If you’ve heard of Maggie Rogers, you may have seen the viral video with Pharrell Williams. The video that introduced her single, Alaska, to the world was instantly dubbed as, “the song that made Pharrell Williams cry”; a statement not many songs can take claim to.
At the time of the video, Maggie Rogers was just a student-artist in NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music invited Pharrell to host a masterclass with a select few, who had the privilege of having Mr. N.E.R.D critique their track. Ultimately, it was Maggie Rogers’ demo that cracked Pharrell’s poker face, who eventually broke into approving nods and tears.
Maggie Rogers grew up as a banjo player, with a deep love for folk music. Whilst studying abroad in France, she had a “really spiritual experience with dance music”, which reinvigorated her love of music creation; and this is how her hit, Alaska was born.
“And suddenly this thing, that has always been the most unnatural, the most artificial; I understood the release of it. There was a fire and people were beating sticks together, and suddenly it became the most natural thing. … All I want to do is to combine Folk imagery, harmony and natural samples that I’ve been picking up while hiking, with the backbone and energy of dance music.”
So today we’d like to look at what songs our AI thinks match with Maggie Rogers’ genre-bending track, Alaska.
Using our audio similarity search, the following playlist was put together in less than 10 minutes without any keywords. We input the above song into our Search, and it filtered through 50 thousand+ tracks to give 610 matches in less than 2 seconds. Our curator then listened through 20 tracks and selected the best 10.
This is the list of tracks it came up with:
- It Comes and It Goes - Dido
- Pictures On the Sidewalk - Cortney Tidwell
- Blood Knows - Rhye
- Windfall - Cass McCombs
- Road Is Long - First Floor Power
- Shahmaran - Sevdaliza
- Azulando - The Mosquitos
- Staan - Eefje de Visser
- Runaway - AURORA
- The Jinx - Slow Club
This playlist includes genres such as Alternative R&B, Pop, Indie Rock and Folk, yet all encompasses the raw, bone-chilling essence of Alaska. Especially Runaway by AURORA; it’s this kind of ethereal, dreamy soundscape, haunting vocals and deeply felt lyrics that connects to listeners and creates an emotional experience.
Fast forward four years from meeting Pharrell: the two went on tour, she signed a deal with Capitol Records, starred on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and was most recently nominated for Best New Artist in the 2020 Grammy Awards.
If you've enjoyed this playlist, check out more playlists and articles in our blog here.