NPR Tiny Desk Contest Winner Naia Izumi Talks Georgia Roots, 'Declarative' Music

May 9, 2018

You might recognize Naia Izumi if you're from Columbus, Georgia. Izumi is winner of NPR's 2018 Tiny Desk Contest. He started playing guitar when he was just a kid living in Columbus.


Izumi now lives in Los Angeles. He wrote the song “Soft Spoken” for the Tiny Desk Concert Contest on YouTube. The video submission has been viewed nearly 200,000 times.


Following this win, Izumi says he hopes to win a few Grammys and perform at different venues around the world.


We spoke with Izumi about his path to NPR's Tiny Desk, as well as music's therapeutic nature. Izumi is on the autism spectrum and says music always been his therapy.