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Maggie Rogers has never been one to mince words. Aside from her powerhouse voice, one of Maggie’s superpowers is her ability to write pop songs fueled by radical emotional transparency. And while it’s thrilling when an artist bares their soul, that level of constant vulnerability can be unsustainable.

In 2019, after releasing her Grammy-nominated debut, Heard It In A Past Life, and then touring the album relentlessly, Maggie was desperately in need of time away from the spotlight. Just before the pandemic she retreated to her parent’s home in coastal Maine. There, she began writing and recording for her follow-up album, Surrender.

Maggie also started to think deeply about her role as a pop star, and the relationship between herself and the audience. In 2021 she enrolled in a masters program of religion and public life at Harvard Divinity School. There, her studies focused on the spirituality of public gatherings and the ethics of power in pop culture.

On today’s episode, producer Leah Rose talks to Maggie Rogers about how comforting it was for her to become a student again. Maggie also recalls the time she took motorcycle lessons to re-channel the massive amounts of adrenaline she experienced on her first tour. And, we’ll hear the song from Maggie’s new album that she says is the perfect distillation of where she is at now as an artist.

You can hear a playlist of our favorite Maggie Rogers songs HERE.

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is co-founder of Pushkin Industries and host of the hit podcast Revisionist History. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…