skip to content

New Lesbian Pop Phenomenon: Chappell Roan

She was the opening act for Fletcher, Declan Mckenna and Olivia Rodrigo’s GutsTour. This spring, she performed at Coachella, and she recently was Jimmy Fallon’s guest on The Tonight Show. Gaga, Elton John, Ariana Grande and Troye Sivan have all sung her praises. She’s your favourite artist’s favourite artist. We’re of course talking about none other than lesbian pop sensation Chappell Roan. 

Chappell Roan and Her Journey to Success 

Chappell’s rise to fame was quite sudden, some have even called the singer “an industry plant”, yet they couldn’t be more wrong. Chappel Roan is a pop commotion 10 years in the making. 

Kayleigh Rose Amstutz (Chappell Roan), started piano at 10, a few years later she was performing at local concerts in her home state of Missouri. At 14, she began her YouTube channel where she posted covers, and only 3 years later, Chappell uploaded her original song “Die Young”

Roan was signed to Atlantic Records shortly after, however, this was only the beginning of her long journey to stardom. She released her first EP, School Nights, in 2017. She described her earlier sound as “dark” and “witchy”. In an interview with Crucial Rhythm, Roan confessed: “I used to be very dark piano ballad pop. I was a depressed, sad teenager, and it reflected that,”. In 2020, Chappell Roan released her single “Pink Pony Club”, debuting a new sound and new aesthetic celebrating queer culture in all its glory. Unfortunately, Roan was dropped by her record label, Atlantic soon after, as they did not find the singer profitable enough. 

Struggling professionally and financially, Chappell had to move back home. She worked multiple customer service jobs, doing whatever she could to make money. Fortunately, Roan did not give up on her artistic dreams. She moved back to Los Angeles and after a few independent recordings, her debut album, The Rise, and Fall of a Midwest Princess was released in 2023, finally getting well-earned recognition. 

Chappell Roan as An Openly Out Lesbian

To see an openly out lesbian artist singing about sapphic relationships in full drag reaching such levels of fame is a sight to behold. Lesbian and sapphic love songs very rarely get to be listened to and appreciated on such a mainstream level. 

It is remarkable to see Chappell being embraced by so many, especially during the tense political climate we are experiencing. Queer people have suffered a violent backlash from far-right militants all over the USA, UK and many other countries. 

In her song Good Luck Babe, Roan speaks to an imaginary former lover, stuck in a comphet (compulsory heterosexuality) relationship, who cannot find escape: “You can kiss a hundred boys in bars / Shoot another shot, try to stop the feeling”.

“When you wake up next to him in the middle of the night / With your head in your hands, you’re nothing more than his wife / And when you think about me, all of those years ago /You’re standing face to face with, “I told you so”

Chappell herself grew up in a conservative and Christian background, having to deal with homophobia at a very young age.  

In an interview with The Guardian, she explains that she grew up believing that being gay was bad and a sin. She continues by retelling her impactful outing to a gay club that was “like magic”, this inspired her to write her hit single “Pink Pony Club”.  

Today, Chappell embraces her queerness completely. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Roan says: “Chappell’s a drag-queen version of me because it’s very larger-than-life,”. 

She uses her art and music to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Inspired by queer country music artist Orville Peck, Chappell Roan decided to feature drag artists as her openers to all her shows for her Naked in North America tour in 2023. 

In a recent interview with Jimmy Fallon, Chappell stated that her famous quote “I’m your favourite artist’s favourite artist” was a reference to drag queen and winner of Ru Paul’s Drag Race fifteenth season Sasha Colby, who said: “I’m your favourite drag queen’s favourite drag queen”. 

Roan found a way to celebrate her country roots and her lesbian identity in the most camp, beautiful and colourful way possible. 

Roan not only celebrates queer culture in her artistry and aesthetic, she is also active politically. She supports LGBTQ+ charities such as The Trevor Project, For The Gworls and The Glo Center. On her website, she says, “I value supporting the communities that have been instrumental in my journey! That’s why I’m committed to giving back through volunteer work, donation, and benefit shows”. Roan even declined an invitation from the White House to sing at a Pride event. She stated her disappointment at the government’s treatment of the LGBTQ+ community: “We want liberty, justice, and freedom for all. When you do that, that’s when I’ll come,”.

Chappell is so loud, bright and authentically herself that we cannot help but love her!

She’s touring the US this summer and will be performing in different European locations in 2024, which you can find on her website

We can only hope that you enjoy Chappell Roan’s music as much as we do. If you want to listen to Chappell’s breathtaking vocals, check out her NPR Tiny Desk Concert.

Don’t hesitate to read our Interview with Fabiola Reyna of the Reyna Tropical Band to discover another extremely talented queer artist.


Team Nonchalant x

Elisa Muller
Elisa Muller

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *