Toronto artist Ralph is photographed in her Toronto home on Thursday, July 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Toronto artist Ralph is photographed in her Toronto home on Thursday, July 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Toronto singer Ralph proving herself to be the Swiss Army knife of Canadian pop music

Serving up an eclectic menu of musical flavours

TORONTO — Pop singer Ralph says keeping her hands in many “honey pots” of the entertainment world is one secret to surviving in Canada’s music industry.

The Toronto-based indie performer has fostered a career without the backing of a major label by seeking out inventive ways to showcase her versatility.

She’s booked appearances as a vocal coach on “Canada’s Drag Race,” written music for commercials, and her song “Feels Like Home” will play over the closing credits of “Strays,” the spinoff to CBC’s “Kim’s Convenience” set to debut next month.

Between those side projects, she found time to record “Gradience,” a new solo EP that lets many shades of her persona shine through.

There’s bouncy radio single “Tommy,” a retro concoction dubbed “Love Potion,” the Harry Styles-inspired summertime jam “Strawberry Meltdown” and piano ballad “Rules of Love.”

The singer, born Raffaela Weyman, says serving up an eclectic menu of musical flavours helped her weather a “volatile” industry where a combination of talent, luck and radio play can determine the trajectory of an artist’s career.

Aside from performing, she recently co-founded her own label, Rich Man Records, with manager Laurie Lee Boutet. Together she says they hope to help other young Canadian artists get off the ground, particularly female-identifying performers, people of colour and queer musicians.

“Those are the people who generally, I think, feel most unsafe within a male-populated industry,” she said.

“We want artists to come into the music industry and feel like they have like a hub of people who are good, respectful and are there to support and grow them.”

Follow @dfriend on Twitter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2021.

Music