Artist Spotlight: Maggie Rogers
I am always looking for new upcoming artists, so when my brother sent me the link to “Dog Years” I was more than eager to listen to the unfamiliar and upcoming artist that is Maggie Rogers. What really caught my attention about her sound was that while listening I couldn’t quite pinpoint what type of music I was enjoying.
Last spring, when Rogers was a senior at NYU, she produced the track that would later become a viral hit, “Alaska”. Pharrell Williams, happened to be hosting a master class at NYC when he heard the track and immediately fell in love with her artistry. Upon meeting Rogers, he explained to her the unique quality of her song and how it sounded unlike anything else he had heard. The music video for “Alaska” now has over 2 million views on Youtube. After its releasa, Rogers signed with Capitol Records and is now working on producing more music and touring.
Maggie Rogers grew up on a farm in Maryland and learned to play folk music. Later, she found inspiration in different types of pop music. This inspiration incorporated with her folk background made for a unique creation. Rogers has produced a couple more songs including “Dog Years” and “On and Off”. She has also posted some recordings from when she was in high school on Bandcamp. I particularly enjoy the song “Dog Years” because of the combination of meditative nature-like sounds with long keyboard melodies. Although there are many different instruments used in this song, the key is that none take away the spotlight from Roger’s voice.
If you have a chance to watch one of Maggie Roger’s music videos, I would highly recommend them. The videos for both “Dog Years” and “Alaska” make a point to connect the music with a natural setting. In “Alaska”, the video starts out in front of a large farm-like field, but then transitions into a forest. By the end of the song, the characters end up in a dense forest, which eventually transitions into the location of a party with bright lights and fog. The several contrasting aspects of the video go along well with Roger’s musical style as a whole.
If you’re looking for a more upbeat song, I’d suggest the song “On and Off”. It’s one of her less known songs, but I think it deserves just as much attention. It leans a bit more towards the pop genre and incorporates a range of different vocals along with stronger drums beats. After hearing this song, I realized how vast Roger’s stylistic range truly is. She doesn’t stick to just one set of instruments or one song tempo, which is something you seldom find with artists today. What I love about Maggie Rogers is that she takes risks with her music, these risks are very apparent when you simply compare a few of her songs. For example, “On and Off” creates a completely different musical atmosphere than “Dog Years”, almost as if they aren’t even coming from the same artist.
In my opinion, Maggie Rogers is only at the start of her success in the music industry. I am hoping to see her live when she comes to New York City in early April. So far she has already sold out most shows, both abroad and throughout the US. I look forward to experiencing her success develop and watching more people fall in love with her music.