Jordan Rakei: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

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Watch Jordan Rakei play "Say Something", "Mind's Eye", "Talk To Me" and "Speak" at the Tiny Desk.
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Jan. 13, 2020 | Suraya Mohamed -- Sometimes, things don't go smoothly at the Tiny Desk. After traveling all night, the soulful R&B artist Jordan Rakei and his band pulled up to NPR in their tour bus at the crack of dawn, only to find the Fender Rhodes we'd rented for him didn't have the right action. But after quickly ordering a replacement (that arrived moments before the Tiny Desk performance started), Rakei and his band locked-in and played a phenomenal set.
The band opened with "Say Something," from the group's 2019 album, Origin. It's a song that encourages people to take action and speak up for themselves. They followed with "Mind's Eye," a commentary on technology that questions whether advancements are always a good idea. After playing "Talk To Me," from the group's 2016 debut album, Cloak, they returned to their most recent release to close with "Speak," a reflective song with a beautiful solo piano accompaniment. Inspired by the TV show and book The Handmaid's Tale, it imagines a world where nuclear war has left half the women infertile, as technology runs amok.
Despite the sometimes dystopian themes in his music, Rakei's sound is easygoing and colorful. While steady grooves connect his singular blend of jazz and R&B, his tight chord voicings, compelling rhythms and mesmerizing vocals make for a wonderful performance.
"Say Something"
"Mind's Eye"
"Talk To Me"
Jordan Rakei: vocals, keys; Jim Macrae: drums; Ernesto Marichales: percussion; Jonathan Harvey: bass; Imraan Paleker: guitar; Linda Diaz: vocals; Sam Wills: vocals; Opal Hoyt: vocals
Producers: Suraya Mohamed, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative director: Bob Boilen; Audio engineers: Josh Rogosin, Natasha Branch; Editor: Jack Corbett; Videographers: Bronson Arcuri, Jack Corbett, Morgan Noelle Smith, Maia Stern; Associate Producer: Bobby Carter; Executive producer: Lauren Onkey; VP, programming: Anya Grundmann; Photo: Mhari Shaw/NPR


  1. NPR Music
    NPR Music
    6 maanden geleden

    Hey Tiny Desk fans: Were we ever all supposed to get a say in our democracy? Throughline hosts Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei explore this question in three new episodes. In this series, we’ll take a close look at voting in America, and how that’s shaped what American democracy is, what it was meant to be, where it’s failed, and what it might become. Check out Throughline here :

    1. frntbznzz
      Maand geleden


    2. sartoriusrock
      2 maanden geleden

      Pure democracy devolves into mob rule. Balances such as the electoral college serve as a way to preserve minority interests, to prevent the tyranny of the majority.

    3. Dean Thornby
      Dean Thornby
      3 maanden geleden

      I'm English I live in Spain and I'm totally confused what's happening in the USA right now seems like some how the USA has lost its way right now ...good music and love is the only way to sort things out ,it worked in the UK in the 90's / 00's ... Your most definitely doing your bit tiny desk let's just hope and pray the rest of the USA joins in ♥️

    4. sjors hagenbeek
      sjors hagenbeek
      4 maanden geleden

      We need the Parcels at Tiny Desk!

    5. Бейбарыс [LIVE]
      Бейбарыс [LIVE]
      4 maanden geleden


  2. brittney miles
    brittney miles
    4 dagen geleden

    Soulful voice I love it😍

  3. Tom Bittikoffer
    Tom Bittikoffer
    5 dagen geleden

    Wait... Is it me or are Sufjan Stevens and this guy not twins? Check out Sufjan's Carrie and Lowell concert. Same hat, white boy looks. Both EXCELLENT performances... coincidence?

  4. 10Fingers and a Brain
    10Fingers and a Brain
    7 dagen geleden


  5. Kacper Iwo Matuszewski
    Kacper Iwo Matuszewski
    12 dagen geleden

    It's cool that Jordan hired Ryan Gosling to play drums and Ron Livingston for the percussion instruments.

