In February 2016, jack-of-all-trades singer, songwriter, rapper, musician and producer Pharrell attended a Masterclass at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute. During the session, Pharrell got to meet a number of gifted musicians enrolled in the program, but one in particular stood out.
Classical musician turned folk musician turned electronic fan Maggie Rogers had almost given up on music before attending the Masterclass. Instead, a trip to France inspired a new love of EDM music, and Rogers combined the various genres that had influenced her life to write her song “Alaska.” Penned in just 15 minutes, the track shocked Pharrell, with a video of the Masterclass quickly going viral (Rogers appears at the 18-minute mark). The song has since racked up millions of plays on Spotify and Soundcloud, and made our list of the most inspiring songs of 2016.
Rogers followed up with an equally inspired second single “Dog Years,” and today premiered her third single “On and Off,” as well as a laundry list of 2017 tour dates which includes Toronto on April 4 and Montreal on April 5.
Off her upcoming debut EP, Rogers called into the BBC to discuss “On and Off,” which was written shortly after “Alaska.”
“I’ve spent my whole life making quiet music,” laughs Rogers. “I’m excited to be a little loud.”
Rogers says that the dreamy vibe of the new track may confuse listeners into thinking it’s a happy song, when “On and Off” has a much deeper meaning.
“There’s a sort of sexual cliché in the song,” she says. “There’s a lyric that says ‘You turn me on’ but if you listen to the rest of the lyrics, that is actually about emotional stability. Being on and off and finding a person that grounds you. Because I think that’s one of the things that’s most important to me in relationships.”
Rogers’ debut EP Now That The Light Is Fading is out February 17, via Capitol Records.