If you haven’t heard of Chappell Roan, I believe this may be her breakout year and become a household name… in 2020, when everyone was shut in amid the pandemic, she quietly released a dancy gem in Pink Pony Club, when she reaches for those high notes, I swear I am hearing Sarah McLachlan’s howl while others have compared her to Lana Del Rey..
Q: What exactly is the story behind Pink Pony Club? Any relation to The Pink Pony in Georgia?
A: I went to a gay bar in West Hollywood and really was shocked by the amount of acceptance I felt for the first time ever. It truly felt like a very spiritual experience and I had to write a song about it because it just hit me so hard. And no relation to the Pink Pony Club in Atlanta. It’s actually based off of a shut down strip club in my hometown of Springfield, Missouri, called the Pink Pony. It was a hot pink building that I was always obsessed with when I was little. But sadly, it’s shut down, and now it’s painted gray.
Q: You grew up in a very small town in Willard, MO, maybe a little over 6400 people…where did you look to for your musical influences in the area? Did you grow up in a musical household?
A: I didn’t grow up with a musical household. I was mostly raised on Christian rock music. And then when I was 14, I got Pandora for the first time and I became obsessed with Drake and pop music. It was the first time I was introduced to hip hop, really. Where I grew up, there were mainly Christian and Country music, which is not what I sing, so I wasn’t too inspired by my surroundings or my culture that I grew up in. I mainly got inspired by the song Stay by Rihanna. That song made me start writing honestly because I wanted to write a song like that.
Q: You wrote a song, Die Young, when you were 16 and soon thereafter you were signed to Atlantic Records… what advice would you tell your 16 yr old self now about being prepared for the music journey to come?
A: I would say focus on self-care and focus on loving yourself because most of the time, I was in really long relationships and didn’t really get to fully experience myself as a human being. Focus on what makes you feel like you instead of trying to look like anything else, something that truly makes you happy, what you think is pretty and what you think is great over anything else, and trust your gut always. That’s what I want to tell myself.
Q: How did you come up with the name “Chappell Roan”? It’s definitely one to remember.
A: Chappell was my grandfather’s last name and I told him that I would dedicate in his honor. I would be Chappell because he passed away of brain cancer in 2016 right before my music came out so I told him I would be Chappell. His favorite song was called The Strawberry Roan and roan is a type of horse, like a type of horse hair, and it’s an old country song. That was his favorite song.
Q: New music out now, Naked in Manhattan… the lyrics, “Touch me baby, put your lips on mine. Could go to Hell but we’ll probably be fine. I know you want it. Baby, you can have it. Oh, I’ve never done it, let’s make it cinematic”. Is it safe to say this song is about “the first time”? Talk about the new single.
A: Yeah, it’s about what the first time like experimenting queerness and like having a crush on a girl and falling in love and kind of falling in love with your friends. Yeah, it’s about the first time.
Q: You will be opening for Olivia Rodrigo May 27 in San Francisco. Does that blow your mind? What does that mean to you?
A: I guess it blows my mind. I still don’t think it’s even hit me yet fully. I think it will hit me three days before the show or something. It’s such an honor and I’m such a huge fan of hers. She’s such a wonderful person. I’m so excited to do that and experience that. It’s a once in a lifetime situation so I’m so excited.
Q: Besides Olivia, who would be an artist you would like to collab with?
A: Caroline Polachek, or Harry Styles, or Kim Petras, or Charlie XCX, or Doja Cat
Q: What are some artists that no one would expect to find in your in playlist?
A: Probably Daniel Johnston or Portishead to Kim Petras slut pop. I love like really pop-shit and then I love My Bloody Valentine and The Cocteau Twins.
Q: When not making music, what do you do for fun your off days?
A: I like doing makeup, thrifting and crafts and bedazzling. I like to party, haha, yeah that’s all.
Q: Can fans expect an album in 2022?
A: No but they can expect a lot of singles and a lot more music!
Q: Where can fans find your music?
Thanks again Chappell.. I’m pretty sure we will be hearing your music in the clubs, bars, radio and everywhere!
Teen punk band from the UK, Anorak Patch will be one of my next interviews plus many more. Don’t forget to email me with any suggestions on who you think I should interview next at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, I’m Your Music Stylist.