Pharrell Turns Unknown Singer Into Internet Sensation


Back in March, Pharrell Williams paid a visit The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and lectured a class about music making and what to expect in the music industry. After a few minutes, as the teacher sits with Pharrell, he calls on some of his students to come up front to join them. The first girl plays her song and Williams breaks down what he would do to make it better. Then the teacher calls on a second woman to come up.

Watch the magic happen at 18:20

The young student is named Maggie Rogers, a third year student who told Pharrell about her musical tastes and how she took a few years off of making music to find herself and live a little life. She recently returned to recording music and the teacher wanted to play her newest song to Pharrell to get his opinion and share some ideas that could make the song better.

That’s when Pharrell gets stunned. In an honest moment of pure amazement, Pharrell listens on, grinning the whole time. As the incredible song “Alaska” finishes, Williams tells the student that he’s never heard anything like it before in his life. The moment is so real and the song and it’s artist so likeable you can’t help be feel that destiny is a real thing and somehow it’s found Maggie Rogers.

Rogers said, “I made folk music my whole life, but after my freshman year of college, I kind of had writer’s block. I couldn’t figure out how to write a song. So when I did start writing music again in the middle of this year, the first place I picked up was the last place I stopped writing, that summer. Going to Alaska, processing all of the change that has happened to me since going to New York, and then reflecting on how I felt afterwards.”