Noname revisits some of the better parts of her Telefone LP for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series.

Noname’s smile is as infectious and catchy as her music.

That’s one of the main things that stands out from the rapper-vocalist’s recent appearance on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series. Noname’s still riding the wave of her Telefone project, a poignant, at times heartbreaking, at times inspiring journey through the mind of a girl with plenty of stories to tell, and is currently touring with her band. On her D.C. stop, Noname linked up with NPR (after recovering from “tour sickness”) and the rest is history.

The Chicago artist performs select songs from Telefone over the course of 15 minutes. And after concluding her opener with “Diddy Bop,” she shares a hilarious but honest confession: “I just want to be as good as T-Pain!” Of course, there’s only one T-Pain, and that’s okay, because Noname is perfectly at home and captivating just being her best self. Noname’s voice is lovely and joyful live. Even when merging two of Telefone’s most tragic moments (“Casket Pretty” and “Bye Bye Baby”) in a medley, it’s hard not to smile along when Noname does. Noname tells the audience at one point, “Let’s heal the world, guys, with vulnerability!” Even though she’s half-joking, it’s a mission worth considering.

Watch Noname’s Tiny Desk Concert with NPR for yourself up top. Noname’s 2016 album Telefone, in case you missed it, is out now on iTunes.

“Diddy Bop”
Medley (“Reality Check,” “Casket Pretty,” “Bye Bye Baby”)