“If you think this s**t sucks, feel free to give us the church clap?” said Phonte. And suck they didn’t. The Foreign Exchange recently performed at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, and we’re wondering if NPR knew what they were getting themselves into. With Nicolay on the guitar, Zo! on the keys and Boogie on the congas, the NPR staff were not only in for a treat but for a stand-up show by the group’s comedic singer Phonte. He went from explaining the formula of a church clap to asking the audience if they were happy with their jobs — at their jobs. “Do y’all feel good about working at NPR? Do y’all, like, y’all jobs?” asked Phonte. Despite the shenanigans we always love and expect from the group, they performed three tracks “On A Day Like Today,” “Listen to the Rain” and “Call It Home” from their fourth studio album, Love In Flying Colors.
Each song was thoughtfully chosen for an office setting, going from upbeat, to slow, to mid-tempo. Phonte acknowledged the first-time listeners, saying, “I know you don’t get a second chance at making a first impression, so I hope we made a good motherf***ing first impression.” If they hadn’t by then, they did when they performed the sentimental ditty “Call It Home.” Not to get too sentimental, Phonte also mentioned, “If home is not in your heart, you will always be a lonely ass motherf***er.” Moving through the mid-tempo song without missing a beat, Phonte cooed smoothly, ending the Tiny Desk performance with applause and, of course, laughter. If you haven’t seen The Foreign Exchange live yet, do yourself a favor and enter one of our current giveaways to win tickets to their upcoming shows on the Love In Flying Colors World Tour or you can always watch the performance below on on NPR’s website.