#9 Emerging Artists chart
#337 Ultimate 100 Artists chart
If you aren’t familiar with the story of Maggie Rogers and Pharrell Williams in an NYU masterclass session, or are but haven’t actually watched the video, you should really take ten minutes because it is inspiring. It is cliché but there’s no better way to say it: you are watching a star being born. Maggie carries a lot of emotion in her young soul and listeners hear it, and feel it, the first time they experience Alaska; they are attracted to this artist like planets to their star. It is unsurprising to learn that she has a form of synesthesia where she experiences sounds as colors (which, coincidentally, Pharrell also does). Perhaps the singer says it best herself: “Sometimes I think it’s magic – this thing we can’t see, but makes us all feel the same way. When it’s real, it raises hair and makes the air taste sweeter.”
Maggie grew up in rural Maryland and developed a connection to the outdoors and music (and a connection of the two things) at a young age, eventually learning multiple instruments, including the banjo, and delving into folk music. She even recorded her first album, The Echo, in a broom closet-turned-studio while a senior in high school, which she independently released along with a second LP, Blood Ballet, a couple of years later. Maggie entered NYC’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music to continue her development.
While studying abroad in France the folk-centric, evolving musician discovered electronic music, initially in a Berlin club. This inspired another pairing that is evident with the unique balancing of heartfelt, vivid lyrics, strong but easy melodies, and the electronic production laying a danceable rhythmic foundation as is evident with Alaska and other songs like On + Off and Dog Years. She continues to draw from time in nature as part of her creative process, including sampling found sounds for use in her art.
The masterclass was in February 2016 and the story went viral by mid-summer after the video was posted to YouTube, spreading Alaska across the internet to the point where it hit the Ultimate Chart on June 23rd. We often see Emerging Artists move quickly but this is a truly exceptional case. Capitol Records didn’t hesitate to sign Maggie to a record deal at the end of August and put some weight behind Alaska as an official single while she worked on new material. She debuted on the Emerging Artists chart on September 29th and has spent all but two early weeks ranked since then.
Maggie’s major label debut EP, Now That the Light Is Fading, was released on February 17th and she made her television debut, performing Alaska on The Tonight Show on February 15th. The audience loved it and you can even catch Jimmy Fallon saying to Maggie afterwards: “…that’s what I’m talking about, a standing O’s not bad…” This exposure spiked her activity with just 4 days of reporting after her appearance, gaining her 10,596 new social fans & followers, a 202% increase over the previous week, and sending her to an all-time high on both the Ultimate 100 Artists (#352) and Emerging Artists (#11) charts. Alaska also rose on increased downloads and a 112% rise in YouTube plays from the previous week.
Recent coverage includes NPR, Entertainment Weekly, W Magazine, NYLON, Paste, and New York Magazine. Maggie is already on her first headlining tour, which very appropriately began in Baltimore in January and has her back to Europe this month. You can catch her in Austin at South by Southwest before she continues her U.S. tour with a show at LA’s famous Troubadour on March 21st and circles up the west coast, into Canada, and back down the east coast for gigs at The Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg in April. Then it will be off to the festival races with Firefly (Delaware), Rock Werchter (Belgium), Melt (Germany), and Fuji Rock (Japan).
A reaction has been triggered, and we hope that this star never stops expanding and providing her colorful light and emotive energy!
• Alaska top airplay markets include Nashville, Baltimore, New York, Charleston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Denver, Portland, and Chicago
• On + Off is getting spins at tastemaker stations such as KGSR (Austin), KCRW (Los Angeles), WXPN (Philadelphia) and SiriusXM’s Alt Nation & The Loft while Dog Years is on stations including WFUV (New York), KRCL (Salt Lake), KKXT (Dallas), KEXP (Seattle), and SiriusXM’s The Loft
• ~3.6 million YouTube plays in the U.S. (averaging ~277K/week over the last 4 weeks) and ~7.7 million globally (averaging ~527K/week over the last 4 weeks)
• Alaska = 57.4%, Dog Years = 21.7%, On + Off = 21%
• Alaska nearing 29 million Spotify streams