NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series is, without a doubt, one of the most entertaining series on the Internet. With big-name acts like Tedeschi Trucks Band, Trey AnastasioThundercat, and Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals being some of our favorites that have taken over the mini space, we trust and believe in whatever talent the NPR folks put before our eyes. The annual Tiny Desk Contest brought us Tank and The Bangas in 2017, and this year, chose Naia Izumi as the winner out of 5,000 applicants. The team of judges included past Tiny Desk contest winner Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Tiny Desk alum Sylvan Esso and Gaby Moreno, along with a team of NPR staff. Since winning NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, Naia traveled to Washington, D.C. to play his own Tiny Desk concert, as you can see in the video below.

As NPR’s Bob Boilen wrote about Naia Izumi:

Naia was chosen after we reviewed nearly 5,000 video entries. And the talent that came to us through all those submissions was astonishing. Naia Izumi won us over with his mind-boggling and unique style of guitar playing — a combination of tapping on the fingerboards and soul-filled whammy bar-note bending. And his multi-octave singing range blended so eloquently with his guitar stylings.

For his NPR Tiny Desk debut, Naia Izumi performed a trio of originals: “Soft Spoken”, “As It Comes”, and “Soul Gaze”. About the first song of Naia’s performance, NPR noted: “Its title was originally ‘Soft Spoken Woman’ and, as we later learned, Naia had identified as a woman for nearly seven years. More recently, as he said in an interview with Washingtonian Magazine, ‘I’m not into that anymore because I just want to relax with biology and be comfortable with what I have’.”

Typically a one-man show, Naia brought along bassist Adam Matijasevic and drummer Kynwyn Sterling to assist him on the NPR Tiny Desk concert performance. From here, Naia will head out on the road with Lagunitas Brewing Company for a 10-city national tour with some of NPR’s favorite local contest entrants. Tour details are forthcoming.

Watch Naia Izumi’s official Tiny Desk concert below:

[Video: NPR]

Check out Naia Izumi’s entry video:

[Video: NPR]