Author | Photo Ali J Eisner

15 Minutes With Ronley Teper

Ronley Teper was born in South Africa and grew up in Toronto. A musician and performance artist, she has been an active member in the arts scene for almost two decades. On February 23, Ronley Teper & The Lipliners will release The Game, a thematic album laser-focused on the power imbalance and patriarchal BS of the entertainment industry.

“This abuse of power oozes poison everywhere,” notes Teper. “In boardrooms. In the classrooms of higher education. In the aisles of grocery stores. Happening behind closed doors, poisoning the hallways of everyday life. Every day, these tactics are facilitated by people who believe consciously or unconsciously that their power and privilege will always protect them.” The Game is “an absolute slam in the face of those that force people to play the game.”

We caught up with Teper this week.

SDTC: What’s at the top of your bucket list?

RT: Hmm, honestly right now – more trying to fix up the holes in my bucket or to accept that some buckets aren’t repairable and to find a new bucket.

What’s your go-to song for getting stuff done?

The Sesame Street Version of Manamana.” The history of the tune is pretty interesting too, at least to me.

What advice would you give to your fourteen-year-old self?

Ha! Maybe I’m dating myself here, but don’t iron your curly hair without putting some fabric or something between the iron and your hair. Just don’t, trust me. (The days before heat protection).

Who has made a big impact in your life recently, and how?

My parents. As they get older, I realize how lucky I’ve been to have such loving and kind parents. This realization has really impacted me lately. Maybe I’m a bit cynical but oftentimes relationships or communications with people are filled with conditions and judgments, but my parents’ love has been unconditional. And trust me, I have not been the easiest kid to have to deal with. Right now, I think this will probably be the only unconditional love I will ever have. So cherish it, be grateful and stay close to it for as long as possible.

What does your ideal Saturday look like?

Hmm, depends on the Saturday. I generally find Mondays and Tuesday ideal. Empty grocery stores and vacant movie theatres. No lineups between 10 and 12 and 1 and 5.

What’s the best part of being your current age?

Health, feeling alive and learning new things.

What is your favourite quality in your best friend?

The term itself and that I physically can “feel” I have a “best friend” is their best quality.

What/who is currently inspiring you?

The possibility of a complete paradigm shift. The very potential for a massive social movement occurring and the overhaul of a poisonous, unrealistic and oppressive paradigm that only allows a small privileged few to have and abuse power. Shifting rather to a positive egalitarian human and environmental existence. All those who are on the front lines and have the courage and stamina to step up and non-violently force this change to happen. Inspirational.

What art work would you love to have in your space/on your walls, and why?

“Liquid” by Faig Ahmed, a stunning work of decorative crafted carpet. It is stunning, mind boggling, colourful, lucid and hung on the wall. Hanging it on the wall seems more practical in my place as both my partner and I need a open space that we can mess up at times; a nice rug on the floor would be more stress then pleasure.

Fave rainy day comfort food? Or activity?

Mashed potatoes. Creating.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

It changed a lot but there were a few that stayed longer then others: dancer, surgeon and a travelling photographer for National Geographic.

What was your favourite game/toy as a child?

Operation.

What adult task would you like to get better at?

Letting go.

If you could spend a year studying something, what would it be?

An intensive year of study surveying a variety of international vocal styles, including Ghazales, Inuit Throat Singing, Fado and Flamenco, just to name a few.

Catch a preview of The Game at The Baby G (1608 Dundas St. W) next Saturday, January 27th. 

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