Over the past few years, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Toronto-born and-based singer/songwriter and JOVM Raffa Weyman, best known as RALPH. In 2015, Weyman quickly emerged into the national and international pop scene with her bittersweet, disco-inspired debut single “Trouble” in 2015. Weyman followed up with a series of attention-grabbing singles over the next handful of years that found the Canadian pop artist restlessly bouncing between different genres and styles, including the the country and western-tinged “Young Hearts Run Free” and the ambitious, radio friendly bop “Girl Next Door.”
After receiving an iHeartRadio’s Much Music Video Awards Best New Canadian Artist nomination, Weyman released her RALPH full-length debut, 2018’s A Good Girl. “I wrote ‘A Good Girl’ over the course of a year, maybe a little more…and a lot happened in that year,” Weyman explained in press notes at the time. “Because I use songwriting as a type of therapy and a way to explore my feelings, the songs naturally began to reflect everything that was happening in my life. Sometimes I was hurting, other times I was the one hurting someone else, and then to make it more complicated, sometimes I’d be both, like in the last song ‘Cereal’. The album name is a tongue in cheek way of reflecting upon the tracks and their stories, because they represent a multi-faceted character who is good hearted but makes mistakes – no one is ever one thing, we’re not good or bad and shouldn’t feel guilty about it. ”
The Toronto-based JOVM mainstay began this year with the launch of her own label, Rich Man Records, and the release the shimmering pop confection “Superbloom.” Continuing upon the momentum of “Superbloom,,” Weyman recently released a coquettish, house music-inspired cover of Jennifer Paige’s 1998 dance pop hit “Crush.” Centered around shimmering synth arpeggios and stuttering beats and an infectious hook, Weyman’s cover speeds up the pace a bit but while retaining the flirty and brash air of the original.
“I remember being a kid and being obsessed with this world of sweet female pop music. Mandy Moore, Robyn, The Cardigans. . . and ‘Crush’ by Jennifer Paige,” Weyman recalls i press notes. “I had a babysitter named Kelly who I idolized. She drove a blue convertible and chewed gum and would play ‘Crush’ in the car. The song made me feel cool and flirty and powerful, and years later, I wanted to try and recreate that feeling.”
Continuing her ongoing collaboration with Amika Cooper (a.k.a. blackpowerbarbie), the recently released, animated visual for “Crush” is an animated dose of feverish, Y2K-era nostalgia, as we see a pre-teen in her bedroom, drinking Ralph Crush soda, playing CDs on her boombox and flipping through magazines with her heroine, RALPH. The pre-teen has dreams of being as famous as her hero — if not more so. Throughout the video, there are brief moments of celestial imagery, which alludes to their previous collaboration together, “Gravity” while being a bit playful.
“The story behind the ‘Crush’ video is an ode to how magical it was to be a pre-teen in the early 2000s,” Amika Cooper explains. “I wanted to find a way to depict the kind of fever dream you would enter while sitting in your room, reading teen magazines and listening to your favorite pop stars and just being swept up in the fantasy of pop music. Listening to RALPH’s music always takes me back to that place, and I hoped this video would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate that.”