Sting & Shaggy are the latest guest stars to film an instalment of NPR’s iconic Tiny Desk concert series, which premieres on NPR Music in the US today, 10 July. You can watch the footage through NPR’s official channel.
For the performance, the iconic duo were accompanied by Sting’s long-time guitarist, Dominic Miller and backing vocalists, Melissa Musique and Gene Noble to perform the first single, ‘Don’t Make Me Wait,’ off their Grammy Award-winning album, 44/876, as well as Sting’s classic hit, ‘Englishman In New York,’ and a mash-up of Juice WRLD’s chart-topping song, ‘Lucid Dreams’ and Sting’s ‘Shape of My Heart,’ which is sampled on the former.
During the performance, Shaggy affectionately refers to his collaborator as “Stingy,” putting his arm around him mid-performance. The duo’s Tiny Desk set makes it easy to see the camaraderie that being on the road together affords these veteran musicians, to say nothing of the breath of fresh air they bring to each other’s music.
Following their joint collaboration, which included a critically-acclaimed world tour, Sting & Shaggy, went on to release their own respective albums (Sting’s My Songs & Shaggy’s Wah Gwaan?!) and have embarked on their own shows.
The Tiny Desk concert series is a video series of live concerts hosted by NPR Music at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen. NPR Music offers current and archival podcasts, live concert webcasts, reviews, music lists, news, studio sessions, and interviews to listen to from NPR and partner public radio stations across the country, as well as an index of public radio music stations streaming live on the Internet. There are two blogs: Monitor Mix by Sleater-Kinney musician Carrie Brownstein and the All Songs Considered Blog by Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton.
The first Tiny Desk Concert came about in 2008 after Boilen and NPR Music editor Stephen Thompson left a bar show frustrated that they couldn’t hear the music over the crowd noise. Thompson joked that the musician, folk singer Laura Gibson, should just perform at Boilen’s desk. A month later Boilen arranged for her to do just that, making an impromptu recording and posting it online.
In December 2014, NPR announced it would host its first contest, inviting bands to submit a video of one of their songs. A jury of musicians and NPR staff choose a winner to play a Tiny Desk Concert. The contest has continued annually, each year drawing more than 6000 submissions. Jurors have included Trey Anastasio of Phish, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, and Jess Wolfe of Lucius.
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