In the years since we've seen him grow from Odd Future ringleader to solo star, Tyler, the Creator has built up a reputation as a live and voracious performer. However, intimate speakeasy spaces bring out a different kind of magic in him.
For his NPR Tiny Desk concert, Tyler went against outside of his comfort zone to bring a live band—stocked with a pianist, drummer, bass player and two vocalists—to deliver a handful of his Flower Boy favorites.
“I was always skeptical, especially with some of the drum sounds I use… how do I use a band to my full potential?” he said of taking such a risk. “The chords and the musical aspects of my music, you may think it would work, but sometimes it just doesn’t get the full thought across. So I’ve always been hesitant to even approach it. I found [this band] and they’re really, really talented and we just meshed together.” Viewers watching the video were likely as confused by his concerns as the cheering NPR staff, because the performance was a standout.
With that profane candor of his, he playfully addressed enthusiastic spectators by name, laughed at his own jokes, remarked at how terrible the tea tasted and maintained an honest grin throughout performance. As he ran through jazzy, melodic renditions of "Boredom," "See You Again" and "Glitter," the chemistry between him and his band—especially the quite lovely lady background singers—was tangible. Tyler seemed to be in awe at his own crew and the acoustic beauty they all created.
After the performance he literally made the band members introduce themselves one by one and share a fun fact about themselves. What a pleasant work day it was for everyone involved. Check out the performance for yourself up top.