Baek Hwong, the artist who performs as NoSo, arrived at NPR’s headquarters on a sunny Friday afternoon that adopted every week of relentless rain in Washington, D.C. The change in climate was apt for the Los Angeles-based artist whose music typically sheds gentle on darkish occasions.
I first found NoSo after they entered the Tiny Desk Contest again in 2019. Though they did not win, their spectacular guitar taking part in, memorable hooks and mawkish lyricism left a long-lasting impression. They create all these components to their Tiny Desk set, by which they’re accompanied by musicians Marian Li-Pino on drums and Jayla Tang on violin. NoSo’s soft-spoken nature enhances their musical dexterity to create the sort intimate efficiency that basically shines within the shut quarters behind the Desk.
Throughout the three-song set, Hwong sings in regards to the “quiet suburbia” they grew up in and displays on emotions about their evolving gender identification. The ultimate track of the set, “Every thing I’ve Acquired,” is an aching portrayal of the way in which confidence and longing might be upended by gender dysphoria; earlier than taking part in the track, Hwong shares that they’ve “healed quite a bit” since writing it. “I do know if I used to be born pretty, I might be it / I am going to love you with the whole lot I’ve received,” they sing quietly over a swelling violin and an viewers of sniffling NPR workers.
NoSo displays on their adolescence — typically granting newfound compassion to their youthful self — throughout their debut album, Keep Proud Of Me, which got here out earlier this 12 months. They are saying releasing that document and taking part in a Tiny Desk three years after submitting to the Contest looks like “an actual full-circle second.” Towards the top of the set, Hwong smiles and admits: “This can be a dream come true.”
- “I Really feel You”
- “Every thing I’ve Acquired”
- Baek Hwong: guitar, vocals
- Marian Li-Pino: drums
- Jayla Tang: violin
TINY DESK TEAM
- Producer: Bob Boilen
- Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
- Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
- Sequence Producer: Bobby Carter
- Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Michael Zamora, Sofia Seidel
- Audio Assistant: Alex Drewenskus
- Manufacturing Assistant: Jill Britton
- Tiny Desk Crew: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Kara Body
- VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
- Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann