A viral video that's actually worthwhile
For the first time in a long time, rather than the usual result of a brief moment of slight amusement or shock, something positive has come out of a viral Internet sensation. Videos of Pharrell Williams at NYU listening to and critiquing compositions of students at the school, focusing especially on his emotional reaction to one student’s song, have been circulating around the Internet for the past couple weeks. This student, whose life has forever been altered by being suddenly thrust into the spotlight, is Maggie Rogers. Her now famous song “Alaska” is a soulful blend of folk and electronic music, playing off of her background of growing up as a banjo player in rural Maryland and her recent exposure to and affinity for dance music. As Pharrell posited when he first heard the song, her music cannot be compared to other music because it is so entirely different from anything else. “Singular” is how he described it.
I urge you, try to think of another artist that combines lyrics about nature, subtle disco beats, blips of piano, acoustic guitar strums, popping synths, and recorded sounds from the Alaskan wilderness. My guess is that you were unsuccessful. Although the instrumental composition is wholly unique and enrapturing, Rogers’ otherworldly, angelic voice will undoubtedly be what carries her off into the land of fame and fortune. Her voice is able to hit incredible highs, but remains thick and full-bodied throughout the song, exuding confidence and tenderness simultaneously. Maggie Rogers’ calm, humble, thoughtful nature will undoubtedly continue to be shared with us, but only after she gets back from her long awaited post-graduation trip to Europe. Girl’s got priorities, folks.
Maggie Roger's portion of the video beings at around 18:30.