Provided by NPR
Bobby Carter is slowly changing the music industry with his genre-defying performances all at once. As Senior Producer at NPR Music tiny desk concerthe brings an ever-growing roster of emerging artists, big names and icons to the company’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to perform in front of large audiences as well as building employees. . millions World wide.
This journey from St. Louis has been long and arduous, but fulfilling to say the least. “I’ve been with NPR for 23 years,” Carter told ESSENCE. “But my path to where I am now has been a bit unconventional. I started working as an intern in the summer of 2000. It was about editing the content for the stream, and I was on top of the live stream and managing it, and that was done before Tiny Desk.”
“At some point, I knew I wanted to be involved with music at NPR, but I never had the opportunity until NPR Music came along,” he continues. “I slowly drifted into the world of music by writing pieces here and there and contributing to year-end content. In 2014 I produced my first Tiny Desk concert, and three years later has officially ended its official role as Tiny Desk.”
Since moving fully to Tiny Desk in 2017, Carter has developed partnerships with Complexcon and HBO. anxiety, along with creating new initiatives to expand and diversify the scope of the programme. hello, tiny desk concert series He has performed with artists such as Usher, HER, Anderson .Paak, Jazmine Sullivan and Kirk Franklin. The process of selecting musicians for the now-iconic performance platform has changed since its inception, but Carter is more hands-on than ever.
“Well, in the early days, a lot of us were chasing artists from this side, pitching them what the concept was and having them come and play,” said the Jackson State alumnus. explains. “If you look back this far, it’s pretty much a two-way street. I am aware of something.”
While many musicians find the Tiny Desk essential to promoting their music, Carter said: black Music was equally important. “I’m really passionate about telling the story of black music because to me, the story of black music is the story of American music,” he says. With June being Black Music Month, NPR observed this by celebrating the influence of black music through various mediums and highlighting it to ensure the story is properly told.
“You can’t tell the history of music without black people,” says the veteran DJ. “What we’re trying to do here at Tiny Desk with Black Music Month is really present us in ways that show us from different lights. There is a layer of music that has shaped American music today, and it is an undertold story that will never be told enough.”
only other than jazz truth The country’s birth art form is hip-hop, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. In his early days on stage, Carter worked to make people aware that hip-hop and artists like Gucci Mane also needed to be heard in spaces like NPR, an “internal conflict.” ” said.
“Make sure that every point of view is heard and that whether they’re street MCs, trap artists or neo-soul artists, they all belong in it and their point of view deserves respect. As long as the performance is correct, you can hear it on the Tiny Desk,” he says. Given his background and more, some people at Tiny Desk found the Gucci mane offensive. However, he served time for his own mistakes and became the ultimate redemption story. ”
The Atlanta rapper’s appearance on Tiny Desk helped change the trajectory of the concert series and ultimately propel it to a successful platform. “Gucci Mane, I think that Tiny Desk was such a game-changer for Tiny Desk in terms of hip-hop, because I think other artists in his lane were like, ‘We come here. It’s good, and we’ve shown that we can do our thing here,'” Carter said, pausing for a moment.
He went on to say, “A lot of the time people don’t want to feel threatened by hip-hop, they want to be comfortable, so there’s a strife in their hearts. It may not be for you, but it is for someone else.” After Gucci’s performance in 2016, the Tiny Desk featured Chance The Rapper, Big KRIT, Rakim, Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, Performed by Trina and others. It confirms the fact that the genre is still going strong and will remain.
Over the years, many legendary performances have taken place behind the Secretariat’s desk. consider all songs‘s host Bob Boylen. The Tiny Desk reached the peak of its popularity and is now a staple of today’s culture. Carter, who helped build what it is today, understands the challenges at hand and understands how special this platform is. “I feel it’s part of my duty to keep this going,” he says. Not only does it continue to push current stars and up-and-coming artists to the forefront, it also features legends like Elle DeBarge, Patti LaBelle, Charlie Wilson and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.
“I think it helps bridge that gap and helps bring young people into these legendary artists and remind them of their greatness,” Carter explains. “A lot of times when I bring some artists to the Tiny Desk, this should be a reminder of their place in music.”
“So I feel like my ultimate responsibility from a cultural standpoint is to get people to see it, to tap into a large audience and spread awareness about these artists,” he continued. “To grow and remain a voice for black culture and diversity as a whole.”