The Inimitable pop sensation Raffa Weyman and her alter ego Ralph, just released the official music video for the track “September Fades”. We can hear Weyman’s powerful influences that are incorporated into the music, resulting in a puissant affect on the listeners. She has gained loads of support in the past year, with over 11 million streams on Spotify that granted her place on the One to Watch list.
Ralph composed a playlist $ top 10 POP GYALS $ for Impose and shows us some of her favorite pop star icons. Weyman speaks about each song and gives us her thoughts below.
Cher – My fashion icon forever, Cher is the OG of performance pop star LEWKS. She didn’t give a fuck if people thought it was over the top, she wore feathers and sequins to literally anything and everything. This song is my favorite, I used to do a cover of it back in the early Ralph days and everyone in the audience loved it – you can’t hate ‘Believe’ it’s just not possible.
Celine Dion – Honestly I remember getting the ‘Falling Into You’ album for Christmas and I didn’t even think I would be into it….but turns out I WAS and became obsessed with this song. Celine just harnesses such emotion in her songs, they’re so huge, it inspired me so much as a writer. Also, she’s still performing to this day and killing it, so yes girl, show em how it’s done!
Janet Jackson – Obviously we all love Janet’s sexy songs and dance hits, but this tune always stood out to me and gave me chills. I remember seeing her perform it live at an awards show when I was a kid, and it was so fierce and powerful, I didn’t really get the lyrics but I knew there was intense meaning in the song because of her delivery. It can be hard for pop artists to release songs that aren’t conventional “bangers”, let alone writing a song about something as triggering as domestic abuse, so I admire her a lot for this track and the awareness that it created. I think it’s important to use music as a platform to engage in deeper discussions.
Britney Spears – Obviously Brit Brit is on this list. As a girl growing up in the 2000s, Britty was my idol – she could dance, her outfits were cool, she was beautiful, her songs were incredibly catchy. She made me want to be a pop star, I literally have videos of me doing Britney impersonations. But I also think Britney is an important woman within pop because she symbolizes the intense pros and cons of fame. Her 2007 public mental health episode was shocking because people were uncomfortable with seeing an idol fall from grace, but I think that moment helped kick-start this movement towards celebrities opening up about their mental health truths. I love that we’re slowly progressing towards this acceptance and awareness of everyone’s mental fragility and I think Britney played a role in that.
Lady Gaga – In truth, I’ve never been a die-hard Gaga fan. I know her songs and admire her, but I can’t say I ever bought any of her albums. HOWEVER, when I saw her perform ‘Joanne’ at the Grammys this year, I was like woah, I love this song…and now I sing it at the top of my lungs about twice a day. All of a sudden I’m downloading her songs and becoming so aware of her major talent and ability to transform. She can sing any style of music and isn’t afraid to change her image and sound, which can actually be so scary because you risk losing your fan base when you reemerge as someone new. I’ve become a big enthusiast.
Rihanna – Style goddess always, Rihanna can do no wrong. Her attitude is always “this is me, no apologies”, and I love that. To me, she embodies strength and sensuality and power. She is the boss bitch I aspire to be. She also has hit after hit and takes risks within her music – she does vulnerable ballads, she collabs with diverse artists, she swears, etc. etc
Carly Rae Jepsen – Carly Rae Jepsen is a great writer. Melodically, her music leans towards the very pop spectrum, but her songwriting is really strong and her hooks are the catchy phrases songwriters dream of discovering. Anyone and everyone can appreciate this. I mean, the girl had one of the most popular songs of the decade and sold over 18 million copies worldwide for ‘Call Me Maybe’! If you haven’t listened to E.MO.TION yet (especially side B), please do.
Beyonce – Beyonce is a visionary. She’s married and has three babies, yet manages to put out album after album that never fails to amaze. She tackles race, feminism, love, and identity within her music, and her music videos are beautiful pieces of artwork. The fact that she famously is in control of everything she does – videos, tours, photos, the privacy of personal life – makes her even more amazing, because she’s the creator of her own success. Her work ethic and dedication to her craft is so insane and drives me to be more like B every day.
Solange – I’ve been following B’s little sister since I saw the ‘Tell Me the Truth’ video in 2012. I love love loved her aesthetic and sound and was hungry for more. Solange is special because she’s an artist – you get the vibe that she makes music because she wants to forge new, beautiful things that speak to audiences, not because she cares about fame. ‘A Seat at the Table’ was such an important album and had such an impact, not to mention the stunning visuals that she put out. I think her voice and presence within music culture now is crucial.
Billie Eilish – I think 16-year-old Billie Eilish might be a pop prodigy. She sits at home writing these weird, dark songs (produced by her brother) that are so brilliant and original, I can’t even deal with how excited I am to see her grow and explode. I think she’s the future of pop, cause she’s pushing boundaries with her writing and playing with conventional song structures and interesting melodies. I’m stoked about her, I think she’s gonna be massive.