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Tiny Desk Contest Winner Gaelynn Lea Returns With New Music

Jun 28, 2018

Our 2016 Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea is back with a new video and a new album on the way.

The video, for the song "Lost in the Woods," tackles the issue of identity and how to hold on to it. It's a song she wrote before winning the contest, but one that's taken on new meaning as she navigates the music business world. In the two years since, she and her husband, Paul Tressler have since sold their Minnesota home, bought a van and have been traveling the world to share her music. They've racked up 100,000 miles on that van and played in 42 states and seven countries. And all that performing has made her a stronger and more powerful performer.

Gaelynn wrote to tell me that "if you become too focused on being what others want you to be, you'll ultimately lose your own identity. Honoring your inner compass is a way to stay authentic and be compassionate in a busy and complicated world."

Gaelynn has the disability Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones Disease) and is a strong advocate of disability representation in media. Her new video includes Kalyn Heffernan from the hip-hop group Wheelchair Sports Camp, her friend Rosie and other dancers who improvised to Gaelynn Lea's music.

The new album is called Learning How to Stay and comes out September 7. A growing list of shows and speaking engagements can be found here.

Gaelynn Lea's shows and her words are truly moving, and I highly recommend experiencing if she comes your way.

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