P.This production supernova Chapel Lawn grew up listening to early 2010s “anthem pop queens” like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Carly Rae Jepsen. “And what, Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream'” [album] I came out when I was 13,” she exclaimed. “It was just perfect pop.” This color and excitement can be heard practically in Roan’s own music, which combines skyscraper choruses with intense drama and joyful, in-your-face queerness.
Roan’s blockbuster of 2020, the dazzling synth-pop banger “Pink Pony Club” tells the gripping story of a straight-laced Tennessee girl who moves to LA. “A special place where boys and girls can be queens every day.” – to become a stripper. Released last year, the undulating ballad “Casual” expresses uncertainty about relationship status in a candid and symbolic way. “Knee deep in the passenger seat, you’re eating me – is that casual now?”
Real name Kayleigh Rose Amstutz – Chappell Lawn is a stage name in honor of her late grandfather Dennis K. Chappell, who grew up in a “conservative and homophobic” community in Willard, Missouri. Her Roan has embraced her own queerness since moving to LA to further her music career, but she says her relationship with her sexuality is “always evolving.” . Like many of her LGBTQ+ people, especially those who grew up in unacceptable environments, she fully understands that “internalized homophobia is really hard to get rid of.”
But there’s no question that Roan intends to give not just the main pop girl energy, but the big gay energy as well. She books local drag acts to open for each show and encourages her fans to tip. “For me personally, it’s all about giving back and redistributing money,” she says. “For example, a portion of every ticket for my spring tour was donated to a black transgender charity. I’m not here to support the queer community.”
NME We meet Roan the day after she hit the big time at a London headline show featuring opening numbers from local drag stars Crayola the Queen and Mahatma Kandi. This is an especially exciting time for Roan as she gears up for the release of her debut album. Details will be revealed soon. Set to be released later this year, it includes her sex-positive new single “Red Wine Supernova” (“I heard you like magic / I have a wand and a rabbit.”) Some new bangers have been added, including one specifically written to “manipulate poppers”. But first, let’s hear her interesting origin story.
NMEs: Where did you get the idea to book local drag performers for each show?
“I got the idea from Orville Peck when I met Orville Peck in 2018 and he had a local West Hollywood queen.” [on his bill]. And I remember thinking, offal do this So we created a post form with questions like, “Show me your TikTok, show me your Instagram, can we do an intimate pop?” And there were applications from all the city queens. “
How do you choose the performers you actually book?
“The biggest number of submissions for the spring tour were from the queens of Toronto and Salt Lake City. I—I think every night, I mean, I support my local queer community, and a lot of people probably haven’t seen drag as an opening act, or never seen it at all. , what I’m looking for is the costumes, the energy on stage, the songs they choose, the dances, but I just want someone who can really make it happen.”
Where does your own performance urge come from?
“Originally, I was going to be an actress and thought singing might be the way to step into that door. When I was about 20 years old, I went to songwriting camps like Summer Art Camps and met a lot of kids like me there. [the teachers] It was like, “Here are some techniques you can use, here are some books you should read.” And it really helped. “
Was that what inspired you to make music?
“I actually put out a song I wrote at summer camp, and that’s what ended up signing me. I was 17 and still in high school and I was literally underage. It’s so crazy. I thank God that summer camp made me who I am today.”
At 17 it must have been a lot to absorb…
“I was just thinking about this in the car. It’s like there’s only one Lord. When she was 16 [her debut album] “Pure Heroine” came out and I wondered how she knew what she wanted. It’s been really hard and really depressing for me over the years. Because I didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t know what I wanted. The scariest thing about being an artist is not knowing what you want to do. Then you get stuck and can’t tell other people what to do. Let’s be honest, in those situations, you are screwed. “
How did you come to understand yourself as an artist? What was your turning point?
“I had to hit rock bottom. I had to lose so much to realize who I was. I was dropped and ended a four-and-a-half-year relationship.” lost all his fortune and had to move back to his parents.This is 2020 and I was working at a drive-thru.”Oh my god, that’s it, but let’s say hooray one last time.” I thought. And that’s how I found myself – out of necessity. A lot of my outfits were thrifty, so I had to learn how to do my own drag makeup. If I wanted to take pictures, I had to ask my friends to help me. Thank God I didn’t give up. But I was very, very close. “
It must have been a real shock to be dropped at such a young age.
“That’s why I was very particular when I signed again. I met with nine labels and approached with that attitude. [of]”This is what I need – all I need right now is money.” Because I can go on alone. I was very particular and very influential. “
“I had to hit rock bottom to figure out who I was.”
So why is now the perfect time to release an album?
“I mean, it’s been four years in the making. She’s ready — she’s like, ‘Get me out, it’s time.’ She took her time. I didn’t cut corners. I respected art and gave it life. So “Red Wine Supernova” took three years to write. And that’s just why we need a party now. The world is on fire, so let’s party. “
What do you think is the song on the album that surprises people the most?
“Maybe ‘Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl’ because I literally just wrote it to do a popper. I wrote it in [the idea] “What do you think is fun in a gay club?” What makes you feel the most? ’ It was written for gay people. “
Can I go to gay clubs now? Or do you go too far on tour?
“I just finished a tour, but I’m going to be on tour again in the fall, so it’s not possible. My body can’t take it, my mind can’t take it – it’s too much.” I want to go out after the show, but I’m so tired because [my show] It’s aerobic exercise. I’m not just sitting there; It feels like running on the spot for 90 minutes. “
Finally, what do you want people to think when they hear the name Chapel Lawn?
“For example, when I hear Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj on my playlist, it immediately takes me to a place where I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s a party!’ And that’s where I want to take people. I want to give them that feeling of, “We’re here, bitch, we’re here, and we’re queer.”
Chapel Lawn releases new single ‘Red Wine Supernova’