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Tiny Desk Premiere: Yaya Bey

Yaya Bey performs a Tiny Desk concert.
Zayrha Rodriguez
Yaya Bey performs a Tiny Desk concert.

Throughout an emotional, soul-stirring set, the multitudes of Yaya Bey's music and artistry are on full display in her Tiny Desk concert. The New York-bred singer-songwriter opens the show by paying homage to her Barbados roots: reggae-tinged grooves of "meet me in brooklyn" from her powerful 2022 album, Remember Your North Star, that flow seamlessly into "on the pisces moon" from 2023's Exodus The North Star.

Our little corner can be a space for artists and musicians to approach their music in more intimate ways, often leading to incredibly raw experiences. Bey manages to create a sense of closeness with the audience as she emphatically expresses how difficult this performance is for her to get through: "My dad died last year, so I be spacing out sometimes when I do this joint," before diving into the sentimental "reprise."

Before closing the set with "me and all my n*****," a new song from her upcoming LP Ten Fold, which she says she wrote as "an ode to human resilience," she continues to open up about her battle with long COVID: "That mask s*** is real; [this] s*** is hard." Bey's performance feels like peeking into her personal journals, and it's truly healing to experience. Not a dry eye was left in the building.


  • "meet me in brooklyn"
  • "on the pisces moon"
  • "reprise"
  • "me and all my n*****"


  • Yaya Bey: vocals
  • Sweet Corey-Bey: bass, vocals
  • Andrew Velez: trumpet, vocals
  • Jo Palmer: drums
  • Colin Chambers: keys


  • Producer: Ashley Pointer
  • Director: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Technical Director: Josephine Nyounai
  • Editor: Maia Stern
  • Host/Series Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Kara Frame, Maia Stern, Alanté Serene
  • Audio Engineer: Neil Tevault
  • Production Assistant: Elle Mannion
  • Photographer: Zayrha Rodriguez
  • Tiny Desk Copy Editor: Hazel Cills
  • Executive Producer: Suraya Mohamed
  • Series Creators: Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins

Copyright 2024 NPR

Ashley Pointer
Ashley Pointer is a news assistant for NPR Music.