If you can’t stop thinking about that Saturday Night Live performance from A Star Is Born, and asking why Ally (Lady Gaga) had to re-brand herself as a manufactured pop star in the movie instead of getting famous off her authentic songwriting and emotionally honest stage presence, then Maggie Rogers’ performance on SNL may have been exactly the thing you were hoping to see in the movie. Congratulations, you are Jackson Maine!
So, who is Maggie Rogers anyway?
When folk-pop newcomer Rogers hit the Saturday Night Live stage, a venerable milestone for any musician’s career, to perform her single “Fallingwater,” she sang as if she was the only person in the room. She belted each verse like there was no crowd behind the cameras, but there was, and she had captured their attention. Now, those previously unfamiliar with her music are frantically Googling, “Who is Maggie Rogers?”
For many, Maggie Rogers has come out of nowhere, but she has been building up an unstoppable momentum for a couple years now. You might remember Rogers from a viral video where her soon-to-be breakout single “Alaska” left Pharrell speechless. His stunned face is credited with launching the NYU Clive Davis School of Recorded Music graduate’s career. She’s gone from Pharrell’s golden child to meteorically-rising star in her own right. The song has over 64 million streams on Spotify now, and Rogers has toured city after city the world over as a headliner as well as opening for acts such as Mumford & Sons and HAIM. Along the way, the Maryland-native has released an EP entitled Now That The Light Is Fading, in addition to numerous singles like “Light On” which came out last month. This has all been in the last two years.
Rogers took to the stage barefoot like it was already hers for the taking. Her unique mix of folk and danceable pop is infectious. In the clip where we can all see the moment Pharrell realized he just met the next big thing, Rogers explained that she came from a folk, singer-songwriter background before becoming inspired by the music she heard in dance clubs during a semester abroad. One can’t help but think that Jackson Maine would have approved. Rogers gave the performance Jackson wished Ally had given when she made her SNL debut in A Star Is Born. Her performance was vulnerable, authentic, and memorable.
SNL might be the first time you’re hearing about her, but it certainly won’t be the last.