Maggie Rogers’ musical origin story is pretty well known at this point: She attended NYU’s Clive Davis Institute Of Recorded Music, and famously, her song “Alaska” impressed Pharrell to the point that he was basically moved to tears. Pharrell wasn’t the only notable musician she learned from in school, though. While at NYU, she took a class taught by The Roots’ Questlove, and on The Tonight Show yesterday, she and her former professor reconnected, as Questlove joined Rogers for a performance of “Say It.”
Wearing a t-shirt featuring the cover art of U2’s 1991 album Achtung Baby, Rogers was accompanied by a backing band featuring Questlove on drums. The performance was yet another example of Rogers’ excellence in both songwriting and performing. The song took on a slightly different energy with Questlove’s live drumming, instead of the electronic percussion on the album version, and it made for a subtle but fun departure for the Heard It In A Past Life track.
This morning, Rogers reflected on the moment, writing on Twitter, “This was very very very special.” She was also laudatory of Questlove back in 2016 when her class with him came to an end. Responding to Questlove’s post about it, Rogers tweeted, “One of the best I took at NYU — thanks to professors @harryweinger and @questlove for making my last so memorable.”
Watch Rogers and Questlove perform ‘Say It’ above.