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Fred again..: Tiny Desk Concert

Zayrha Rodriguez
/
NPR

When Fred again.. first proposed a Tiny Desk concert, it wasn't immediately clear how he was going to make it work — not because he lacked creativity, but because translating purely electronic music at the Desk is a daunting task for anyone. How would an artist, whose performances take the form of DJ sets in front of massive audiences, curate an intimate and unique experience? But what the British songwriter and producer came up with is a reminder of what a Tiny Desk is at its best: an opportunity for artists to challenge themselves in such a way that it almost feels like they're making new music, all while sticking to what feels true to them.

For Fred again.. that meant re-learning the marimba, playing the vibraphone, singing at the piano and looping sounds and beats — all at the same time. He began his set with "Kyle (i found you)," recreating the song's melody on the marimba while clips of featured poet Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre reciting the work "Love In The Time of Undeath" appeared on-screen. Sitting at the piano, he faded the remnants of "Kyle (i found you)" into "Roze (forgive)," which features Fred again.. triggering vocals sampled from the artist I am Roze, whose powerful facial expressions were magnified on a screen.

In a surprising pivot, the primary vocals on the following track, "Me (heavy)," came from Fred again.. himself, with no manipulation, creating a vulnerable sense of intimacy in the space. A flurry of looped piano keys marked the transition to "Delilah (pull me out of this)," with guest vocals pulled from pop singer Delilah Montagu's 2021 track "Lost Keys." By his set's end, concluding with "Faisal (envelops me)," Fred again.. was back at the piano finally resting after moving seamlessly through a jam-packed Tiny Desk.

SET LIST

  • "Kyle (i found you)"
  • "Roze (forgive)"
  • "Adam (interlude)"
  • "Me (heavy)"
  • "Berwyn (interlude)"
  • "Delilah (pull me out of this)"
  • "Faisal (envelops me)"
  • MUSICIANS

  • Fred again..: vocals, piano, vibraphone, marimba, electronics
  • Special thanks to: Guante, I Am Roze (they/them), Aminé, Delilah Montagu, Berwyn, Faisal, Lucy Hickling, Gareth Nunns, Jamie Tinsley, Tony Friend, Tobias Miorin 
  • TINY DESK TEAM

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

    Teresa Xie
    Teresa Xie is a reporter who specializes in media and culture writing. She recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied political science and cinema. Outside of NPR, her work can be found in Pitchfork, Vox, Teen Vogue, Bloomberg, Stereogum and other outlets.