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Peaches Biography


Home > Music > P > Peaches > Biography


Birth Name: Merrill Beth Nisker
Born: 1966/11/11
Birth Place: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years Active: 1990–present
Genres: Electroclash, Dance Punk, Synthpunk, Glam Rock, Rock 'n' Roll, Hip Hop


Merrill Beth Nisker (born November 11, 1968), better known by her stage name Peaches, is a Canadian electronic musician and performance artist who lives in Berlin, Germany. Her songs are noted for disregarding traditional gender norms and for their use of sexually explicit lyrics. She plays her own instruments for her songs, programs her own electronic beats, and produces her own albums.

Peaches has been noted for her stage costumes and flamboyant sense of style. Her looks are often both nostalgic and futuristic, aggressive and glamorous, and push the limits of gender identity. Peaches and her band Sweet Machine wear costumes from a variety of designers but most notably she works closely with stylist/designer Vaughan Alexander, celebrity hairstylist Charlie Le Mindu, and young American fashion designer, John Renaud.

Nisker got her start in music as part of the folk trio, Mermaid Cafe in the 1990s. Her debut album, “Fancypants Hoodlum,” arrived in 1995 under the name Merrill Nisker. That same year Nisker formed the project Shit, a noisy four-piece combo with Chilly Gonzales (Jason Beck), Sticky and Dominique Salole (Mocky). It was during this musical collaboration that the Peaches moniker developed.

Around this time, Peaches moved to Berlin, Germany and signed a record deal with the Kitty-Yo label. Peaches' debut for the label, “The Teaches of Peaches,” arrived in the fall of 2000. Peaches then signed to a European contract by Sony following the release of “The Teaches of Peaches.” She later made a big-budget video for the song “Set It Off,” in which she sat in a locker room as her pubic and armpit hair grew to Rapunzel length. Sony subsequently dropped her.

2003 saw Peaches' second album, “Fatherfucker” on XL/Kitty-Yo. She once again wrote and programmed all of her album's music herself. The single “Kick It” featured Iggy Pop.

Peaches' third studio album, “Impeach My Bush,” arrived in 2006 and featured guest performances from Joan Jett, Greg Kurstin, Josh Homme, Samantha Maloney, Beth Ditto, Feist, Dave Catching, Brian O'Connor and Radio Sloan. The Herms (short for hermaphrodites) formed in spring 2006 as Peaches' live backing band.

Peaches' fourth LP, “I Feel Cream,” arrived in 2009 and spawned the singles, "Talk to Me" and "More." Peaches enlisted some of her contemporaries to co-produce a number of tracks including Simian Mobile Disco, Soulwax, Digitalism and Shapemod. Longtime friend and collaborator Gonzales co-wrote some of the songs on “I Feel Cream” and Shunda K (the voice of Yo Majesty) featured on the track “Billionaire.”

In May 2010, Christina Aguilera announced that Peaches was among the collaborators on her fourth studio album “Bionic.” Peaches was featured on a track called “My Girls,” which was co-written and produced by Le Tigre.2011 saw Peaches collaborate with R.E.M. on their album, “Collapse into Now.”