Peaches Nisker is a comedian who happens to be a musician, but she’s too modest to admit it. “I would love to be called a comedian,” she told V, seemingly unaware of her giddy effect on the world. “I grew up with the original cast of Saturday Night Live. Gilda Radner was my queen,” she gushes, “I love humor. Humor, to me, is the best way to get your serious message out there because it disarms people and opens them up to hear it.” It only takes a cursory glance through @peachesnisker’s Instagram highlights to find proof of her flare for the farce. Three swipes in and you’ll discover the artist in genitally galactic garb or completely enrobed in hair, tongue out, head banging, spraying champagne on the crowd as though she’s blowing a load. It’s funny stuff, but as the Cana- dian-born, Berlin-based musician has proven time and time again, underneath all that glitter and camp there’s a simple message of love for one’s community.
This straddling of two identities—irreverent yet righteous—is a familiar quandary for Peaches and part of what makes her so relatable. During her Zoom audio call with V, she recalls switching schools in the fourth grade and finding herself face-to-face with the playground binary: the girls who played soccer vs. the girls who played jacks. “I wasn’t a super tomboy or a super femme,” she said, “I was both. I wanted to play jacks and soccer.” It was only a matter of time before Peaches used this gray area to build her own playground, where lyrics like, “I don’t have to make a choice / I like girls and I like boys,” became anthems, sexy Sasquatch costumes and underwear boobs were par for the course, and kids could not only play both jacks and soccer but whatever else they wanted.
Since the release of The Teaches of Peaches, the artist’s breakthrough album, in 2000, her concerts have become an extension of this playground or, as she puts it, “[They are] a place to celebrate, but also a place to sort of say, ‘Let’s not forget.’” In direct contrast to the 25-under-25, overnight sensation, TikTok-famous standards of the current music scene, Peaches was 34 years old when The Teaches of Peaches dropped, with an entire life as a preschool teacher behind her. Archival footage of the freshly famous performer shows her pulling audience members up on the stage by their hair, handing them the mic, and generally blurring the lines between stage and house, celebrity and fan. These iconic, joyously chaotic videos document that Peaches always has been, and always will be, not only here for the community, but a card-carrying member.
Now 56, Peaches continues to lead by example by being one of the few among her peers to make retroactive edits to her lyrics, with the ultimate goal of being more inclusive. “It’s important for all of us to constantly learn so we can get along with each other,” she says, sans frills. “Father Fucker,” Peaches’ third studio album, released in 2003, “feels like the quintessential queer album to me, but it was before we had all these incredible words to describe what our gender or nonbinary feelings were. Now, instead of just ‘I, U, She’ and ‘I, U, He’, I’ve also been doing ‘I, U, They’. ‘Shake Yer Dix’ is sometimes ‘Shake Yer Clits’ and ‘Shake Yer Bits.’”
Though our call was a non-video one, she seemed to shrug as she spoke, as if to suggest that these revisions are no big deal, an immeasurably small price to pay so that everyone can feel welcome at a Peaches concert.
Photography Jonny Marlow
Fashion Carolina Orrico
Makeup Sammy Singleton
Hair Patricia Morales (The Visionaries)
Photo Assistant Ram Gibson
Location Hype Studios