuned.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.