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36 Iowa Artists Enter NPR's 2019 Tiny Desk Contest

Judges at NPR are combing through this year's entries. Submissions closed on April 14.

Thirty-six Iowa artists entered this year's Tiny Desk Contest for a chance to play a Tiny Desk concert at NPR and go on a nationwide tour. You can sort through and listen to all of the entries submitted here.

We listened through all of the submissions from Iowa, and there were a few that really caught our ears. 


Jake Kemble and Halen Becker are Kemble, a Des Moines based folk/pop duo. They are soon to release a new single by producer Brandon Darner, who has worked with Imagine Dragons and The Envy Corp. 


Andrew Thoreen is a native of Sioux City and former music student at the University of Northern Iowa. He is one half of the duo Har-Di-Har, along with his wife Julie, and has also been part of the band Lick It Ticket. Thoreen now lives in St. Paul, where he performs in J.E. Sunde's band and also works as a producer, private instructor and church band director.


Singer-songwriter Deion Wykowski lives in Keokuk and performs under the name Young Old Soul. He spent some time in the Dallas-Fort Worth area honing his style before moving back to Iowa. This is our first exposure to Wykowski's music, and we're looking forward to hearing more.


Fans of IPR Studio One and the Iowa music scene need no introduction to Elizabeth Moen. She's put out two records in the last few years and has made several live appearances on IPR. She's making her first apperance at Hinterland this August and was recognized by NPR Music as one of the entries the judges "can't stop watching."


The Sioux Center based band The Ruralists are led by Luke Hawley, who is a professor of english at Dordt College and author of "The Northwoods Hymnal," a collection of short stories. The Ruralists have released an EP and a full-length album. They played a live set on IPR's Studio One Tracks in February.


Nalani Proctor is based in Keokuk. She has been performing all over the state in support of her album "Nothing." Her music is being featured on IPR's Studio One Tracks and Gas Money, and she will make her Studio One Live debut on May 30. 


In the spirit of the Tiny Desk Contest, we learned about Nubia Sanaa because of her submission video. Her song "Paradise" is the only spoken-word entry from Iowa, and we found the honesty in her lyrics compelling and inspiring. 

Lindsey Moon served as IPR's Senior Digital Producer - Music and the Executive Producer of IPR Studio One's All Access program. Moon started as a talk show producer with Iowa Public Radio in May of 2014. She came to IPR by way of Illinois Public Media, an NPR/PBS dual licensee in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and Wisconsin Public Radio, where she worked as a producer and a general assignment reporter.
Tony Dehner is a Studio One Host