More often than not, success and subsequent fame occur when preparedness meets with luck. For American singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers who had been in love with music since she was a kid and had since dedicated a lot of effort to it, her lucky day came when pop star Pharell Williams had the opportunity to listen to one of her songs titled “Alaska” which she had written for a master class at Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music of the New York University. Williams attended the class as a guest speaker and a video of him smitten by the music went viral propelling Maggie Rogers to instant fame. Here are facts about Rogers’ backstory.
Maggie Rogers – Bio (Age)
The pop star was given the full name Margaret Debay Rogers upon her birth on the 25th day of April 1994 in Easton in Maryland. Though Easton isn’t exactly a musical town, Rogers saw herself lean towards music at a very early age. At the age of 7, she began playing the harp and fell in love with classical music. Her mother would often drive her to harp lessons which she took an hour away from her home.
Her interest in music grew during her middle school years when she expanded her instrument playing skills to include the piano and the guitar. During summers, she participated in an all-girls Wohelo Camps in Maine where her songwriting skills were developed. The camp also helped Maggie Rogers overcome the fear of singing to crowds.
When it was time for high school, Maggie was sent to Delaware to attend the St. Andrew’s boarding school where she would come to fall in love with folk music and learned to play the banjo. Rogers chose to spend the summer after her junior year attending Boston’s Berklee College of Music program. There, she won a songwriting contest which inspired her to become more serious with songwriting.
When senior year came, Maggie Rogers decided to start making her own music. For her own personalized studio, Rogers remodeled a broom closet and in it began recording songs for her self-released album The Echo which was released in 2012. Two years later, in 2014, she independently released another album, Blood Ballet.
Using The Echo, Maggie Rogers was accepted into one of New York University’s most competitive programs – Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. While in college, Rogers suffered from a scary two years writer’s block which forced her to diversify her studies to include journalism as a fallback in case music failed. Fortunately, she got her mojo back and a song she spent just 15 minutes to write (it was about a National Outdoor Leadership School) would be responsible for her breakthrough.
Since her Pharrell encounter in 2016, Maggie Rogers has been on the rise. She soon got a deal with Capitol Records and in February 2017 released the EP, Now That the Light Is Fading. Her debut major-studio album Heard It in a Past Life which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 was released in January 2019.
At the first read of Maggie Rogers’ backstory, one would think that she is one of those who hail from a musical family but on the contrary, music for Rogers isn’t a family thing. Even though her parents supported her early interest in music, they weren’t musicians themselves but merely music lovers. Her mother who often listened to songs by Erykah Badu, the Cranberries and Lauryn Hill had a job working as an oncology and end-of-life nurse while her father runs his own car dealership. Rogers has an older sister who, in 2017, was rounding up her Foreign Fulbright Program in Malaysia. She also has a younger brother who was a college student in 2017.
Facts About the Musician
• Rogers has her own label, Debay Sounds which grants her rights to maintain artistic control while licensing her music to Capitol.
• Maggie Rogers has a benign condition known as synesthesia which makes her perceive more than one sense at once. In her case, she is able to perceive color as a response to hearing music.
• In college, Maggie Rogers formed the band Del Water Gap with her colleague Holden Jaffe. Together, they performed every weekend across Manhattan.
• Rogers developed a passion for dance music after a visit to Berlin.
• During the time she considered journalism as a fall-back career, Maggie Rogers got to intern with Spin as well as with ELLE’s music journalist Lizzy Goodman.
• Maggie Rogers’ sexuality is straight however, many of her fans have come up to her after shows to reveal that her music helped them come out as gay.
• Rogers shot the music video for Alaska at her parents’ home in Easton. The backup-dancers in the video were all her friends from college and the clothes used were all hers.