Banjo-Playing Country Girl Blows Pharrell Williams Away with Folk-Inspired Dance Track

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In celebration of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ 50th birthday, performer, songwriter, producer, designer and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams, who was also recently named the school’s Artist-In-Residency for the year, sat down with a select few of the program’s students to listen to their projects, offer constructive criticism and discuss their unique creative processes.

During his time conducting the masterclass, Pharrell heard some incredible mixes from the school’s ultra-talented students — but one, in particular, stood out from the crowd.

A young woman named Maggie Rogers presenting a track called “Alaska” that completely blew Pharrell (and me) away — he even called the song “his drug.” Inspired by her folky, banjo-playing background, her love of hiking and her newfound appreciation for dance tracks, the song ties a wide variety of genres into one pretty, intoxicating little bow.

The only word I had after listening to this track was, “Damn.”