Leslie Odom, Jr. stopped by the NPR offices recently for his first Tiny Desk Concert, which was released Tuesday (Nov. 12).
Flanked by a full band and a trio of female backup singers (including wife Nicolette Robinson!), the Broadway veteran opened his set with “Cold,” a theatrical ballad off of Mr, his debut solo album of original songs. Following the hopeful number, Odom, Jr. quipped about his skyrocketing fame in the wake of his starmaking turn as Aaron Burr in Broadway’s Hamilton.
“A friend of mine told me, ‘You have to get used to it. You are part of a cultural phenomenon in New York City and so, you know, that’s what you get.’ So I feel so blessed to have been a part of Law & Order: SVU for three magnificent seasons,” he deadpanned as the crowd erupted into laughter.
Next, the star revealed Mr took more than two years to write and record before launching into “Foggy,” a regret-filled ode to a Romeo and Juliet-style love that he called “one of the most personal songs” on the project. “Sorry may sound so trite to say my darling/ Let’s not get up today and maybe/ I’ll find a way to write this wrong,” he crooned over gentle piano, strummed guitar and tinkiling xylophone.
For the final song of the set, Odom, Jr. chose “Hummingbird,” a violin-strewn “odd little bop” he dished was his two-year-old daughter Lucille Ruby’s favorite song on the album. “Hummingbird, you’re my little hummingbird/ Rest your wings on my flower/ Hoping one day you’ll land,” he sang on the track’s jaunty chorus before stepping the key up in the final, belted refrain and being played off by his band.
Watch the full Tiny Desk Concert below.