Raffi Cavoukian, CM OBC (born 8 July 1948), better known by his mononym Raffi, is an Egyptian-born Canadian singer-songwriter, author, essayist, and anti-war activist of Armenian descent. He has developed his career as a "globaltroubadour", to become a music producer, author, entrepreneur, and founder of the Centre for Child Honouring, a vision for global restoration.
Once called "the most popular children's singer in the English-speaking world" he is well loved by many children born in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s for his popular children's songs. His autobiography, The Life of a Children's Troubadour, documents the first part of his award-winning career. Some of Raffi's best-known children's songs are "Baby Beluga", "Bananaphone", "All I Really Need", and "Down by the Bay."
Most of Raffi's children's albums include small, simple, folk instrumentations, prominently featuring Raffi's vocal and guitar work. Early works included contributions from Toronto-area folk musicians, including Ken Whiteley, The Honolulu Heartbreakers, and Bruce Cockburn. Raffi also incorporated many world music sounds into his records.
Raffi preferred to play in small intimate settings. In his autobiography, he notes that he turned down a very lucrative offer to perform a concert at Madison Square Garden, because he thought the venue was too large for him to connect to children.
He also wrote that early in his career, he found it difficult to perform for younger kids (under 3 years old) because their short attention span was distracting to him and to the rest of the audience. This led to a hiatus from children's performing in the mid 1980s.
Raffi is currently the president of Troubadour Music Inc., a triple-bottom-line company he founded to produce and promote his work according to his ethical standards. He continues to perform and appear occasionally across Canada and the United States.