Updated: 6 days ago
Singer-songwriter Chappell Roan is releasing her debut album, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess. The album has a fourteen-song tracklist, which includes her hit songs, “Pink Pony Club,” “HOT TO GO!” and “Naked In Manhattan.”
Chappell is heading on her Midwest Princess Tour which starts Sept. 25th and will go until Nov. 14th. The tour will be going through the U.S. and Canada.
How has your sound and lyricism evolved since your early career singles up to your debut album? What has inspired that change?
Chappell: It's drastically changed, I used to be very dark piano ballad pop. I was a depressed, sad teenager and it reflected that. What really changed was when I moved to LA and my eyes were open to so many new things and fun people. I started doing things I never thought I would do and the new sound reflected what was genuinely going on in my life.
What is the best part of having Drag influence in your music?
Chappell: I'm very inspired by Drag in every aspect. I have three local Drag performers open for me in every city that I headline. I think it has really inspired the project with styling, makeup, performance, music video, the energy around the entire show and the writing is campiness. It’s the forefront of the project and the identity. I think that it’s the forefront of Drag, campiness, over the top, supposed to be fun and dramatic.
What is one thing you want fans to know about your work or your artistic process before they listen to the album?
Chappell: Prepare to be silly. Don't take it so seriously. I find myself with music when I listen to something brand new. I'm super hypercritical of it. Give it a chance, it's going to feel silly. Allow yourself to feel silly and fun.
What is your next biggest goal in your career?
Chappell: Honestly, to figure out how to deal with this in a healthy way. I need to figure out how to calm down. It's a lot of pressure and unsustainable energy. Try to find a way to balance it. Right now, it's really hard, it's not working the way I want it to emotionally. It’s amazing but really hard when you’ve been working for almost a decade and then everything comes so fast at once. I've been preparing for this, but now it's so much you're kind of overwhelmed. Adjusting is my biggest goal.
What part of creating your album did you enjoy the most?
Chappell: I loved creating songs for the audience, specifically for audience participation. My favorite part of my job is live performance/touring. I think writing the songs with that in mind was so fun. I just love how involved I was with the independent aspect of it, teaching myself how to do Drag or rhinestones and do everything myself because I had no money. My favorite part was working with my friends and scrapping everything together. It was a giant project of just friends, that was my favorite part.
If you could set up fans in the perfect environment to listen to this album, what do you imagine it would look like?
Chappell: Maybe a slumber party for the homebody girls. I get told by a lot of people that this is their getting ready to go out music. Or like singing in the car at night with all your friends, it's road trip music. It's fun to dance to and there are a couple songs I wrote that are for the gay club, like this is for the club. I think because the songs are so narrative that it could be listened to in a small house party or driving or just having fun with your friends. I think craft night is fun to listen to or fun girly slumber parties.
What are you most excited for about tour? Any themes you are most excited for?
Chappell: I’m on a bus for the first time in my life. I've been waiting for this moment for about 10 years. It takes a long time to afford a tour bus, otherwise, you're just on a van. So I'm very much looking forward to that. We’re playing the entire album, song by song. These songs have been in the vault for years. Some of them for 4 years, and I'm so excited to expel that energy. To feel what it feels like to hear fans singing “Kaleidoscope” with me back or “Red Wine Supernova” or “HOT TO GO!” and “HOT TO GO!” just came out. I played it live before the song was out, but now I can play it and people will know it. The theme I'm most excited for is "Angels and Devils." I have these massive angel wings and I'm excited to wear them.
Are there any songs that are the Rise of the Princess or the Fall of the Princess?
Chappell: I would say a rise song, “Femininomenon.” It's a dream of mine. Also “Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl,” that one is going to be crazy. The fall is “California.” It's about coming to LA and following your dreams and feeling like it didn’t come true and you just want to go home cause you let yourself down and everyone else down. Same with “Coffee” and “Kaleidoscope” just feeling like you fell in love and it didn’t work.
How have your personal experiences shaped your sound and lyrics for your album? How does it differ from previous singles?
Chappell: As I grow the project grows with me and as I experience more outrageous things in my life the songs get more and more outrageous. The stories are definitely embellished, it's more fun to write and more interesting. As long as I'm changing, the music will change with me. That's why “HOT TO GO!” is so different from “Pink Pony Club” cause those were written years apart. I think that's where the change comes in.
Would your teenage self be surprised where you are now and what advice would you give her?
Chappell: I think my teenage self would be like what is going on. I just shaved my eyebrows off randomly and I never would have done that as a teenager. Or accepted that I liked women and I was so scared to be myself because I felt so restricted where I was from. With the religious aspect and gender role aspect. It was a really small queer community that was not amplified. I didn't know a single queer girl at my school. If I saw myself now when I was 16 I would be like no way there's no way I would do that. Let myself write a song that's about being a hot person and being a cheerleader, I'm too serious for that. If I had to give her advice I would say follow your gut and that you’re cool. I always told myself I wish I was cooler, prettier, smarter, I would have told her that you are enough exactly how you are in every aspect.
See Chappell on Tour HERE