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Exploring Chappell Roan: a Modern Pop Princess in the Making

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Chappell Roan exploded with her debut album The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess. She made herself in the Top 77 from Billboard and broke the “gay famous” ceiling, as put by SNL. Her most famous song, Good Luck, Babe!, has over 100 million streams – but who is she? Why is everyone so obsessed with her? 

Born in a small town with only 6000 habitants, Willard Mo, in Missouri, U.S., and currently living in Los Angeles, California, Roan’s career made a likewise change of direction. However, the singer doesn’t intend to lose the identity she has built as a midwester. 

“It influences the music, my fashion, my lyrics, the energy around it. It’s important for me to capture the Midwestern aspect. I don’t want to lose that part of me. I thought I really did when I was younger, but now I don’t anymore”, said Chappel Roan to Variety.

The singer’s career began as a dream coming true. She was discovered at 17 years old by Atlantic Records after posting covers on YouTube. After that, she moved to Hollywood and started to work on her first EP, School Nights, which was closer to folk music, completely different from the approach she currently works with. When the EP was released she started opening for bigger names like Vance Joy and Declan Mckenna

In spite of this, Chappell Roan wasn’t pleased with her own sound:“It’s so cliché, but one weekend I was playing coffee shops and the next weekend I was signed to Atlantic Records. It was very, very unhinged and really scary. I just genuinely didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t feel like I had a lot of help.” 

In 2020 she started to work with Dan Nigro, who at the time was about to blow up by producing Sour by Olivia Rodrigo. From that partnership, Pink Pony Club was created. The song made a significant amount of success, but wasn’t enough to guarantee her contract in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though the singer was forced to move back with her parents and work in a drive-through, she didn’t give up.

After a while, the artist was able to save enough money to go back to Los Angeles. There, she released her next single and its music video: Naked in Manhattan. After that, Roan was able to be signed to Amusement Records, Nigro’s imprint of Island Records

With the debut of The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess, Chappell Roan was finally out there to the world as we know her. Her huge success can be associated with multiple aspects. To start, she has a powerful visual, with her drag make-up look and huge wigs, and an original art direction in her songs, covers, videoclips, and more.

That’s essential in a time where authenticity is the most valuable thing to look out for in artists. In addition, Roan’s songs tend to be ironic and very self referenced, like in Feminominon when she sings “Can you play a song ith a fucking beat?”. Her lyrics are personal, tell emotional stories and sometimes are even confessional. 

Besides that, Chappell Roan is one of the big names, as well as Renné Rapp, Kehlani and others, to discuss uncomfortable, as well as relatable, themes – like compulsory heterosexuality along to the journey of discovering your own sexuality. The sensitivity to the approach of these themes in her music is also important to create a bond with her public. Bonds like this can’t be forced and are hard to reproduce

On the whole, Chappell Roan embraces her background and her feelings to create something original, comical and moving. She puts her soul in her music and is having fun with it. Roan has potential to become one of the great names of this generation of pop music, and it’s clear for anyone who stumbles upon her music.


The article above was edited by Clara Rocha.

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Isabelle Olvera

Casper Libero '26

Audiovisual student at Cásper Líbero. Passionate about photograph, literature and design. Obsessed with ghost stories and sad music.