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Brittney Spencer: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR

This Black Music Month, Tiny Desk is giving the ladies their flowers. We’re releasing nine Tiny Desk concerts from Black women artists, from veterans who’ve paved the way for what we hear today in Black music, to those who are carving out their own paths.

Brittney Spencer arrived at the Tiny Desk holding Reppy, her green stuffed dinosaur, tightly under her arm. She smiled as she looked around the office, taking it all in. Perhaps she was thinking about her journey and the many years it took to get to this moment — singing as a girl in church in Baltimore, moving to Nashville to pursue a music career full time and the challenges she has faced as a Black woman trying to break into the country music scene.

A part of a new generation of country music artists who are pushing boundaries, Spencer is a celebrated singer-songwriter who is quickly rising in the genre. Her debut album, My Stupid Life, came out earlier this year and this set features many of those songs. Each is a personal story shaped by the different kinds of music she loves, all woven together with a country sensibility. She told the audience halfway through the set, “This album really cracked me wide open and it made me feel a little more honest.”

Vulnerability is one of the many strengths that highlights her beauty. “Is there lipstick on my teeth?” she asked playfully right after the concert. “That was literally my thought through the whole show.” Then she took Reppy off the Desk and tenderly shared that he was her emotional support animal. She hugged him hard and decided to leave him behind on our shelves.

SET LIST

  • “Bigger Than The Song”
  • “If You Say So”
  • “Night In”
  • “The Last Time”
  • “My First Rodeo”
  • “I Got Time”

MUSICIANS

  • Brittney Spencer: lead vocals
  • Abbey Cone: vocals
  • Jordan West: drums, vocals
  • Omri Skop: guitar, vocals
  • John McNally: bass, vocals
  • Martin “Harrison” Finks: keys, vocals

TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producers: Bobby Carter, Ashley Pointer
  • Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Technical Director: Hannah Gluvnah 
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Kara Frame, Mitra I. Arthur
  • Audio Engineer: Josephine Nyounai
  • Audio Mix: Josh Newell 
  • Photographer: Alanté Serene
  • Animation: Jackie Lay
  • Florist: Kelanda Edwards
  • Tiny Desk Copy Editor: Hazel Cills
  • Executive Producer: Suraya Mohamed
  • Series Creators: Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
Suraya Mohamed is a three-time Peabody Award-winning producer, sound designer and editor. She currently serves as the project manager for Jazz Night In America and is a contributing producer on the Alt.Latino podcast. She also produces NPR's holiday specials package, including Tinsel Tales, Hanukkah Lights, Toast Of The Nation, Pink Martini's Joy To The World: A Holiday Spectacular and most recently Hamilton: A Story Of US. You'll also find her work on the Tiny Desk series as either a producer or engineer.