Maggie Rogers Talks About That Fateful Day with Pharrell Williams and the Inspiration Behind Her New EP

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Nearly a year ago, a young woman by the name of Maggie Rogers blew music icon Pharrell Williams away with her folk-inspired dance song, “Alaska.”

Pharrell heard the track while conducting a masterclass at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, where Maggie was a student. As it turns out, Maggie had written the song in about 15 minutes, and pulled it out after realizing she needed something to present to the music guru.

After hearing the song, Pharrell knew he had stumbled upon something special.

“I’ve never heard anything that sounds like that,” he said. “That’s a drug for me.”

Shortly after, Pharrell’s stunned reaction to Maggie’s rich, catchy and strikingly unique tune was uploaded to YouTube — which led to Maggie’s internet fame and, more recently, a major label deal.

And here’s the really cool music video she recently released for the song.

Recently, Maggie sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about that life-changing experience with Pharrell, and the future of her career in music.

Though Maggie never saw herself making pop music, she was inspired to look into it and EDM after visiting Berlin in college. While there, she stumbled into a dance club and realized that the genres are more intriguing and appealing than she had initially thought.

“I always thought clubbing meant tight dresses and expenses cocktails,” Maggie said. “Seeing people dancing to the same song for nine minutes made me realize how incredibly instinctual and primal rhythm is.”

After that realization in Berlin, Maggie started to record rhythmic patterns she noticed in the natural world. While experiencing a nearly two-year span of writer’s block in college, she studied the sounds of water, frogs and birds.

“I knew that one day I would be making music again,” she said. “I was leaving breadcrumbs so I could have things to play with.”

Well, it seems to have worked.

Now, Maggie is working on a full length album that will combine her folk background and new-found love of EDM.

“Synthesizers and computers, they’re no longer the ‘other. We’re moving into a world where they don’t have to define the genre you’re making.”

And though she hasn’t seen Pharrell since that fateful day in NYC, Maggie hopes they will reunite soon.

“That will be a warm hug whenever that happens,” she said.