If the internet has recently led you down the Chappell Roan wand-and-rabbit hole, you’re not alone. This sapphic popstar has been making a big name for herself off the back of supporting Olivia Rodrigo on the GUTS tour, as well as a stellar Coachella set where she described herself as “your favourite artist’s favourite artist.”


Here are ten things you need to know to become a certified Chappell Roan stan!


She’s the ‘Midwest Princess’ hailing from Missouri


Despite Chappell’s progressive personality, she grew up in an intensely conservative religious community, living in a trailer park in Willard, Missouri. Until her early twenties, she spent much of her time in church and at Christian summer camps, heavily restricting her self-expression until her early twenties. Album deep cuts like ‘After Midnight’ and ‘Guilty Pleasure’ dive into the party girl lifestyle Chappell always truly wanted to find.





She’s a drag queen


With her hyper feminine aesthetic of big hair, fierce make-up and endless rhinestones, Chappell considers herself not just a musician but a drag queen. Although Chappell identifies as a cisgender woman in her personal life as Kayleigh Rose Amstutz, she sees Chappell Roan as a larger-than-life fictional character whose background in the queer community impacts everything she does. The Chappell Roan art piece takes inspiration from the “tacky pop star” vibe of the classic 2000s TV show Hannah Montana, becoming the persona Chappell’s inner child craved to be. To further platform drag as an art form, Chappell also hires local drag artists as her openers for her shows.




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Chappell’s music career has already lasted a decade


Chappell began playing piano and songwriting at an early age, building a small but steady fanbase in her teens through releasing moody slow ballads like ‘Die Young’ and ‘Good Hurt’. This culminated in her 2017 EP School Nights. Around this time, she even opened for acts like Vance Joy and Declan McKenna. However, it wasn’t until Chappell moved out of the Midwest that her music shifted to the exaggerated 80s pop sound we now know and love, thanks to working with producer Dan Nigro and discovering her queer identity in the big city.



Many of Chappell’s songs are fictional


Although personal experiences often influence the emotions at the core of Chappell’s songs, she also loves to spin a tale far beyond reality. For instance, ‘Pink Pony Club’ tells the imaginary story of Chappell becoming a go-go dancer, inspired by her visit to the gay club The Abbey in West Hollywood. Elsewhere, the hyperspecific visuals of ‘Casual’ and ‘Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl’ started out as brief anecdotes relayed to Chappell by her friends, which she twisted into musical narratives that are somehow shocking, hilarious and gut wrenchingly emotional all at once.





She loves a good craft project


Outside of music, Chappell’s biggest hobby is crafting, from fashion projects to home decor and art. For many years, her extensively bedazzled stage outfits have been handmade. Chappell’s more recent looks like her GUTS tour cowgirl get-ups and the neon butterfly she became for Coachella are collaborations with other artists, largely designed from her own concepts and ideas.



Chappell Roan shows follow a dress code


For several years, Chappell has been touring practically non-stop, as a headliner, support act and festival performer. But you’ll know when Chappell is playing nearby simply judging by what audience goers are wearing. For each performance, Chappell declares a theme to dress to, requesting costumes to fit into categories like ‘Angels and Devils’, ‘Midwest Princess’, ‘Mermaid’, and even attendees at the infamous ‘Pink Pony Club’.




She’s influenced by the greats


Some of the most iconic women in music have a hand in Chappell’s unique sound. She cites the stylings of Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks and Alanis Morrisette as influences on her soaring, wild vocals, as well as the dark experimental tones of favourites like Lorde, Lana Del Rey and Caroline Polachek on her out-of-the-box alt pop production.




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Chappell’s family majorly impact her work


Despite the difficulties of her conservative upbringing, Chappell remains close with her family, who put aside their political differences to embrace her work. In fact, the ‘HOT TO GO!’ music video takes place in Springfield and stars her grandparents, who eagerly demonstrate the concert-ready choreography for the camera! Notably, Chappell also created her stage name to honour her grandfather Dennis K. Chappell who passed in 2016. His favourite song was Curley Fletcher’s American cowboy classic ‘The Strawberry Roan’.





She’s worked tough jobs to make her dream come true


In 2020, Chappell faced an extremely low period in her life, going through a break-up during the same week her previous label dropped her. This experience inspired the kooky revenge anthem ‘My Kink Is Karma’. Although this song made great art out of a bad situation, she was forced to release it independently, as she would not sign with her current label Island Records for several more years. Thus, Chappell worked hard as a nanny and barista to self-fund many single releases.





Her music is all about camp


Much of Chappell Roan’s music revolves around the silly, over-the-top and obscene, purposefully playing up comedic elements to make perfect “slumber party pop”. Chappell forces her listeners to let loose by playing up the weirdness as much as she can, like the sassy tongue-in-cheek bridge of ‘Red Wine Supernova’, or the hysterical fast food references and made-up words of her album opener ‘Femininomenon’.