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BLK ODYSSY: Tiny Desk Concert

The BLK ODYSSY aesthetic ignites all of the human senses and it's impossible to nail down exactly what type of music he makes after one, two or even three listens. When he arrived at NPR headquarters, Juwan Elcock, aka BLK ODYSSY, pulled out a lifelike severed human head made of silicone and placed it on the Desk. It's the same head seen in the hands of a woman on the cover of his latest album, DIAMONDS & FREAKS, a project that depicts love and lust as addictive vices.

The visual components are just as compelling and help specify that BLK ODYSSY is the modern personification of funk. I love where the current state of R&B music sits, but it can always use more funk. This Tiny Desk is an 18-minute flex, highlighting the best of DIAMONDS & FREAKS, plus the premiere of a new song, "I WANT YOU," and a set that climaxes with 2021's "FUNKENTOLOGY."

SET LIST

  • "ODEE"
  • "JUDAS & THE HOLY MOTHER OF STANK"
  • "ADAM & EVE"
  • "WANT YOU"
  • "FUNKENTOLOGY"


MUSICIANS

  • BLK ODYSSY: lead vocals
  • Alejandro Rios: guitar
  • JeMarcus Bridges: keys
  • Art Hays: saxophone
  • Paulo Santos: flute
  • Ari Burns: trumpet
  • Andre Taylor: vocals
  • Maya Sampleton: vocals
  • LARA': vocals
  • Marcus Jones: drums
  • Jimmy Blazer: bass


TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Technical Director: Josh Rogosin
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Kara Frame, Zayrha Rodriguez, Maia Stern
  • Audio Engineer: Valentina Rodríguez Sánchez 
  • Production Assistant: Ashley Pointer
  • Photographer: Estefania Mitre
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Hazel Cills
  • Series Creators: Bob Boilen, Stephen Thompson
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: January 24, 2024 at 12:00 AM EST
A previous version of this story referred to the artist BLK ODYSSY's real name as Sam Houston. His name is Juwan Elcock.
Bobby Carter
Bobby Carter is a leader on the Tiny Desk Concerts team for NPR Music. He's brought an ever growing roster of big names and emerging artists through NPR's HQ to squeeze behind the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and record standout performances, including Usher, Mac Miller, Noname, Anderson.Paak and H.E.R.