Maggie Rogers’s first single, “Alaska,” has more than 19 million hits on Spotify and has already been publicly praised by music giant Pharrell Williams. Rogers’s unique, inimitable sound has grabbed the attention of industry professionals, other musicians, and everyone else.
Here are a few things budding musicians can learn from her.
1. Open yourself up to different music genres.
Rogers began studying music as a folk artist, but her more recent music is different; her current sound is far from traditional folk. Rogers’s transition to a different sound is a perfect example of the fact that making music of one genre does not bind you to it.
Don’t close yourself off to other types of music.
2 . Don’t try to imitate others.
Pharrell Williams noted that Rogers’ sound is so compelling because Rogers makes no attempt to sound like anyone or anything else. When making music, never try to imitate others. As cliché as it sounds, you will find and create your most authentic sound by being yourself.
3. Don’t confine yourself to the present.
“Alaska” was inspired by a hiking trip that Rogers took long before writing the song. With the song, she was able to preserve a certain feeling; a certain mood from another time in her life. When writing music, do not confine yourself to the present; be nostalgic, if it feels right.
Don’t be afraid to reflect and use feelings from other times in your life to create something new.
Maggie Rogers’s distinct sound and personal songwriting have helped her find a niche in the music industry; her talent will undeniably take her far.
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Jana DeGuzman is a Communication Studies major and French Studies minor at the University of San Francisco. She loves Mac DeMarco, Beyonce, and the ocean.