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1/6 — Peaches



Why We Love Peaches

It’s not very often you would describe ‘peaches’ as empowering, liberating, and cathartic. But for Merrill Nesker, a performance artist and musician based in Berlin, Peaches (which is the moniker of her guerrilla-style electro-pop music project) is exactly all of those adjectives. Having been in the industry for a little more than two decades, Peaches gained notoriety and a loyal fan base for her biting feminist lyrics and catchy, pop sensibilities, and has featured the likes of other powerful badass women such as Kim Gordon and Margaret Cho in her music. For Peaches, her music and her art wield a powerful impact (in her own words, “I feel art should always express what you want to change and what you need to celebrate.”)

Her use of music and performance art as tools for change applies to both political and social activism and as a deeper message of personal change and empowerment through self-acceptance. “I want them to know that you need to be who you need to be and to know that it is your right to feel comfortable in your own body,” she says. And this message of unabashed celebration of oneself that makes up the core of Peaches, is exactly what inspires and connects millions of fans all over the world.

To celebrate 20 years of Peaches, Milk sat down with a few Peaches fans and asked them what they love about the iconic performance artist.

What is it about Peaches that resonates with you?

I feel like Peaches makes the art and music that everyone else is afraid to make. So many times, I’ve listened to her music and thought, “that’s what I wanted to say! I just didn’t have the balls!” She’s so unapologetic and fearless.

Which Peaches song is the anthem of your life and why?

“Fuck or Kill”! It’s so badass. Straight to the point. Also, I love tush.

SIMWhat is it about Peaches that resonates with you?

Peaches was one of the earliest representations I had of someone queering both gender and sexuality and it’s the combination of the two that really resonated with me. I found her through this group of skater boys I hung out with and my pre-teen masculinity and queer sexuality felt embodied in listening to Fuck the Pain Away with them even though I couldn’t articulate those feelings yet nevertheless even acknowledge they existed.
This safety net of representation, both visibly and audibly, that peaches has provided for me has never faltered and only strengthens as I continue to explore and express my various identities which allows me to appreciate peaches even further

Which Peaches song is the anthem of your life and why?

“I U She” because it’s all about not needing to choose between either side of the binary. Also the song pushes boundaries of monogamy. Even though it’s almost always assumed to be exclusively about bisexuality, it also echoes non-binary gender expression. As someone who falls off the binary and is attracted to both sides of it and beyond, it’s nice to have a song to sing and dance to that represents that.

What is it about Peaches that resonates with you?

Peaches has always resonated with me since I was young and hearing her music in various queer media I secretly enjoyed as i was exploring my identity. I never considered myself particularly attractive nor talented in most aspects of my life and I became very self conscious of how I presented myself and how others saw me. Peaches helped me become comfortable not only with myself and my sexuality, but also with my imperfections. She’s not confined to the boundaries of age or gender, and I love that.

Which Peaches song is the anthem of your life and why?

“Boys wanna be her” is definitely an anthem especially after hearing it on the L Word when I was younger. I always grew up wanted to be one of the boys SO bad and rejected my femininity because of it. That led to immense guilt as i grew older. That song turned the tables and was so eye opening to me, as well as the music video with all the blood. And the song itself isn’t about jealousy. It’s about adoration, like that one cool girl you just really want to be friends with.

What is it about Peaches that resonates with you?

I started listening to Peaches and watching her music videos when I was 13 and I remember being wigged out and fascinated. She definitely served as a model for taking complete ownership of one’s own sexuality. I learned a lot from her celebration of masculinity in bodies assigned female at birth, and also from the way she highlights the humor and ridiculousness of sex and human intimacy.

Which Peaches song is the anthem of your life and why?

“Diddle My Skittle” is one of my favs, I just think the phrase is hilarious.

Stay tuned to Milk for more music stuff

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