Exclusive: An Interview With Ralph

By: Kat Harlton

Via Press Release- “Toronto pop darling RALPH recently released her debut full length album A Good Girl ahead of hitting the road with Ria Mae for her cross-Canada tour this fall.

Racking up over 17 million Spotify streams with her signature disco and synth laden sound, including her now classic tracks ‘Cold to the Touch’ and ‘Tease’, Ralph’s new music has taken on a new shape – keeping her disco flare, she introduces heavier beats and a sprinkle of R&B to create even more danceability than her precursing self-titled EP.

In just two years, Ralph has become a modern day role model for both young men and women who are navigating relationships, identity, self-love and acceptance. With little more than talent and a vision, she has built an incredible following in Canada, the US and Europe. Her music is catchy but cool, sexy but smart, edgy but evocative; and this is what has drawn both fans and tastemakers her way. She’s earned praises from some of the industry’s biggest players such as Billboard, Perez Hilton, Noisey, Fader, Nylon, Variety, Paper Mag, ELLE Canada, Flare, FASHION, MTV and Much.”

We had the opportunity to catch up with Ralph and discuss role models, songwriting and what’s next.

Kat: Could you talk about the inspiration behind your debut full length album “A Good Girl”?

Ralph: I wrote the album over the course of a year and a half-ish. A lot happened during that time – I had my first long-term relationship, I made stupid mistakes, a lot of close friends moved away and I spent more time alone, I hurt people, people hurt me, I worked to feel better about my body and mind, etc. I wanted my album to mirror all these experiences in an honest way, and I wanted there to be a cohesive, almost sequential narrative. The album name is a tongue in cheek way of presenting those stories, since I don’t think there’s such thing as “good” or “bad” people – humans are too complicated to be described by one limiting word. I’m neither “good” or “bad”, I’m complicated and I’m human. The songs reiterate this idea; each one shows a different side of me.

Kat: Could you speak about the songwriting process? How does a track normally start for you?

Ralph: I like to enter the studio with something – either lyric ideas, melodies or at least a feeling I can write about. I’m pretty open when I enter a studio session, my songs are usually emotional and honest, so I like to work with producers and/or co-writers who facilitate a comfortable, safe space. Then we go from there, usually my producer will start with a beat and we’ll all chime in with instrumental ideas or melodies that we hear. I love to do ad-lib run throughs on a song, just getting in a booth and singing whatever comes to mind – sometimes it’s trash and other times you get a spontaneous moment that works.

Kat: You’ve had the opportunity to perform with many different artists, have you ever been given any advice career wise that has made an impact, or alternatively do you have any advice for emerging artists?

Ralph: Although she didn’t say it to me personally, I admire what Nicki Minaj said in her MTV doc back in 2010: “When I am assertive, I’m a bitch. When a man is assertive, he’s a boss…When you’re a girl, you have to be everything. You have to be dope at what you do but you have to be super sweet and you have to be sexy and you have to be this, you have to be that, and you have to be nice, it’s like, I can’t be all those things at once. I’m a human being.” I always related to that and it made me want to be a boss-bitch who is kind, but doesn’t let people walk on her. My advice to other artists? Be as nice as you can. Learn names on set and thank people, everyone is there for you. Thank you’s go a long way.

Kat: In a world where everyone is heavily on social media, how do you handle your online presence and potentially being seen as a role model?

Ralph: It’s definitely scary. I want to be myself and be real with the public, but there’s a line and there are so many sensitivities you need to be careful of. I try to think about what I’m posting before I do it, I also ask opinions from trusted friends if I’m worried something might be off-brand or offensive or just unnecessary. I don’t want to censor myself too much, that’s not what I’m about, but I try to be more and more conscientious of the growing number of eyes watching me. Having a private personal instagram to post stupid, non-Ralph stuff is a good way to blow some steam too.

Kat: What on your playlist?

Ralph: I’m listening to Maggie Rogers, Jim Junior, Ella Mai, Emotional Oranges, Joan, Ariana Grande, King Princess, Amber Mark.

Kat: What’s next?

Ralph: Heading to San Francisco and LA at the beginning of October, then London, Paris and NYC after that! November we head off for a 6-week cross Canada tour with Ria Mae and Neon Dreams, and after that we take a hot little break for the holidays…then hopefully more touring in the US and festivals! Stay up to date and follow me on insta @songsbyralph

For more on Ralph, head over to: https://www.songsbyralph.com

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