How Australian TikTok sensation Peach PRC became the new princess of pop

The rising musician opens up about pissing off exes, mental illness and struggling to protect her energy.

Photography by Imogen Wilson

“Got called ‘bubblegum with razor blades in it’ at the studio today and I’ve never resonated with anything more”, Peach PRC tweeted recently. It pretty much sums up the 24-year-old Australian singer-songwriter’s vibe.

It’s been a wild ride for the down to earth former stripper from Adelaide who dropped out of school to pursue her music dreams. She just didn’t expect that opening up about her struggle with mental illness on social media would ultimately be the catalyst for realising those dreams.

“I miss the days when I could humiliate myself without the world knowing about it but whatever”, she quips in another tweet. It’s this kind of fierce honesty, relatable storytelling and unapologetic attitude that seems to magically balance out the artist’s signature sugar-coated sound, hyper-pop perfection and 2000’s-era pink aesthetic.

Having candidly documented her hilarious and relatable accounts of her mental health and daily life struggles on TikTok, the rising star has gained over 1.2 million followers on the platform since September 2019. In a socially isolated world in lockdown, Peach became that friend who always had a hilarious self-deprecating story to share.

Realising she could utilise her TikTok audience as a potential launching point for her music career, she began posting snippets of songs on her account to test whether her fans resonated with her songwriting. One pandemic and a few months later, Peach PRC dropped her major-label debut, ‘Josh’, a spicy and sweet pop anthem written about her ex, which has already attracted over 10 million streams.

Anyone who has experienced someone disrespecting their boundaries will relate to the line, “And I don’t wanna talk / When you’re knockin’ off drunk at four o’clock / I thought you were blocked / Fuck off stop calling me, Josh”. It’s a celebratory pop banger oozing with bad bitch energy that has officially cemented Peach PRC’s transition from TikTok star to future pop royalty.

Her undeniable talent may have attracted our attention, but it’s her charisma that has kept our attention. In a clever and hilarious bit of marketing, she even accompanied the release with a rejection hotline that people can give out to reject someone without having that uncomfortable conversation in person.

I dialled it to see if it was real, and with her distinctive sass, Peach answers and says, “I’m here to tell you on behalf of whoever gave you this number that it’s not you, it’s me! And you can fuck off.” This truly is the work of an icon. We caught up over Zoom recently to talk about pissing off exes, mental illness and trying to find a balance between boundaries and authenticity.

You recently released your song ‘Josh’ which is such a banger and the film clip is ICONIC. How do you feel about it being out in the world? Has Josh hit you up about the track?

I feel good about the song but he has hit me up about it. I feel kinda bad. He’s been a good sport about it. He said he doesn’t mind the song. At first, he didn’t like it but he came around.

It must be difficult dealing with the repercussions of being that open and vulnerable.

Yeah, but it comes with the territory.

Were you always going to use TikTok to eventually promote your music or was TikTok just an outlet for all the funny shit you had to say?

It kind of just came along with it. I started making funny videos and I was like well, since you’re all here, here’s some music I’ve been doing as well! Music was always the end goal but because I was doing TikTok along the way it’s been a huge platform for me to jump off so it’s been really good.

Something I really admire about you — aside from your incredible musical talents — is your authenticity. I think that’s a big part of why you’re so loved by the TikTok community. You have the courage to speak so candidly about topics that people often don’t know how to talk about. Have you felt pressure to become a mental health advocate as your popularity has continued growing?

Thank you, I appreciate that so much. It has been a weird feeling being someone who is mentally ill. I’m not coming from a place of someone who has fully recovered. I’m still in the midst of it all. I think because I’m so open, people think I’m speaking from a place of “Here’s what to do”. I often get asked “How do you cope?” and I’m like, “I’m not coping at all!”. I’m just showing people what I’m doing.

Do you think that being so open and funny about the more complex sides of yourself is a way of controlling the narrative rather than waiting for someone else to make an assumption or judgement about you? Is it your way of owning it?

Yeah definitely. I think joking about it makes me feel like it’s less of a traumatic thing. If I can say it in a more palatable and light-hearted way, it allows me to think, “Well I guess it really wasn’t that bad!”. Or if other people with a certain diagnosis hear me joke about it, perhaps people won’t see me as such a scary person. If I say I’ve been through psychosis or borderline personality but people can see that I’m fine — because I am! I’m a totally normal person. I think we often only hear about those things when it’s coming from a scary and overwhelming place.

How does it feel to be TikTok famous? Have you had to set boundaries with your followers and if so are they respecting them?

It’s been a confusing thing for me to navigate because I have a hard time with boundaries anyway so I just put everything out there and then when people cross my boundaries, I’m like “Ahh I guess it’s fine, I put everything out there anyway”, but I have to keep reminding myself that it’s actually okay to not be comfortable with some things even if I put everything out there.

I think people do see me as a close friend and I feel the same way about my followers, but at the same time, it can get too personal. They start to reach out to my friends and family and people that know me and say, “Peach needs your help, you need to go take her to the psych ward” and I’m like, “Okay, you don’t need to be doing that”. I know it’s coming from a good place and it’s not like anyone is trying to maliciously hurt me. I do appreciate it at the same time — wait, this is what I mean! I have bad boundaries [Laughs].

Is there an album on the way? What about a tour?

Not that I know of yet, but I’m aiming towards it. I have new music coming and I’ve been writing so much and I can’t wait to put the next song out. There will definitely be some new music coming soon.

You’ve spoken openly about being bisexual. Did you ever experience a time where you weren’t sure if or where you fit in the queer community?

I did go through that when I was younger and working out my sexuality and I wondered if I was just ‘pretending’, but I think anyone that’s questioning their sexuality probably isn’t straight and I think that’s valid enough as it is.

Your style is such a vibe. Was there ever a time you feared the all-pink aesthetic?

Never the pink, but I did go through a moment where I didn’t want to be too extra or too full-on and then I got to a point where I was like, no I feel like I’m never extra enough! I have so much fun expressing myself with fashion and being bright and sparkly. I love it.

Do you consider your style just another way to creatively express yourself and complement your music?

Yeah. I want my music to be pink and sparkly and fun because that’s how I feel on the inside, so I try to express that in any way I can.

Dream music collaboration?

I have so many. Doja Cat and Ariana Grande are my top two favourite women in music.

Dream fashion collaboration?

[Laughs] I don’t really know any fashion designers! Anything pink and I’m down.

You can listen to Peach here, and keep up with her here and here.

Writer based in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia.