Budding Pop Star Ralph Ranks Her Favorite Ralphs

Published November 13, 2019

Photo by Mariah Hamilton.

Becoming a pop star was never really RALPH’s goal. The Canadian singer, whose real name is Raffa Weyman, got her start in show business by accident, after auditioning for a background role in her school’s musical. Instead, she got the lead. “The first couple of shows we were performing for other elementary schools, and I remember being fucking terrified,” she says from her home in Toronto. But the experience was enough for her to catch the bug. “Halfway through doing those shows, I found this weird bridge between being scared and liking being the star.” Her latest release, the EP Flashbacks and Fantasies, is the result of years of exploring, defining, and perfecting her essence as an artist—a songwriter who refuses to be boxed in and is inspired by her own growth and her increasingly queer fan base. “I love the idea of this whimsical album of songs that are all about dreams, because I think that’s what songwriting is,” she says. “I want people to be able to relate to these songs in some emotional capacity, and maybe pull at some sort of string in your heart.” One of those hearts includes  that of former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Kim Chi, who performs one of RALPH’s songs on the Work the World Tour, which has helped to cement the singer as a fixture in the LGBTQ+ community. In support of the new EP, we asked RALPH to rank some of her favorite all-time Ralphs. 

Photo by Mariah Hamilton.

8. Ralph from Judy Blume’s Forever

“The nicknamed male anatomy from Judy Blume’s racy coming-of-age novel Forever. Banned from many schools during the ’90s because conservative parents thought it was too mature. Michael teaches Katherine how to rub his ‘Ralph’ properly. Rated last because as a Buzzfeed article kindly points out, ‘now you can still never keep a straight face if you ever meet anyone named Ralph.’ Thanks for ruining the name for us, Judy.”

———

7.  Ralph Fiennes

“Rated second last because his complicated pronunciation has caused eternal confusion with how to pronounce the name ‘Ralph.’ I also equate Ralph Fiennes with being forced to watch the English Patient with my Mum when I was way too young, and I didn’t understand what was going on. More importantly he plays Voldemort in the Harry Potter and now that’s all I see when I look at him.”

———

6. Ralph from Lord of the Flies

“Wow, this book did some damage when I read it in high school. I aligned with Ralph because he was concerned with keeping order and humanity present amongst the boys while trapped on an island. But in the end, they turned on him and left his group for the cooler, savage group and then shit went down and Ralph had to defend himself using a spear.”

    ———

5. Ralph Stanley

“A well-known pioneer in the bluegrass music scene since the 1940s, Ralph Stanley was known for his distinctive voice and excellent claw-hammer banjo skills. Growing up around folk and bluegrass music, his songs speak to me and make me feel nostalgic, like I want to sit on a porch somewhere in a rocking chair while the sun goes down and the cicadas buzz.”

———

4. Ralph Souffrant

“A very beautiful model from Brooklyn that I’ve followed for a while. He has these amazing freckles all over his face and body and made freckles cool before the freckle-filter on Instagram existed.”

———

3. Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The American writer, philosopher and poet who led the Transcendentalist movement in the mid-19th century. He really pushed for individualism and self-reliance. I just got a tattoo that says tutto da solo, which means ‘all by myself.’ So I guess I relate to RWE.”

———

2. Ralph “Ralphie” Parker

“From everyone’s favorite holiday film A Christmas Story, I like Ralph’s ambition and model myself after it. He’s told he can’t have that model air rifle, but he never gives up. He also taught me to never lick a frozen pole. I recently Googled what he looks like now and he looks pretty damn good.”

———

1. Ralphie Tennelli

“He’s my favorite character from my favorite childhood tv show, Magic School Bus. Known as the chubby Italian ‘day dreamer’ who enjoys calzones and hates rollercoasters, I always felt a kindred connection with Ralphie.”

———