Things are working out for the Maryland-raised, NYU-educated singer and songwriter Maggie Rogers. It’s been a couple of years since the viral clip of Pharrell getting emotional after hearing Rogers’ “Alaska.” Rogers could’ve capitalized on that right away, but instead, she took her time putting together her debut album Heard It In A Past Life. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard album chart, just behind Future. That, you would think, would be a confidence-booster. And it must be, since Rogers is now out here covering Whitney Houston.
In the halcyon era of American Idol, the judges would always caution people away from covering Whitney Houston songs, and there is a good chance you’ve already seen someone fuck that up at karaoke. But Rogers, in a recent visit to Canadian radio host George Stroumboulopoulos’ The Strombo Show, was still brave enough to try out Houston’s monster 1987 single ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
Talking to Stroumboulopoulos about “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” Rogers said, “This song comes on after we finish playing our last song, and it’s been really special to see the crowd sort of turn into a dance party on its own with this song.” She then admitted, “We’re going to make it… sad.” And then she and a guitarist played the song as a heavy-hearted acoustic lament. Below, watch that whole House Of Strombo episode (“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” starts at 23:01) and check out Houston’s original video.
Heard It In A Past Life is out now on Capitol.