First, an innate love for the genre – and Taylor Swift. Because, let’s be honest, who can love pop/country music without loving the artist who made it an accessible and universal genre to many?!
Second, parents who share a deep passion for music, and a mother who is an opera singer. She instilled this passion in Raphaela when she was 7 years old.
Third, a knack for storytelling and writing melodies with catchy hooks. At 14 years old, Raphaela recorded her first EP composed of 7 original songs. However, too young to understand the concept of music marketing, this EP sat in Raphaela’s closet for years.
Where Raphaela’s story differs from those of many in country music is the multicultural component that she brings to it: Born in Ottawa, Canada, Raphaela grew up in her family’s hometown in Lebanon until the age of 19. She always felt like an “alien” in Lebanon, not identifying with a culture where Arabic music is dominant. She realized early on that to make it as a pop/country artist, she needed to pack her bags and move back to her hometown of Ottawa, Canada.
There, she knew she at least had a shot of finding an audience that would embrace her amongst pop/country music lovers.
However, a lack of self confidence in her musical talents, and a pursuit of university studies led Raphaela to take a 4-year break from music. Her moment of epiphany came during the Covid-19 pandemic, when she was at her lowest point and realized that she simply can’t live without music.
Since then, She released her first two singles, Fifth Street and South of France in 2022 and her third single “Happy Endings” released on April 7, 2023. It was inspired by the New York Times bestselling book "Book Lovers" by Emily Henry. Raphaela celebrates the books’ main characters who fall in love in the most refreshing of ways, and the evil city girl, who finally gets the happy ending she deserves, with a guy who just GETS her, even though the rest of the world considers her “selfish.” Raphaela conveys the idea that oftentimes, the rest of the world is the problem, and all it takes is the “one person who gets you, allows you to be you, and loves you regardless."
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