  6. Bria Rowe
    Bria Rowe
    13 dagen geleden

    U cannot compare yourself to me......... we are differentttt

  7. Eli Tv
    Eli Tv
    13 dagen geleden

    Bongos went crazy 💯🔥 on “minds eye”

  8. Indera Tamara
    Indera Tamara
    13 dagen geleden


  9. Roshanda Cummings
    Roshanda Cummings
    14 dagen geleden

    The UK is saving R&B music and I’m here for it. Long Live.

  10. Gianni Stefano Gonzalez Cierro
    Gianni Stefano Gonzalez Cierro
    18 dagen geleden

    The details in here! Just adorable

  11. Unako Ontei
    Unako Ontei
    25 dagen geleden

  12. Seda den Boer
    Seda den Boer
    Maand geleden

    the 16:06 part gets me every time

  13. Boram Song
    Boram Song
    Maand geleden


  14. Rio522Bass
    Maand geleden

    @NPR Music, ya’ll need to put out an album (with the artist’s permission of course). But a LOT of my favorite singers/rappers have done Tiny Desk shows with grooves that are WAY doper than the original album cuts. PLEASE look into this. I KNOW I can’t be the only person that feels this way!

  15. Roberto Leveneur
    Roberto Leveneur
    Maand geleden


  16. fenet
    Maand geleden

    jordan, ya gem !

  17. Robbie Wizz
    Robbie Wizz
    Maand geleden

    Beautiful 🤩

  18. Lewis Waithe
    Lewis Waithe
    2 maanden geleden

    Ilkay Gundogen on the bongos

  19. finnie
    2 maanden geleden

    Now that's what I call Music.

  20. lou ui
    lou ui
    2 maanden geleden

    this music is magic

  21. Nahuel paolinelli
    Nahuel paolinelli
    2 maanden geleden

    What a human

  22. The Octagality Podcast
    The Octagality Podcast
    2 maanden geleden

    Amazing, thanks Buntu.

  23. Linley Constant
    Linley Constant
    2 maanden geleden

    Good music here...

  24. Lily Callaghan
    Lily Callaghan
    2 maanden geleden

    i just realised one of the backup singers was the tiny desk contest winner! love love

  25. Obi
    2 maanden geleden

    Ryan Gosling is a really good drummer

  26. Leon Krześniak
    Leon Krześniak
    2 maanden geleden

    didnt know he had g-eazy on the drums

  27. Dusty Palyama
    Dusty Palyama
    2 maanden geleden

    Love the second track and all it's variations and surprises!

  28. Craig Wollman
    Craig Wollman
    3 maanden geleden

    That desk is bigger than I expected.

  29. Ka Shi
    Ka Shi
    3 maanden geleden

    that was beautiful

  30. Davi Feitosa
    Davi Feitosa
    3 maanden geleden

    sounds like Brazilian rhythms, like samba

  31. Ed Gorman
    Ed Gorman
    3 maanden geleden

    Don’t know if this is the right or wrong thing to say, however! I thought DJ Shadow Reconstructed was the best thing since Central Heating. All the good stuff in one place you know. Gotta say though young man you’ve got serious soul! Lots of wise words over sweet melodies!

  32. Oka Mohammad
    Oka Mohammad
    3 maanden geleden

    wow. its something.

  33. dalibor hriadel
    dalibor hriadel
    3 maanden geleden

    What a beatutiful piece of art...I love you

  34. MasterGamer15
    3 maanden geleden

    Is that sam wills singer of amazing songs like elecrtified, unify and light on me doing backup vocals?

  35. Schwanestro
    3 maanden geleden

    Mega !!!!

  36. Mateo Verdaguer
    Mateo Verdaguer
    3 maanden geleden

    the version of 'speak' he performs is the most beautiful thing I heard in a long time

    3 maanden geleden

    Escuchándolos!! Excelente!!

  38. Pele Kama
    Pele Kama
    3 maanden geleden

    This man is incredible

  39. Katia Orgiana
    Katia Orgiana
    3 maanden geleden

    Such a touching soul. His music is pure. Pure, deep soul

  40. Mateo Verdaguer
    Mateo Verdaguer
    4 maanden geleden


  41. Rachel Weston
    Rachel Weston
    4 maanden geleden

    Saw him in DC a year ago and I bought a ticket for a friend that hadn’t heard of him before and the experience changed their life. It was such a good show.

