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Chappell Roan is the new queer pop icon that we deserve

Chappell Roan is the new queer pop icon that we deserve

Chappell Roan is beginning to take over different queer circles. Her bold personality seems to reflect that of many queer individuals–making her an instant favorite. She isn’t afraid to express herself, clearly shown through her over-the-top appearance and aesthetics described by many as ‘drag’.

For many queer individuals, her graciously raunchy lyrics about love and queerness, paired with stunning vocals, and the 80s synth pop nostalgia that we just can’t say no to, makes her stand out the most.

Here’s more to Chappell Roan, her music, and why she is the ultimate queer icon.

Various pop inspirations

Photo by Ryan Clemens

Gaining musical inspiration from notable artists like Lorde, Lana del Rey, alt-J, and Stevie Nicks, her songs come from different distinct sounds. Chappell also loved 00s pop music as a teenager, naming P!nk, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga as her icons.

Her debut album, ‘The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess’ was hailed by critics as ‘risky’, being released with multifaceted songs. Each track offered something new, which cannot be far from the interpretation that she’s still finding her sound. But despite all of the differing elements in each song, Chappell weaved all of them seamlessly into one hell of an album that we can dance to or cry to as well!

Pitchfork has rated it with a 7.2, citing that it is “buoyed by youthful vim and steely indifference to the bounds of good taste.”

By Courtesy of Chappell Roan/Amusement Records/KRA International Inc.

Moving onto newer things, released only on April 5th, Good luck, Babe! is her latest single to date. Immediately becoming a fan-favorite, the new ‘comphet’ anthem talks about a failed relationship with a person in denial of their romantic feelings towards the other. With just more than a week since it came out, fans have been crazed with its intense instruments and catchy lyrics.

Rise and fall… and rise again

Chappell Roan in ‘Die Young’ MV/Atlantic Reocords

Roan’s musical journey was not an easy one. She started out as a viral singer after posting an original song titled, ‘Die Young’. This quick rise to fame led Atlantic Records to sign her and continued to release songs. After releasing a few songs under the label, they eventually dropped her in 2020. Since then, she worked various jobs like being a nanny, a barista, and a production assistant in order to release her music independently.

In spite of this, she never backed down. While releasing music independently, Roan has successfully opened for different artist’s shows such as Olivia Rodrigo and Fletcher. This led her to kick off her own tour in 2023, “Naked in North America Tour”, and finally signing with Island Records.

Out and loud and proud

Chappell moved to LA at 18, subsequently rebirthing herself from being a Midwestern girlie to an openly queer woman. Her previous environment wasn’t exactly as accepting as one would hope. Like many queer people, stepping out from her roots became one of the things that awakened her true self. Her greatest motivation? The amount of acceptance and love she received from queer people, too.

Her songs soon reflected the influences of the community. After her first ever visit to a gay club, Chappell wrote her pop ballad, ‘Pink Pony Club’.

“I went to the gay club once and it was so impactful, like magic. It was the opposite of everything I was taught.”

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Chappell Roan

West Hollywood’s gay bars were the most iconic for her, so it reflected some lyrics in the song: I’m gonna keep on dancing at the/Pink Pony Club/I’m gonna keep on dancing down in West Hollywood. Reminiscent of her good old days in the club, ‘Pink Pony Club’ is a clear dedication to the beauty of queer spaces and being able to release yourself freely without fear of judgements.

Photo by Jade Greene

Moreover, aside from the dancing and the fun, one of Chappell’s goals is to give back through the various charities that she supports.

In fact, through the profit of her several shows she’s able to give to nonprofits such as For The Gworls! that helps Black transgender people, The Trevor Project and its mission is to end suicide among LGBTQ+ young people, and Glo Center, serving the LGBTQIA community in the Ozarks.

It isn’t rocket science why the queer community is beginning to adore Chappell Roan. What should be loved most about her is her dynamic personality, which perfectly reflects on her own art. She offers something new (aesthetically and musically speaking) and without a doubt, isn’t afraid to experiment with the typical.

But most of all, her love for the queer individuals is undeniable. Being a queer person herself, Chappell puts first her own community that have contributed greatly to her life as an artist. This means more to her beyond the recognition as a musician.

“What I started doing was stop trying to impress the music industry and start trying to impress gay people.”

Chapell Roan in a Vulture interview
Stream/download Chappell Roan’s music.
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