Maggie Rogers isn't your average viral star.
While most Internet celebrities try to quickly capitalize on novelty hits – see "Walmart yodeling kid" Mason Ramsey or "Ellen" phenomenon Sophia Grace – Rogers wisely didn't rush out music after single "Alaska" blew up online in June 2016. Instead, she's gradually released a string of critically acclaimed, increasingly popular singles, scoring her biggest success to date with the pulsating "Light On," which topped Billboard's Triple A chart for adult alternative songs last week.
Now, the 24-year-old folk-pop singer is gearing up to release her major-label debut album "Heard It in a Past Life" on Friday, which finds her working with heavyweight producers Greg Kurstin (Adele's "Hello") and Ricky Reed (Halsey's "Bad at Love"), while still maintaining the frank, evocative songwriting that has endeared her to fans.
Here's what else you should know about her before giving it a listen:
1. She left Pharrell Williams speechless.
The video that started it all. While studying at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music in 2016, Rogers and her classmates were asked to prepare a song for a homework assignment one day. Little did they know it was for a masterclass with Williams, who critiqued each of the students' work until he got to Rogers, who brought in an unfinished version of what would become "Alaska." Floored by its dreamy melody and layered production, a teary-eyed Williams told her after, "I've never heard anyone like you before." Video of his stunned reaction quickly went viral, and she signed with Capitol Records soon after.
2. Her music is a fusion of folk, dance and pop.
Rogers grew up listening to Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens, but cites genre-breaking singers such as Bjork, Patti Smith and Carrie Brownstein as some of her biggest influences. Her music is often described as "folktronica," a subgenre pioneered by artists including Imogen Heap, Four Tet and Bat For Lashes, who blend elements of folk and electronic music into their songs.
3. Taylor Swift is a huge fan.
Rogers has continually wowed during live shows and radio performances with hypnotic covers of The xx, Neil Young and The Sundays. Best of all is her soaring, soulful take on Taylor Swift's "Tim McGraw," which she recorded during a stripped-down session for Spotify. Swift gave her seal of approval shortly after its release last month, thanking Rogers on Instagram and calling the cover "heavenly."
4. Pete Davidson "proposed" to her on "Saturday Night Live."
Rogers got mixed reviews in November for her "SNL" debut as musical guest, where she performed a slightly shaky "Light On" and better "Fallingwater." But it was her pre-show appearance that garnered the lion's share of attention on Twitter, when castmate Davidson jokingly proposed to the singer during a promo with host Jonah Hill. Davidson's ex-fiance, Ariana Grande, was apparently not amused by the stunt, writing that he was "clinging" to relevancy in a since-deleted tweet.
5. The album was written largely in her childhood bedroom.
During a Twitter Q&A with fans Thursday, Rogers revealed that she wrote much of "Past Life" in her bedroom and barn studio at her parents' house in Easton, Maryland. The album cover was shot in the desert a couple hours outside of Los Angeles, while the title came to her while walking alone in Maine. "It's a lot about memory," she explained. "That moment when you stop making decisions and start remembering them."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 5 things to know about viral sensation Maggie Rogers, from speechless Pharrell to 'SNL'