Ralph Castelli Breaks Down ‘Long Distance’ Relationships with Wholesome Indie-Pop Ballads [Q&A]

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Photo Credit: Trippe Dana 

How much do you really know about long distance relationships? Well, Ralph Castelli is here to shed some light on the pandemonium that arises from these complicated relationships through his sonically stimulating new EP. Appropriately titled Long Distance, the five-track collection narrates the hardships of long distance relationships with Castelli’s vulnerability magnified.

At just 22 years old, the Alaska native has honed his quirky reputation and crafts infectious indie-pop fused with hip-hop, folk, and electronica. What’s so wholesome about Castelli is his ability to express himself through sincere lyricism without being caught up in his image. With only two other EPs under his belt, Castelli is proud to present his newest offering: Long Distance.

At one point during his long distance relationship, Castelli curated a romantic gesture by way of a sweet iPhone recording that beautifully became the inspiration behind Long Distance. Plagued with physical distance as an obstacle, Castelli wrote Long Distance over a two-year span while his lover remained over 8,000 miles away. Castelli dove deep into this personal project of his and wrote, produced, and mixed every carefully composed track.

Catch a glimpse of long distance relationships’ hardships with Ralph Castelli’s Long Distance below:

To celebrate the release of his new music, we recently chatted with Ralph Castelli about long distance relationships, iPhone recordings, and of course, his touching new EP, Long Distance.

OTW: How has being from Alaska shaped your musical journey?

Castelli: I think it has shaped my musical journey in several ways. I used to just write music on my guitar, sort of more folk style. The classic cabin, campfire, acoustic guitar scenario constantly going on around me. In the winters, it’s really really dark for most of the day so I would use music as an outlet to let go of all of my negative emotions that I had from lack of sun and exercise.

OTW: Who are your musical influences?

Castelli: Sufjan Stevens has had a huge impact on my songwriting and Thom Yorke/Radiohead has been an all-time favorite band of mine for most of my life. My parents are also musicians so their bands were inspiring throughout my life as well.

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OTW: At what point did you realize your iPhone recording would lead to this EP?

Castelli: This project was more of a journal for me at first. I make a lot of music and I don’t share a lot and I thought the songs I was writing were just for me and her. Then I realized just how many people felt like I did and maybe it would actually be helpful to share these songs I had been writing. The iPhone demo is the rawest form of this theme; long distance is hard and really lonely. I don’t think the project would connect with me how it does if I didn’t share the vulnerable recordings too.

OTW: What’s your favorite song on Long Distance?

Castelli: My favorite song is “Lonely.” I had been holding in that song for a while. I wanted to make something that was vulnerable and not hyped at all–something that isn’t supposed to be cool catchy. I just wanted to say what I was feeling. One take through on the recording, not redoing things to get better takes. I just left it how it is. [I] was immediately relieved after I wrote that song, haha.

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OTW: What do you think is the hardest part of a long distance relationship?

Castelli: I think the hardest part is that you are just out of reach. Like, technically you could fly to be with them, but you can’t because money or time or whatever. It’s not like being simple where it’s like, “Maybe today is the day I’ll find someone awesome!” You know there is an awesome person and you can’t be with them but only because bullshit like money and time in my case.

OTW: Do you have any advice for people who are currently struggling with a long distance relationship?

Castelli: One thing I would say is that I would look at pictures of us together if I started tripping out and losing touch. Just remembering what I was doing it for. Pictures really really helped ease the ache.

OTW: Who are your Ones To Watch?

Castelli: I think Johnny Goth and Swaine Delgado are my favorite underground artists. It’s great music and they are just rad people with good style and taste.

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