Last Tuesday, “Verano Alteranativo”, BMI’s co-sponsored Latin American Music Conference was held at DROM in the East Village.
Chappell Roan, 19, showcased a few songs from her EP ‘School Nights’ at the Atlantic Records studio Tuesday. Since her signing at age 16, Roan has been working tirelessly with the Atlantic team to put out her EP. She has named Lana del Rey and Sia as her inspirations, and remains true to the sincerity and authenticity of her music. I got to sit down with her and chat before her performance.
Q: You mentioned that you had come to the city in 2015, and you were just in awe. What’s it like being back now?
A: It’s been such a long time since I’ve been signed. Three years. Being back now is just full circle. This is where I showcased to be signed. It’s just weird coming back and having a product to show. It’s just nice that things are finished, finally. It’s surreal.
Q: Do you go home a lot? Do you miss being home?
A: I still live in Springfield, Missouri. Eventually I want to move to L.A. because that’s where I mostly work, but I did do some songs here. I travel back and forth. I’ll go out to L.A. for a few months, then go home for a few weeks. Being home is nice for a week, or a few weeks. I don’t have anyone to really unload my music problems to. I’m not trying to be disrespectful of any other career, but my friends work at banks, or hospitals, so I can’t be like, oh my god, you know, tour. That’s hard. It’s very hard. And also, I just get major anxiety when I go home. When I go home, I just want to relax, but I always get a lot of questions, a lot of questions, a lot of questions. I just get anxiety going in public so I just don’t go out, I just stay home.
A: You were seventeen when you got signed. How did the meeting process go?
Q: I started writing when I was fifteen, and I would post my songs on YouTube. Then another artist, Troye Sivan, tweeted about me. It got some recognition from another label, so I flew out here when I was sixteen, in January of 2015. And I just performed for them, and when I was here, I got calls from three other major labels, and I went in and showcased for them. I ended up picking up Atlantic. It’s taken that long to make an EP.
Q: You want people to see you as a human, and you want your songs to be about emotion, instead of a singer singing a song. What brought on that philosophy?
A: I write all of my own stuff. It’s a very different connection than a co-write or just even someone pitching you a song, and you just sing it. So when I write, it’s like, I am being completely honest about what happens, about how I feel, about what I wish would’ve happened. It’s basically my journal, and what I want people to take away is that this is who I am, and I’m not hiding anything. I just want to come off very genuine, so other people don’t feel crazy for feeling the same thing.
Q: What’s been your favorite part since signing?
A: My favorite part is doing music videos. The ‘Good Hurt’ music video was filmed in Yonkers. That was my favorite part so far. Tour is really fun, that’s number two. But I love music videos.
Q: Do you have another video coming out?
A: I do, I actually have three videos lined up. Tour only has two dates left, so then videos will come out early next year.
Roan’s EP ‘School Nights’ features Good Hurt, Bad for You, Sugar High, Die Young, and Meantime. She just finished her tour opening for Vance Joy. Her music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.
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