  42. sarah begg
    sarah begg
    4 maanden geleden

    Very talented young man good luck to you enjoy it 🥰

  43. Irma Salazar
    Irma Salazar
    4 maanden geleden

    Super underrated Tiny Desk, the soulllllll throughout Jordan Rakei. Thank you!

  44. summittodo
    4 maanden geleden

    Is that Linda Diaz on Backing vocals ?

  45. Cyber_t
    4 maanden geleden

    Im officially obsessed!!

  46. Amy Mizenko
    Amy Mizenko
    4 maanden geleden

    but the ryan gosling drummer

  47. Tina knab
    Tina knab
    4 maanden geleden

    Thank you NPR tiny desk for showcasing Real music & Talented artists!

  48. GodLee1
    4 maanden geleden

    Tiny desk please get Jerome Thomas and Dornik...

  49. Martin V.
    Martin V.
    4 maanden geleden

    My dude on the guitar was SPOT ON with the funky scratching. fantastic.

  50. Marcin Charęziński
    Marcin Charęziński
    4 maanden geleden

    That was amazing. Well done.

  51. Smangele Majola
    Smangele Majola
    4 maanden geleden

    Happy to see this on a mil. My boy deserves that

  52. Michelle Mesri
    Michelle Mesri
    4 maanden geleden

    Como le pongo MAs likes a esto!!!!???

  53. DJSturm1
    4 maanden geleden

    Best channel ever

  54. cloe ehrhard
    cloe ehrhard
    4 maanden geleden

    These voices, all in my head Never to whisper again Never to sing me to sleep Oh, but a dream Right there, caught out in the rain Drenched in a memory of pain Soaked by the old sour taste Let's hope for the better Play to the mind, wide open Awaken the beast by the meadow Playful at least, I'm hoping Show you the doorway to my soul Come to the root of the cause Producer will can the applause I mention it's not my fault Yet my effort was needed So I grab for some inner resource Most certainly blind to the force Letting the world takes its course We've now superseded Play to the mind, wide open Awaken the beast by the meadow Playful at least, I'm hoping Show you the doorway to my soul Play to the mind, wide open Waking the beast by the meadow Playful at least, I'm hoping Show you the doorway to my soul

  55. Charles Martínez
    Charles Martínez
    4 maanden geleden

    Great music but ... coño el pana de las congas es caraquista jaja cdlm

  56. ATAH
    4 maanden geleden

    Viva Venezuela, increíble Ernesto Marichales y su camisa de Los Leones.

  57. Claire Letard
    Claire Letard
    4 maanden geleden

    Tiny Desk = Colors, but so much better!!!

  58. Laura Marković
    Laura Marković
    4 maanden geleden

    He's at home.

  59. Obed Santos
    Obed Santos
    4 maanden geleden

    Linda Diaz went from being one of the back up singers on a Tiny Desk performance to being the winner of the 2020 Tiny Desk contest!

  60. Irealla Real Life
    Irealla Real Life
    4 maanden geleden

    Amazing I'm rocking side to side👄

  61. Boitumelo Molale
    Boitumelo Molale
    4 maanden geleden

    I had never listened to his music before until I attended this jazz festival and he was performing live. I was alone since I couldn't find my friends and the feeling was insane, it felt like I was meant to be there at the exact moment when he performed Sorceress. I have been obsessed since.

  62. Chris Sakai
    Chris Sakai
    4 maanden geleden

    When Jordan played at Lee's Palace in Toronto I saw something I've never seen before. As soon as Jordan sang his first line the entire venue went completely silent. Everyone was in awe. He is my number 1 live act. Thanks for your music and for signing my record

  63. Cee C
    Cee C
    4 maanden geleden

  64. Esther Sandi
    Esther Sandi
    5 maanden geleden

    look at my little green tea bae doing back up vocals

  65. Hilgourmet
    5 maanden geleden

    11:25 such a vibe! Loving it

  66. Hilgourmet
    5 maanden geleden

    Sam Smith in the background giving us angel voice

  67. Danique
    5 maanden geleden

    Ok update, I LOVEEE THIS

  68. Danique
    5 maanden geleden

    Nov 12 2020, 6:21 PM, hw

  69. MOJO
    5 maanden geleden

    Linda Díaz ❤️

  70. sally hubert
    sally hubert
    5 maanden geleden

    Fantastic - what great talent - thank you for posting this lovely performance

  71. Smangele Majola
    Smangele Majola
    5 maanden geleden

    So happy to see this has reached 1M views

  72. Mark Kavanagh
    Mark Kavanagh
    5 maanden geleden

    Sam smith on the backing vocals

    5 maanden geleden

    in need this on my spotify, @NPR Music make it happen plz

  74. Boddah0123
    5 maanden geleden

    Thank you so very much!! This live is majestic!!!!

