​Screengrab from Babyface's NPR Tiny Desk Concert, NPR.
Screengrab from Babyface's NPR Tiny Desk Concert, NPR.

NPR’s Black Music Month Celebration Continues With Babyface

R&B and soul maestro Babyface headlines the latest edition of NPR Tiny Desk Concerts during their Black Music Month celebration.

Babyface brought his “Whip Appeal” to NPR Tiny Desk Concerts in time for Black Music Month. Backed by Chanté Moore, Tank, and Avery Wilson on vocals and a five-piece band including Babyface, born name Kenneth Brian Edmonds, the crooner opened with “Two Occasions” before performing a setlist of songs that he’s written.

“When I was a kid, I was always falling in love and getting my heart broken,” Edmonds said before introducing his third song following “Whip Appeal.” “I’d be writing sad songs and I realized I was probably feeling the same hurt that all the girls that you was hurting,” he joked to Tank.

Babyface: Tiny Desk Concertwww.youtube.com

The 64-year-old then welcomed Moore to lead on “Superwoman,” the 1989 song that Edmonds co-wrote for vocalist Karyn White. The group continued with songs that Edmonds wrote for Madonna (“Take A Bow”), Mary J. Blige (“Not Gon’ Cry”), Tevin Campbell (“Can We Talk”), Fall Out Boy (“Thnks fr th Mmrs”), Boyz II Men (“"I'll Make Love To You,” "End Of The Road") before concluding with the late Whitney Houston’s "Exhale (Shoop Shoop).”

Edmonds, who recently had a messy tour stop with Anita Baker, released his ninth studio album Girls Night Out last October. The 13-track album exclusively featured female and non-binary artists including Ella Mai (“Keeps On Fallin’”), Coco Jones (“Simple”), Muni Long (“The Recipe”), Kehlani (“Seamless”), Doechii (“Girls Night Out”) and more.

“Do they bring you joy, do they bring you pain? I usually like to go with voices that I feel have pain in it as well because they tell the story better, tell an emotional story better,” Edmonds told Okayplayer about the artists featured on Girls Night Out. “It's not always just how incredible they are in terms of how many riffs they can do. It's like, how much do those riffs affect you when they use them?”