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South Carolina 2024 NPR Tiny Desk submissions you need to watch

South Carolina has historically been a hotbed for cultivating amazing musical talent, from James Brown Lee Brice, Dizzy Gillespie, Toro y Moi, and Darius Rucker just to name a few.

Several representatives of the Palmetto State have taken a chance to further cement their legacy by submitting their videos to the 2024 NPR Tiny Desk Competition. South Carolina Public Radio took the opportunity to speak with four artists who submitted their work.

AP & Soulful Touche’


AP & Soulful Touche’ are comprised of like-minded creative South Carolinian residents who came together in 2022 and decided multiple artistic brains are better than an individual one.

The group knows what a large platform that a Tiny Desk performance provides would do for their careers.

“It’s age-defying,” said AP. “We have fun because we love being able to perform because it furthers our goal of making this our long-term careers."

“My eventual goal is to continue to perform live, while holding festivals, television program placements, film scores, and other things of that nature.”

Jael B. Gadsden


Motivated by the careers of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Yolanda Adams, Jael B. Gadsden creates R&B tunes that feel like Sunday morning service.

Gadsden knows that her winning the Tiny Desk competition would be huge for the state.

"It would mean the world to me to represent S.C. in the Tiny Desk Contest because it’s where I was born and raised," Gadsden said. "It would be my way of giving back to the community that has supported me and aided in my growth as an artist and a person. I would be truly honored and grateful.”

Gadsden explained Her Tiny Desk Submission, "You are a Winner," is a way to create more positivity in the world and for people to hear her meaningful words and put them into action.

I want people to believe in themselves and never give up on your dreams, even if it means just taking one tiny step at a time. And If you are trying, you are already a winner!”

Mike Kaufman

Mt. Pleasant

Kaufman grew up listening to Peter Seeger and the members of the “folk scare” – as well as acoustic pop folks like James Taylor, Livingston Taylor, and David Wilcox whose sounds helped inspire his musical career.

His Tiny Desk submission, "Song in a Dream," was inspired by a dream he had.

“In my dream I heard YoYo Ma (one of my music heroes) playing a bassline on his cello that suggested the progression,” Kaufman said.

He says that South Carolina is filled with talented musicians, and although Kaufman knows it is a long shot for him to win the contest, he just wants to bring light to the South Carolina music scene.

Kae Glass

Mt. Pleasant

Kae Glass has spent her entire life singing. She says she knows representation matters, so an opportunity to be showcased on Tiny Desk would help break the traditional standards of people who look like her.

“I don’t like stereotypes and you know, being Keisha, a big Black female, like a lot of stereotypes come with that and to be honest, my music goes way beyond just being a large Black female,” Glass said.

Glass wants to bring back the essence of what good music from South Carolina which is why her music is unique.

“I’m not just some girl, I don’t have this specific message, it is different, I know it is,” she added.

The deadline for the 2024 Tiny Desk Contest is Thursday, Feb 21 at 11:59 p.m.

You can watch the full list of South Carolina submissions here.

Marcus Flowers is an award-winning content producer who specializes in various topics.