The alternative to real life that she’s referring to is TikTok, where she’s reached the peak of her digital fairy tale: a small town girl (if Adelaide counts) amassing over a million followers riding along with her on her journey through music, adulthood and the occasional makeup tutorial. There’s still a big bad wolf, but she’s overcome too much to let it get her down – her recent record deal has transported her out of the woods and into an entirely new world where her viral single ‘Josh’ has her qualifying for global pop stardom. As she films almost daily TikTok clips from Sydney, the people of LA pass a billboard with her face on it. There’s still the small matter of the pandemic, but it doesn’t bother her that she’s missing out on some of those tangible “I made it” moments.
“I can’t even fathom me being on a billboard somewhere in LA,” she admits. “Some of my friends in LA from TikTok, they’re like, ‘What the hell? I just drove past your head.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’ It’s so surreal. I think just seeing the photos and videos is enough, but I’m super excited about it all.” She does have her own anecdotes, reflecting on a recent Uber ride when ‘Josh’ started playing on the radio. “I’m like, ‘This is me, this is my song.’ And they’re [the driver’s] like, ‘Okay.’ I’m like, ‘No, like my song.’ He thought it was my jam. Like, ‘Literally, this is a song that I’m singing.’”
There’s an element of humility to everything that Peach does, but in equal measure she’s incredibly generous with her truth. She’s gone to the effort of making videos intended for people with mental health issues that she thought might help based on her own struggles, and is consistently representing the notion that sharing how she copes with what she’s been through might make those same experiences more bearable for others. Having said that, she’s also extremely conscious of what happens when her screen goes black.
“I think it’s a weird feeling having a million people that are there to support me and love me and are so kind to me,” she explains. “But then at the same time…When I put my phone down, it’s just me. It’s a weird feeling, but I think I do still have a lot of support and it does get hard sometimes, but I’m managing. I think it’s important to show those vulnerable moments as well, that I’m struggling too, sometimes.”
It’s a principle that’s been longstanding in the alternative scene, to share your experiences in the hope that others can take solace in the knowledge that they’re not alone. Coincidentally or perhaps not, and despite the fact that you’d be more likely to see Peach’s name in a playlist next to Doja Cat than A Day to Remember, she was a member of the alt community, once upon a time.
“I was 16 and I still had pink hair,” she describes, “but it was full-on scene hair and I wore all black. I had the black makeup and everything. And I would listen to…well, for me it was ‘heavy’. It was like, Bring Me The Horizon. For me, that’s hardcore, and I was full-on into it and I even went to Soundwave, which I’m not sure if that’s where you are, but it’s in Adelaide, it’s like an alternative music festival. And I went, I was right at the front for Black Veil Brides. I was a hardcore little scene kid.” Contrary to the rest of us, she insists: “It was a little phase I had. It really was a phase, mum.”
Zooming out, she does compare what’s behind her princess-in-pink look to what she learned about the black t-shirt kids in that time. “I feel like the more pink I put on, the more I feel better. I feel like it’s kind of similar to when people wear all black and goth, and emo and those kinds of alternative things. It’s kind of like whatever they’re feeling, they just wearing more of that aesthetic…Instead of all of the black, it’s all pink. The more that I’m in my feelings, the more pink I get.”
There are instances when years after a label deal was signed, artists admit that they were instructed to change their aesthetic, to tweak the unique parts of their identity that got them to where they are in the first place. This time around, it’s different – the team behind Peach aren’t telling her what to wear in service of some Barbie or manic pixie dream girl ideal. They don’t mind when she plays her new songs on TikTok (although she hasn’t leaked any fully produced demos just yet) and they sure as hell haven’t told her what to say. It’s all real, as much as some might prefer the industry plant conspiracy theory.
“I think in interviews, I have pretty much all the freedom, within the realms of not being able to swear on radio and stuff like that,” she adds. “But I think that it’s pretty easy. I just am always myself like I am on TikTok and I think the people that interview me know that. I haven’t really had any set rules or any boundaries. I think my whole team is really supportive and I just know that I’m going to say whatever I want to say and that they trust me to not be ridiculous, but like tastefully, tastefully chaotic.”
From speaking to Peach or engaging with her online in any capacity, it’s clearer than ever that the quality of what she creates can be attributed to her character as someone that’s articulate, self-aware, intelligent and above all else, growing with each day. There’s no empty archetype that she’s trying to fit into: the “story” here is literally her life, and she’s just doing the best she can to live it until she gets to her happy ending. She hopes to play a live show soon, but in the meantime, you can find her here, at the place where it all began.