- 04 Feb 19
She’s one of the year’s hottest pop debutantes, with a fanbase that includes Pharrell Williams and Mumford & Sons. Maggie Rogers talks falling in love with Irish culture, growing up in Donald Trump’s America, and pining for the days of the badly-behaved rock star.
Maggie Rogers became internet famous in 2016 when a video of Pharrell Williams grooving along to her diffident R&B banger ‘Alaska’ went viral. Rogers was at the time studying for a masters degree in music at New York University and Williams had dropped in for a songwriting masterclass. As Rogers pressed play on a demo she’d put together in her bedroom four days previously, Pharrell’s eyes grew progressively wider and he broke into a sly smile. “Wow,” he finally stuttered. “I have zero, zero, zero notes for that… You’re doing your own thing… it’s singular.”
Three years later, Rogers is now poised to become real world famous too. ‘Alaska’ is just one of the stand-outs on her fantastic major label debut, Heard It In A Past Life. Bringing together the 24-year-old Marylander’s love of folk and electronica, it’s a knock-out – catchy yet steeped in a wisdom that belies her youth.
In person, Rogers is every bit as forceful. She breezes into her first major Irish interview carrying a bag from the Hodges Figgis book store. It’s opening night of her tour supporting Mumford & Sons and their weird, in-the-round-stage that’s actually a rectangle. She’s come bearing goodies – a Proust paperback for Marcus Mumford and sundry other volumes for his bandmates.