Raffaella is Obsessed with Beautiful Women
Raffaella Meloni is obsessed with beautiful women: she’s jealous of them, she wants to be like them… plus they make her question the very concept of feminism. And, because of an invitation by one such woman to join a sorority, Meloni penned a song that helped her break out and sign a record deal with Mom+Pop Records. Apparently, muses are not quite a thing of the past.
Now that she’s extricated herself from the Greek system and honed her musical style, Meloni is poised to potentially break out in a big way. And, with a pair of buzzy singles under her belt and an EP and debut in the works — plus opening slots for Years & Years — she’s hoping to bring her rumination of feminine beauty to the masses.
The New York native has been writing songs since high school, when her posh private school, Fieldstone, allowed her to forgo math class and instead write an EP of songs based on Shakespeare’s sonnets. The daughter of a music lawyer and a writer, Meloni grew up in an artistic household, taking singing lessons from an early age. An early fan of the Beatles and the Beach Boys, she recalls that, as a baby, she refused to ride in the car unless her father played jazz on the stereo.
When she left for college, however, music briefly took a backseat. She first attended the University of Southern California to study acting, where she decided, fatefully, to join a sorority. “I don’t think it was even a conscious choice,” she tells TIDAL. “I was approached by this really beautiful girl who I had known in high school and she was like, ‘Join my sorority! They’ll love you and you’ll feel at home!’”
Feeling lost at the massive school filled with beautiful people, Meloni accepted the invitation. “I did the whole rush process and that was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she recalls. “Your face starts to hurt because you’re smiling so much. It was the best acting I’ve ever done, too.”
At first, she bought into Greek culture wholesale: attending themed parties, dressing up in white tutus and tight yoga pants for nights with titles like “Yoga Hos and Workout Bros.” But, pretty soon, the toxic atmosphere began to eat away at her. “It’s institutional and systematic — just the way the Greek system works,” she says. “It’s very patriarchal; everything is based on a boy’s opinion and a lot of the girls act according to what the boys could potentially think of them. It’s pretty homophobic and it was very sexist.”
After a year in California, Meloni transferred to an all-girls institution in New York City, Barnard College, and ultimately channeled her experiences as a Greek into the song “Sororicide,” which came out earlier this year — after partnering up with the band Bråves to work on her sound, that is. ”Sororicide” is a poppy, snarky take on the falsity of the people and parties she suffered at USC: “I wish that I could be as basic as you/Happy snapping filtered photos of food/Your small talk makes me turn to substance abuse,” she croons.
Tongue-in-cheek party track “Bruce Willis” followed this summer (she’s a fan of the actor, but not his politics), and Meloni has been traveling to L.A. of late to work on new music. “The thing about L.A. is it’s like a sorority,” she says. “I feel uncomfortable there, and when I’m uncomfortable, I write a lot. It’s hard for me to feel prolific in New York City, even though I love it so much; I feel too good here.”
According to Meloni, the music she’s working on now is in the same vein as “Sororocide”: the envy, confusion and disdain she has for beautiful women. “It’s about my obsession with beautiful women and my own deep insecurities about being a young woman,” she says. “I spend so much time obsessing over beautiful women. It’s jealousy and appreciation. Like, ‘Damn, you spend so much time to look beautiful. How do you that?’ But also, ‘Fuck you for doing that.’”
Quickly, however, she turns introspective. “I think that I have this bad habit of putting other women down, which is basically the theme of my first single, ‘Sororocide,’” she reflects. “I have this really bad habit of compensating for insecurity by doing something that I shouldn’t do, which is shit on girls I would otherwise respect. A lot of it is me yelling at other people, but really yelling at myself.”
In contrast to and concert with her complicated feelings about women and herself, the singer created a playlist of tracks by women she respects and admires. Check out her picks below:
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