Credit: Photo: Keren Carrión

NPR Music's Tiny Desk is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. These artists represent just a sliver of the cultural diversity that exists within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

For Sid Sriram and his band, playing loud is the norm. But in anticipation for this Tiny Desk, he turned the volume down while rehearsing for this unique acoustic setting. "When it gets quiet, you hear the subtleties, the background, vocal sounds and it even inspires new vocal ideas because you're not hearing everything, powered up all the way," Sriram told NPR before the concert. "The drummers tried different things out, and with two, that can get really chaotic sometimes. But the way they kind of mesh with each other, everything is dialed in."

Sriram was born in Chennai, India but grew up in Fremont, Calif. When he was 3 years old, his family taught him a South Indian classical, largely devotional discipline called Carnatic music. Later, he discovered jazz, R&B and soul music. Those forms of music helped him discover, explore and celebrate the whole spectrum of his identity.

While you can hear those musical influences in these songs, what is really striking is the ease with which he molds them all together. Add to the mix his powerful yet warm vocal quality and the ensemble's effective layering of sounds. "That's why music in general encapsulates this idea that pushes are momentum," Sriram said. "I wanted to figure out how we could bring the spectrum of dynamic and nice [music], and the best way to do it." Look for his new album, Sidharth, coming this summer.


  • "Blue Spaces"
  • "Do The Dance"
  • "Dear Sahana"
  • "Came Along"


  • Sid Sriram: vocals
  • Aaron Baum: keys
  • Evan Slack: guitar
  • Gregory Fox: drums
  • Adam Hurlburt: bass
  • Alex Nutter: modular synth 
  • Chris Egan: drums
  • Devin Velez: vocals
  • Mike Noyce: vocals


  • Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Director/Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin
  • Creative Director: Bob Boilen 
  • Videographers: Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Sofia Seidel, Elizabeth Gillis
  • Audio Assistant: Josephine Nyounai
  • Animator: Kaz Fantone
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Kara Frame, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Pilar Galván, Jill Britton
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

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