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Listen to the Rising Artist That Made Pharrell Williams Cry

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Earlier this year, Pharrell Williams, who’s been the artist-in-residence at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, held a masterclass to provide students with insight into the music industry and critique their work. One student, Maggie Rogers, nearly left him speechless. The song he heard is a delicate blend of electronic music and acoustic drum beats, with Rogers’ ethereal vocals hanging over it all. “I’ve never heard anyone like you before, and I’ve never heard anything that sounds like that,” Pharrell said. “That’s a drug for me.” Naturally, a video of the interaction was widely shared. Watch it below.

Since then, Rogers has released her first single, “Alaska.” “The music, in a lot of ways, reflects this meditative quality I get from hiking and dancing,” she said in an interview with music blog Pigeons and Planes. “They’re two polar opposite things when you’re thinking about them from a distance. With one, you’re alone in the middle of nature. The other involves loud music and groups of people. But my experiences with both of them in the last three years have turned them into a mental health thing, a grounding process. I think about them in the same way. They’re the most ancient, primal release,” she said. “Alaska” has already landed on Spotify’s Viral Top 50 playlist, which is auto-generated based on user searches. At the time of publication, the song had over 1.4 million plays on SoundCloud as well. Listen to the single below.