Indie rock singer spills contents of her creative bag

Rebecca Clementi/WSN

Maggie Rogers, a freshman at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at the Tisch School of the Arts, is hopelessly in love with music. She is the lead singer, songwriter and banjo player in the indie-rock band Del Water Gap, and she already has two recorded albums and a new single under her belt. Even in between the chaos of endless New York City gigs and planning a tour for this summer, Rogers is always off on a musical venture, which is evident from the contents of her brown leather purse.

Rebecca Clementi/WSN

Banjo Picks

Rogers plays harmonica, tambourine, guitar and banjo in her band. Her banjo picks are good luck charms that never leave her bag.

“It took me a little bit to get used to them because you can’t feel the strings, so the physical connection is taken out of it,” Rogers said of using the picks. “Then you realize how fast you can go, and it becomes sort of like a video game.”

Rebecca Clementi/WSN
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Songwriting Notebooks

When it comes to creating content and lyrics for her songs, Rogers looks to her everyday experiences for inspiration. She documents the detailed moments of her life in a small Moleskine notebook she always keeps with her.

“I write down everything I see,” Rogers said. “It’s like you’re taking colors from what you see every day to put into a quilt. It helps me to have details or phrases that I can pick and choose from later.”

Rogers also keeps a second notebook that she made herself in her bag. She uses it to draw sketches and write down quotes and ideas from people she is inspired by, which she later uses in songwriting.

“The [notebook] I made is more purposeful,” Rogers said. “I really have to love something to put it in.”

Roll of Film

After buying a Canon AE-1 at a thrift shop, Rogers has used her camera to capture and document Del Water Gap as the band travels and performs.

“I usually have it slung on my arm when we’re walking to a gig,” Rogers said.

Rogers sees photography as an essential part to her development as a songwriter.

“I think the real craft that I love about [photography] is the words, the ability to think of something in creative terms, but also making someone see something,” Rogers said. “I really like personifying things and giving things shape and name and form.”

A version of this article was published in the Monday, April 8 print edition. Nicole del Mauro is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected] 

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