  75. Akie
    5 maanden geleden


  76. jennifer tiller
    jennifer tiller
    5 maanden geleden

    I seen him in Philadelphia; awesome concert

  77. John Pierson
    John Pierson
    5 maanden geleden

    Rakei is so talented. Band is no joke too. Great performance

  78. Yolanda Pérez
    Yolanda Pérez
    5 maanden geleden

    segundo 28, los leones del caracas dios mio

  79. Gianna Pitino
    Gianna Pitino
    6 maanden geleden

    Y el pana con la camisa de Los Leones del Caracas!!!! Me encanta

  80. AZIZ18691
    6 maanden geleden

    I just realized my other voice crush in this performance...Sam Wills. No wonder I love hearing both of them perform. 🥰

  81. Jonathan Goh
    Jonathan Goh
    6 maanden geleden

    Hold up, is that the recent Tiny Desk Contest Winner Linda Diaz on backing vocals???

    1. Scot Self
      Scot Self
      4 maanden geleden

      I just spotted that as well! She's great!

    2. Tracie Howard
      Tracie Howard
      5 maanden geleden

      Yes, she is good!

  82. Irene del Carmen
    Irene del Carmen
    6 maanden geleden


  83. Conibri
    6 maanden geleden


  84. Thomas Yalale
    Thomas Yalale
    6 maanden geleden

    his voice in the last song go hard as a rock

  85. Alvin Earl Lasala
    Alvin Earl Lasala
    6 maanden geleden

    Shoutout to Miss Linda Diaz for winning 2020 Tiny Desk!

  86. Elsie Butuyuyu
    Elsie Butuyuyu
    6 maanden geleden

    Y'all peep linda diaz

  87. Monisola Elliott
    Monisola Elliott
    6 maanden geleden

    The man of my dreams

  88. Sam Jeans
    Sam Jeans
    6 maanden geleden

    That Latin groove 11:30 ish is sublime

  89. Lucas Zacariotti
    Lucas Zacariotti
    6 maanden geleden

    I LOVE the african/brazilian reference on 9:02 beat

  90. Willeska Ortega
    Willeska Ortega
    6 maanden geleden

    Venezuela in that House.. .Leones 🙌🏽

  91. Mars Hamilton
    Mars Hamilton
    6 maanden geleden

    "Mind's Eye"🙆🏾‍♂️🙆🏾‍♂️🙆🏾‍♂️What a song!!! 🇿🇦🇿🇦🇿🇦

    1. Thulisile Dhlamini
      Thulisile Dhlamini
      3 maanden geleden

      Amazing 🥵

  92. Trintalinhas
    6 maanden geleden

    Loved it!!!

  93. Richie Sun
    Richie Sun
    6 maanden geleden

    HOW DID I MISS THIS???????????????????????

  94. Jorge Varela
    Jorge Varela
    6 maanden geleden

    Such a genius

  95. Pablo Garcés Díaz
    Pablo Garcés Díaz
    6 maanden geleden


  96. hatch0217
    6 maanden geleden


  97. George Hamlyn
    George Hamlyn
    7 maanden geleden

    When the drums come in on Minds eye (4:28) I felt that! Big up JR what a guy

  98. Abby Magnan
    Abby Magnan
    7 maanden geleden

    all amazing, but that last song... my God that is good!

  99. Jack Nimrod
    Jack Nimrod
    7 maanden geleden

    Totally wonderful. That has made my soul glow.

  100. Thami Rangwaga
    Thami Rangwaga
    7 maanden geleden

    6:33 that beat 🙆🏾‍♀️🙆🏾‍♀️