Beautiful Thinking.

“Give a little, Get a little” Maggie Rogers musicscapes are a source of inspiration for Studio Manager, Stacy Demarchis

In the latest of our Beautiful Thinkers, we spoke to Free The Birds Studio Manager, Stacy Demarchis about her creative influence, Maggie Rogers.

Stacy first discovered Maggie Rogers when a friend showed her a YouTube clip of Pharrell Williams discovering her during his 2016 Masterclass with students at NYU, whose first EP Now That the Light is Fading went viral as a result. Rogers has claimed musical inspiration from a range of artists including the likes of Carrie Brownstein, Patti Smith, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Bjork. She has earned a nomination for Best New Artist at the 62nd Grammy Awards in 2019, earning her global recognition for her debut album which has garnered millions of views since its release in 2012.

“I relished in the intensity of her performance. It spoke of an urgency which often lacks in contemporary female artists of recent years and channelled, at least for me a kind of ardent combination of 90s rock-chick and modern storyteller,” says Stacy,

speaking from our interview in the Barbican’s Sutton Arms accompanied by a mushroom toastie and a large Merlot.

Stacy further appreciates Maggie Rogers’ ability to connect with the female experience, tending to steer clear of the typical break up song, with male centred writing.

“Her song writing is something I’ve not come across in a long time. She often talks of an underappreciated side of women’s lives – female relationships. As I’ve matured, I feel like I value my relationships with women more and Maggie Rogers is almost unique in writing about it.”

Maggie Rogers takes inspiration from all aspects of her life, whether that’s from her childhood, playing harp and listening to the music of Vivaldi and Holst or her religious influences and time at university studying the spirituality of music. It’s clear Rogers’ music has a confidence and ability which captivates the listener. There is a lyrical outpouring centring around seeking escape and the comforts of youth, something which Stacy finds a certain respite in.

“I feel like she gives the whole of herself in each song, creating this connection with the listener.”

Having seen her live three times, Stacy has developed a near ritualistic routine of listening to her.

“I listen to her nearly every morning. It’s a way for me to get out of a funk or grab a quick dopamine rush when I’m feeling down. I think she gives an amazing sense of energy that allows me to channel my thoughts into dancing and shouting with her.”

Part of the charm of Maggie Rogers’ work has to be her activism, which has inspired much of her song-writing to date. She is particularly noteworthy for her commitment to organisations such as ACLU and Planned Parenthood by donating proceeds from merchandise and shows. Speaking about how Rogers has inspired her, Stacy told us about Rogers’ passion for social justice issues, a perspective which underpins all her work. She is passionate about causes spanning from feminism to gun regulations and uses her music as a vessel to both empower and raise awareness about causes important to her.

“It’s something I’ve taken with me to work. I remain passionate about standing up for female empowerment in the workplace as well as other issues close to my heart.”

Stacy is currently working on the application process to get Free The Birds B-Corp certification, helping to build a sustainable and inclusive work environment. Stacy is a huge proponent of sustainability and inclusivity here at Free The Birds, and it’s safe to say the whole studio has felt her passion and involvement in this area!

It’s important that women have control over this process so they can voice concerns. I hope I can create a welcoming and inclusive workplace environment that allows people to speak up about issues they feel are important.

“Getting B-Corp certification is something I’m really motivated about and has a real-world impact. The process has been hugely enriching”.

Stacy will carry Maggie Roger’s commitment to social justice with her throughout her professional journey, inspired by her unwavering passion for issues that impact the people around her and whose lives are enriched by the changes she makes.

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