Durand Bernarr is many things. He’s a singer. He’s a performer. He’s a bad b***h and that n***a. He’s a whole mood. And he’s the latest artist to grace NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series with one of the most exciting and entertaining performances we’ve ever seen on the platform.
From the moment Durand appeared on screen, it was clear that this wasn’t any regular degular Tiny Desk. Dressed as the character “Uncle Bobby” from the animated series The Proud Family, his white sequined suit with hot pink lapel and cuffs and curly pompadour wig set the tone with his entire band Tithe & Offering also in on The Proud Family cosplay.
After briefly introducing himself and each band member, Durand began his set with “Leveled,” a track from his stellar sophomore album Wanderlust. He then reached back to his debut album Dur& for the interlude “Chops” (the reprise from “Stuck.”) before singing us the lullaby “Company.” He went into his bag for his chill 2019 track “Sam’s Vibe” before bringing the tempo back up for the jam “Mango Butter” with its catchy groove.
Bernarr showed that he’s got the range with a little country twang on “Relocate” before mashing up R&B and opera on “Freefall.” He then came out of his jacket and wig to rock out on “Stuck.” complete with high kicks, jumping atop Bob Boilen’s infamous desk and all manners of theatrics. He ended that song with an unexpected death drop. He quickly popped back up to reintroduce his band and close out his show with the “Melody” instrumental as he stepped from behind the desk to mix and mingle with the small audience that was gathered to witness his brilliance in real-time.
A marvelous display of showmanship and artistry, Durand Bernarr’s Tiny Desk Concert is a sight to behold. “I came here to leave it all on the desk,” he commented at one point during his set, and we’d say mission accomplished. Get your life while you watch Durand Bernarr get his below.