Featured Artist: Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers has been appearing on everyone’s feed after ‘literally’ shattering Pharrell Williams‘ (“Happy”) mind in a recording session at her Master’s Class with the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.

Here’s how it all went down

Pharrell Williams has been participating as an “artist in-residence” at New York University. As part of his role, he hosted a masters class for students in March at the university’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.

As part of this segment, Williams listened to various student projects to provide feedback and advice. This is when he stumbled upon a student named Maggie Rogers, whose musical styling’s captured Williams’s full attention. Rogers has created her distinctive sound by blending folk music with dance. To showcase her work, she decided to play an unfinished single titled, “Alaska”.

From the start of her session, Williams seemed to be going through a wave of emotions – overwhelmed at first, nodding his head, tapping his feet, and inevitably tearing up. Just off one song, Pharrell, who was undoubtedly blown away by the raw talent that is Maggie Rogers, could only come to describe his feelings with one word, “wow”. He then continued to compare her originality to artists like Wu-Tang Clan and Stevie Wonder, as he says, “I’ve never heard anyone like you before, and I’ve never heard anything that sounds like that. That’s a drug for me.

Rogers has since then released an independent album consisting of 10 tracks called, “Blood Ballet“, on Bandcamp. They are written, composed and produced by Rogers. Although some claim that clever viral marketing is responsible for her breakthrough, it’s arguable that her natural talent would have eventually brought her to people’s attention sooner or later. Her songwriting on tracks such as, “Resonant Body” really single her out as someone special. She sings, “I’m a resonant body /trace it along my skin /in the freckles and old scars /and the lines I have hid“, when describing her “flawed” features. She continues to sing, “I’m sorry for our miscommunication /and force fed sympathies /I’ll rest in the garden /with roots, oh and the reeds /safe from human frequencies“, where she croons about getting away from it all.

Although her latest release doesn’t capture the unique style of “Alaska”, you still can’t help but appreciate the simple, yet beautiful, songs she has crafted. There’s something special about Maggie Rogers and I can’t wait to hear more from her in the, hopefully, near future. You can purchase her EP, “Blood Ballet” through Bandcamp. For more on her, you can check out her SoundcloudTwitter or Facebook.

Listen to her EP below:

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