From The Magazine

Chappell Roan Steals The Show

Whether opening for Olivia Rodrigo or playing her first-ever Coachella, all eyes are on Roan.

Chappell Roan wears a white bathrobe with maximalist jewelry and full glam
Pat Martin/NYLON

Chappell Roan’s 2023 debut album, The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess, is chock-full of bangers — she calls it “slumber party pop” — but if you’re going to start with one song, make it “Femininomenon.” “If they can get through that, they can get through all of it,” she says of the revved-up album opener. On April 5th, she’ll release a glimpse into her “next era” with the single “Good Luck, Babe!” — but before that next era officially begins, she’s bringing her exuberant music to the Coachella stage for the first time. “I’m going to let go and have fun,” she says. “It’s just not that serious.”

OK, fine, she’s a little bit nervous. “I played a tiny festival at USC in the park for 400 people, but this is thousands,” says Roan. She got plenty of experience with hyped-up crowds this spring opening for Olivia Rodrigo on the singer’s Guts tour (they share a producer in Dan Nigro) and now is about to headline her own North American tour. “With Olivia, there’s a lot less pressure. It’s not my show, so I can be like, ‘La, la, la. Tried my best,’ but for my show, it’s like, ‘Bitch, you got to keep the energy up. They’re coming to see you.’”

She’s already known for her memorable stage looks — though she held herself back a little for Rodrigo’s crowds. “I love sequins, sparkly pop,” she says, adding, “I’m not going to wear a latex bikini because I didn’t think it was appropriate. Her fan base is a lot younger than mine.”

“I’m going to let go and have fun. It’s just not that serious.”

Getting dressed up is one of Roan’s favorite parts of the job, and she’s inviting everyone to join the fun by giving different stops a theme based on a song from Midwest Princess: Pink Pony Club, My Kink Is Karma, and Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl. Think Beyoncé’s silver night for Renaissance, but every night and unhinged. “My 2022 birthday party was glitz-and-glamour themed, and I thought, ‘I need to do this for shows,’” she says. “It makes it so the show is also in the audience, not only onstage.” For Coachella, she’s teasing a butterfly-based look inspired by a festival look from the ’60s.

Roan is a pop lover through and through — she names Charli XCX, Kim Petras, and Lady Gaga as favorites — and says Lana Del Rey is her top-played artist of all time. (Her favorite Lana record “as of 10:45 this morning” is Ultraviolence.) But her most anticipated Coachella set is that of a new friend, Reneé Rapp. “I met her for the first time at a party this weekend,” she says. “She held both my hands so tight. She was like, ‘You don’t understand how big a fan I am of yours. I love you so much.’ I was like, ‘Oh my God. Same.’ I’m really excited to see her.”

Photographs by Pat Martin

Styling by Genesis Webb

Talent Bookings: Special Projects

Contributing Style Director: Jan-Michael Quammie

Photo Director: Alex Pollack

Editor in Chief: Lauren McCarthy

SVP Fashion: Tiffany Reid

SVP Creative: Karen Hibbert