Maggie Rogers - Artist of the Week
Going viral and shooting to fame by shocking Pharrell Williams with the perfection of her track ‘Alaska’ wasn’t enough! Now Maggie Rogers is back to prove herself and win the hearts of the rest of the world with debut Album ‘Heard It in a Past Life’.
Who: Maggie Rogers
Genres: Indie-pop, Folk-pop, Singer-Songwriter
Based: Maryland, USA
Born: 25 April 1994 (age at writing 24)
Years Active: 2012 – Present
For Fans Of: Bjork, Sigrid
Best Track: ‘Alaska’ – Where it all started!
Latest Release (At time of writing): Heard it in a Past Life (Studio Album, January 2019)
It is a horrible cliche to say someone's life changed overnight but in Rogers' case, it really did. Since that day, Rogers has been touring around the world, playing her songs to huge crowds and appearing on late night television. It has all been leading up to this: Three years after going viral, Rogers is negotiating all the peaks and pitfalls of stardom on her debut album, Heard It in a Past Life.
Though it was a chance encounter that jump-started her career, Rogers says she remembers feeling "incredibly overwhelmed" by the instant Internet notoriety and by losing control of her private life. She was suddenly thrust onto photo shoot and music video sets and says she didn't have much time to learn how to navigate the music industry. "There's all these expectations that you just know how to do it," Rogers says.
Rogers' music melds traditional folk with nuanced pop and dance. This mixture of influences left some wondering what kind of artist — especially one with a co-sign from Pharrell — Rogers would become in the current musical landscape. But Rogers says she's gotten over worrying about other people's opinions by learning where to dedicate her energy.
"I realistically talked about Pharrell Williams everyday for about a year and a half," Rogers explains. "And so, I went through different stages of that. Like, 'I've worked for 10 years. Why can't just talk about my work?' And now it's like, I understand it. I've just decided, like, I'm not going to let that stress me out and I'm way happier because of it."
Rogers strikes a balance of chemistry with the songs on the 12-track album. On "Fallingwater'“ she copes with the reality of letting love slip through her fingers while on "Give A Little" she tries to wipe the slate clean.
"Light On", the album's most recent single, is, as Rogers puts it, the record's thesis statement. The track dissects the artist's disorienting fast track to fame.
"I couldn't stop it / Tried to slow it all down / Crying in the bathroom / Had to figure it out / With everyone around me saying / 'You must be so happy now,'" she sings.
Rogers says "Light On" was the last song she wrote for the album and her most vulnerable work to date.
"When all of this happened, I sort of became this cocktail party version of myself where I felt like I had to play the role of 'happy girl' because my story has this element of a Cinderella story to it: 'Girl gets plucked from obscurity, becomes star!' But I was really struggling."
But as the chorus of "Light On" swells, Rogers embraces hope as the solution. "It's a dance song," she continues. "You can hear it in the chords and the textures; there's optimism and hope, and the song says, 'OK, I'm going to do this. I'm going to be here for you in the way that you've been here for me and I'm going to keep coming back.'"
Heard It in a Past Life marks a new chapter for Rogers, one where she is the writer of her own narrative. "Realistically, the album is the introduction to me that I never got to make," Rogers says.
Upcoming Shows in the UK and Ireland:
FEB 14, 2019 - The Academy, Dublin, Ireland
FEB 15, 2019 - The Academy, Dublin, Ireland
FEB 17, 2019 - SWG 3, Glasgow, Scotland
FEB 18, 2019 - O2 Ritz, Manchester, UK
FEB 19, 2019 - O2 Academy Brixton, London, UK
JUN 25, 2019 - Irish Independent Park, Cork, County Cork
JUN 27, 2019 - Belsonic Festival, Belfast, Northern Ireland
YouTube: Maggie Rogers