XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers.

Maggie Rogers | photo by Katia Temkin http://www.katiatemkin.com/
Maggie Rogers | photo by Katia Temkin

Maggie Rogers – remember her name. The singer-songwriter recently went from a being a nearly unknown folk musician to an overnight sensation. On June 1st, a video of Maggie sitting in a class she was taking at NYU with musician and producer Pharrell was posted on the internet. During the playback of the song, “Alaska,” he was brought to tears by her song, and the video went massively viral.

The masterclass was for music students at The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts as part of the 50th anniversary Artist-In-Residency. Rogers, who recently finished NYU, wrote the song in 15 minutes as part of her classwork. With Rogers sitting by his side, rocking to the subtle grooves of the song, you can see Pharrell swell up, glancing over at her with an “oh my goodness, this is incredible” look on his face. Williams called the song “singular,” comparing it to the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, and the rest, as they say is history.

Rogers has two self-released albums to her credit. In 2014 she released Blood Ballet in in 2012, The Echo. What’s astounding about these two albums is their confidence and maturity. Raised on the Eastern shore in Maryland, the multi-instrumentalist (she plays harp, banjo, piano, guitar, ukulele, and harmonica), describes a lifetime of diverse musical influences, from classical to emo to soul and indie rock.

Last week Rogers self-released a mastered finished version of “Alaska,” and is working on an EP of new songs. Below, don’t miss watching the video of Pharrell’s reaction to “Alaska,” with Maggie, and listen to the song. It’s an engaging mix of folk, electronic and pop music from an exciting new artist.



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