WATCH: Manitoba’s William Prince Performs on NPR’s Tiny Desk

William Prince, the singer-songwriter, performs songs that swoon at the wonders of love, but also deep partnership.

There are thousands of love songs sung sweetly and strummed softly by a big guy with a big heart. But there’s only one William Prince. The singer-songwriter from the Peguis First Nation has a disarming presence at the Tiny Desk — his voice warm, eyes smiling.

Prince had flown into Washington, D.C., on a red-eye flight. Jetlagged, he took a long nap on one of our couches, roused himself, then quietly commanded the room. These songs, two of which are from his 2023 album Stand in the Joy, swoon at the wonders of love, but more importantly give partners space to grow and bloom over time. Prince had performed a Tiny Desk (home) concert in 2021, so here he improvises a little song of gratitude with a wink: “I’d thought the Desk would be tinier.”

Set List

  • “Tanqueray”
  • “Goldie Hawn”
  • “The Spark”

Who is William Prince?

William Prince is a Canadian singer-songwriter known for his soulful and folk-influenced music. Born on December 4, 1985, in Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada, Prince has gained recognition for his heartfelt lyrics, rich vocals, and acoustic sound.

Prince’s music often explores themes of love, life, and his Indigenous roots. He is of Cree and Dene descent, and this heritage is reflected in some of his songs. His debut album, “Earthly Days,” was released in 2015 and received positive reviews for its authenticity and emotional depth.

Over the years, William Prince has earned several accolades for his work, including the Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year in 2017 for his album “Earthly Days.” His sophomore album, “Reliever,” was released in 2020, further establishing his reputation as a talented and introspective artist.

Beyond his solo career, William Prince has collaborated with other musicians and participated in various projects that showcase his versatility as a performer. His music continues to resonate with audiences, and he remains an important figure in the Canadian music scene.

What is NPR’s Tiny Desk?

NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts is a popular video series produced by National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States. The concept is simple yet intimate: musicians from various genres perform live concerts at a small desk in the NPR Music office. The series was created by Bob Boilen, the host of NPR’s “All Songs Considered,” and it has gained widespread acclaim for its unique format and the raw, stripped-down performances it captures.

The Tiny Desk Concerts feature a diverse range of artists, including established musicians and emerging talents, spanning genres like folk, rock, hip-hop, jazz, and more. The setting, with the musicians performing in close quarters with minimal amplification, provides an intimate and authentic experience for both the performers and the audience.

These concerts are often recorded in one take, and they showcase the artists’ abilities to connect with their audience in a more personal and immediate way. The series has become a platform for artists to present their music in a different light, often allowing fans to discover new facets of their favorite musicians.

The Tiny Desk Concerts have grown in popularity since the series began in 2008, and they have featured a wide array of artists, contributing to the overall diversity and richness of the music showcased by NPR. The series has become a significant and beloved part of NPR’s music programming.