Toronto artist RALPH introduced her latest single “Gravity” on July 3rd.
Co-written by RALPH, DCF, TEE and produced by TEE, “Gravity” is an uptempo summer pop record offering catchy piano melodies and RALPH’s warm vocals.
“I just wanted a sick summer song that made everyone want to dance,” says RALPH.
Directed by Amika Cooper of Black Power Barbie, the animated music video showcases RALPH floating through the atmosphere of both outer space and love.
The Canadian artist revealed her debut album A Good Girl in 2018, which included the successful songs “Tables Have Turned” and “Weather”. The singer/songwriter has since then gained a great amount of listeners in the USA, Canada and Europe.
By writing captivating and sincere records, RALPH is a name you want to keep on your radar.
“Gravity” is now available worldwide.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
My name is Ralph, I’m a singer/songwriter and I’m Toronto born and bred, baby.
Could you describe us your childhood a little bit? Any favorite memories?
My family is pretty artistic so I grew up around passionate creatives - my dad works in film and filmmaking and my mom is an artist and writer. A lot of my aunts and uncles are filmmakers, poets, or musicians. I think that always encouraged me and my brothers to feel comfortable and supported in pursuing crazy careers in the arts.
I have a lot of cute memories of being at my family farmhouse (property shared between my entire family, kind of like a cottage) and we would all be on the big porch after dinner, and my aunt would pull out her fiddle and play and my uncle would chime in with the harmonica and my grandfather would slap his knee and make up words and all the younger cousins would make up dances. It was beautiful :)
Do you remember your early musical memories?
According to my uncle who used to walk me home from school when I was really young, I’ve been singing and making up songs forever. He said I would sing the entire way home, about literally anything. I don’t really remember that, I remember being cast as the lead in my school musical in grade 8 and I was absolutely terrified and they had to force me to do it lol
When did you start writing songs?
I actually do remember writing my first song. I was 11 and I was with my best friend, we wrote a song called ‘Fooling Around’ and we were so excited that we cried.
When did you decide to pursue music as a career?
There’s actually a very precise moment - I had gone to Montreal with friends to see Patrick Watson headline the Jazz Fest. We waited in the sun for 7 hours to make sure we had spots in the front and when he finally performed...it was the most unreal show I’ve ever seen. I got this crazy feeling in my body that felt like electricity. I just knew I wanted to do what he did. I have a tattoo of his lyrics to commemorate that moment.
How did your sound and artistry evolve over the years?
I did singer/songwriter and folk stuff for a long time, so I guess I’ve evolved from that sound a lot. BUT I still carry that love of narrative songwriting and harmonies in my heart, and when I’m writing pop songs, I play with adding those elements in. I think that genre bending makes music more interesting and unique.
"Gravity" is your new single. What's the story behind this song?
I wrote this song with a producer named Tee and my friend Dave, who is also a musician by the name of DCF. I had been listening to kiesza’s hit ‘Hideaway’ and Dua’s ‘One Kiss’ and trying to break down why they were so huge. I basically used that as inspiration for writing a house-y dance song, almost like finding a musical mathematical equation to solve. I just wanted a sick summer song that made everyone want to dance.
What did you feel when writing to this song?
I just felt a happiness. Whenever I heard those piano chords, I just wanna move. I knew it would be a really fun one to perform.
What made you want to release "Gravity" as a single?
It’s the first song of my new EP, so a single release felt like a good way to amp up the energy and excitement of what’s to come. It also feels a little different than anything I’ve ever put out, so I wanted to really have a release that allowed the song to garner some solo attention.
What can you tell us about the music video?
I wanted to try something different, and I had been following and admiring Amika’s art for years. I loved the idea of an animated video because you can still tailor it to feel on-brand for you, but it’s less work for me since I don’t have to be on camera lol. There are so many epic animated music videos (Kanye ‘Heartless’, Daft Punk ‘One More Time’, Bjork ‘I Miss You’) that I wanted to see if we could create something that was memorable and fun. I was also just really stoked to see myself animated.
How was it like to work with Amika Cooper?
When I reached out to Amika, I said I liked the idea of “Gucci animated editorial videos meets Sailor Moon meets anime meets Britney in the ‘Oops’ video”. She nailed it so perfectly, she’s honestly brilliant. She even made me send a video of myself dancing and singing along to the song so she could study my movements and animate my cartoon to mimic them. I want to work with her again and again.
You got to do an international tour - any favorite memories?
That’s hard. We have so much fun on tour that picking out favorite memories is tricky. I know it’s not international, but we had a beautiful time in Newfoundland last summer. We all agreed that it might be our favorite place to play. We had a day off and went for a long walk along these cliffs next to the ocean and then drank beers in a little harbour in the sunshine. Paris was really fun too - we went vintage shopping and ate cheese boards and drank the best wine.
How's it like to be a woman in the music industry?
To be honest, it’s always a challenge. It’s still very much a male dominated industry so I just try to surround myself with strong women and to hire strong women as much as I can. It’s not going to change if we don’t continue to empower women by giving them the same roles as men. Almost all my videos are directed by women, my manager is a woman, my lawyer, my publicist, my DP, my producers, etc. I feel powerful and safe when I know I have the support of women around me.
What message do you want to convey through your music?
Empowerment and honesty. I write about real shit because I think we need to hear real shit in order to feel connected and supported.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Oof. Ok, Let’s go with focusing on recycling things properly and using less plastic bottles in the film and music industry. I’ve been to a lot of festivals lately where there are no plastic bottles sold, you have to bring your own reusable bottle. I love that, let’s all do that.
What biggest life lessons have you learned so far?
Take risks. Say the things you need to say before the moment passes. Listen to your gut even if you don’t want to.
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