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Kenny Beats visits NPR for soulful Tiny Desk performance

As if Kenny Beats couldn’t get more beloved. The acclaimed producer-streamer-YouTuber stopped by NPR’s Tiny Desk for his first time ever on Monday (Feb. 13).

Accompanied by a few friends in JPEGMafia, Remiwolf and others to perform his eclectic debut album Louie, the 4 a.m. concert was an overnight surprise in the wake of Super Bowl LVII celebrations and Rihanna’s riveting Apple Music Halftime Show (Feb. 12).

“This is an album about family that I made with my friends… Think about your family when you listen! This was an honor. Thank you,” he wrote in the comments, as Kenny, who sported a Grateful Dead t-shirt manning the drums, took the live set to new heights with his band. Peggy, who recently finished his collaborative album with Danny Brown, shined performing his verse on one of Louie’s marquee cuts “Still,” as Remi followed up with her striking vocals on the meditative “Last Words.”

Louie — made in light of Kenny’s father being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2021 — breaks the confines of what an instrumental album is. With a stacked guest list that includes Mac Demarco, Vince Staples, Clairo, Thundercat, slowthai, Paris Texas, Omar Apollo, Fousheé and more, Kenny’s creative intentions for the record were channeled through the ones he holds close.

“I always said that I wouldn’t do a solo album because I didn’t have anything to say. Finally, I did. Something dark turned into something beautiful. This album encapsulated the feeling of that one month.”

Kenny Beats on ‘Louie‘

Recently celebrating the three-year anniversary of his joint album with Denzel Curry, UNLOCKED, the prolific beatmaker made a point to bring Louie’s live set to fruition — and did so with his unequivocal charisma and ceaseless positivity. Enjoying playing alongside people “who have been in my house and met my dog,” it’s apparent that Kenny was in his element crammed at Tiny Desk.

Watch Kenny’s Tiny Desk Concert below!