If you happened to take a jaunt through Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square at the beginning of March, you likely saw a giant Spotify billboard of our latest fave pop singer. Her stage name is Ralph, but her real name—which is as cool as her music—is Raffa Weyman.
The 26-year-old Toronto native is making waves in the city’s music scene with her catchy tunes about love and female friendships. Her self-titled debut EP was featured on CBC Music earlier this year, featuring upbeat and totally addictive ’80s-inspired tracks like “Tease” and “Cold to the Touch.” The songs are great on their own, of course, but Ralph’s amazing videos—complete with epic choreography—make them even better (“Tease” was shot in a dreamy Russian spa.)
FLARE sat down with the up-and-coming artist to chat about Toronto’s budding music industry, her fave style icons and what it feels like to have your face plastered in the city’s busiest intersection.
Your self-titled EP just came out and we love it. What’s your creative process like?
I’m always writing songs, so I always have a notepad in my bag or am taking notes on my phone. Putting together the EP, it came down to what songs fit together, and what were the strongest songs that [represented] how I wanted to introduce myself to people. All the songs that are on the EP made sense as a narrative—as a story—because they all had to do with relationships. Each one is a little different; they’re not always about relationships with a partner. With “Tease,” it’s about relationships with other women. With “Crocodile Tears,” it’s less about the guy and more about how you find that inner strength to rise above a shitty situation.
You work with a lot of women. Why is it so crucial for you to have a strong #girlpower network?
I was raised by a wonderful mom and lots of great aunts. I always had wonderful strong female role models in my life. It’s important to feel inspired [by the people around you] and have relationships with people of different ages, as well. I always think about what I’m putting out there and about who’s listening and watching. I’m going to be me—and I’m not going to censor myself—but I’m always thinking about creating content that has a good and honest message in it. If you have a role and you’re a creator, you may as well take that responsibility and create stuff that can do something. I want people to dance to my music, but if I can insert a little message in there, why not?
Apart from your music being fun to dance to, your style is also admirable. Who are some of your biggest fashion inspirations?
Cher! She was never afraid to stand out, which is super cool to me. Madonna is pretty amazing, too.
How has growing up in Toronto shaped your creative process?
Toronto is a cool city right now to be doing music in because there’s so much potential and possibility. There’s a massive network of people who are creative, and it’s been hugely beneficial for my career. I’ve used many of the same people for multiple projects. My best friend, Gemma [Warren], does a lot of my photography and she directed my last two videos. To have this sea of potential and creativity and youthful energy at your fingertips is really cool. L.A. is amazing, but Toronto, it feels tangible.
What was it like to see your face plastered on a billboard in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square?
It was funny and surreal. I thought it was a joke when my manager told me; I didn’t know until the day of. Then I went down to see it. I got a good photo to commemorate that forever. It felt like a sense of accomplishment. People are listening and liking, and it’s important to take a moment to pat yourself on the back and keep going.