California collective Peach Tree Rascals - aka Dom, Isaac, Tarrek, Joseph, and Jorge - make irresistibly sunny pop bops perfect for jumping in the car and heading out on an adventure. Y'know, if there wasn't a pandemic on. Their latest track 'Deer' is particularly uplifting - "[it's] about celebrating the happy moments that almost feel too good to be true," says Tarrek. "Sometimes something happens and you need to pinch yourself because it barely feels real. Whether it’s love, reaching a career goal, etc. - that’s what this is about." Nice, right? In the midst of writing a new EP, the boys tell us more about their band.
Did you have a musical upbringing? What first sparked your interest in music?
Issac: We all come from different ethnic backgrounds, so we all grew up with different musical sounds in our house, which I think contributes to the different sounds everyone brings to PTR. I personally was often influenced by my brother, who was rapping because he aspired to be like the greats like Kendrick and Dr. Dre. That influenced me, and I remember making mixtapes as early as 12.
What brought you lot together then, you met at school?
Joseph: We all met at school, except for Jorge. We found Jorge online because many were re-tweeting his amazing artwork. We thought he could be a great addition to the group and really bring the visual aspect of the group to life. He also lived about a town over.
Were you all immediately on the same page music-wise, or did it take a while to find your sound?
Dom: None of us knew how to produce, play, sing etc., so it for sure took a second to find our sound. We all put in 10,000 hours and continue to do so to be the best we can be. We always go with what sounds the best and feels the most us, as opposed to trying to sound like a certain genre or existing artist.
How did you break out from making music at home? What were your first steps?
Jorge: We were fortunate to have our manager Alex reach out early on. She found us on Discover Weekly on Spotify and was a fan from Day 1. She helped us navigate the transition to move to LA a few months later and helped build out the rest of the team.
How did you realise your talent for conceptualising and filming music videos? Is it a fun process?
Jorge: I've been a creative for as long as I can remember. Drawing, filming etc. I really love the warm, happy tones. I felt like that really emulated the PTR vibe. I still produce, design, etc. all things visual for PTR even though we're with a label. We like to keep the DIY feel - it keeps things more interesting.
Tell us about your new song 'Deer', what's it about? Where did it come from?
Dom: 'Deer' was created about a year ago on a trip to Groveland. It's really funny because the name actually came from me looking out the window and seeing a deer prance by after we finished production. I thought that was a special touch. Overall, the song is about living in the moment of your accomplishments, or getting somewhere you never thought you'd get before, whether it be with your career or a relationship, etc. and embracing that moment. Our video shows us the night we signed our first record deal. That was one of those moments for us.
Do you have any recurring lyrical themes or vibes you enjoy taking on?
Issac: I think we enjoy keeping things happy. Even if the song is about falling out of love or being depressed, we try to end the song on an optimistic note. I think that's what misses the mark a lot in our genre of music. People only talk about the sad things, when there is so much to be grateful for or learn from.
Music aside, what do you do for fun?
Joseph: We all have similar interests. We love the outdoors, playing basketball, going to shows when we're able, etc. Most of us miss home back in LA, so we try to go home and see family in San Jose as much as possible.
What would you most like to achieve during your music career? What's on your bucket list?
Tarrek: Grammys. A show at Red Rocks. A television show or movie. Being able to give back more to our families and friends. We want to take PTR as far as possible. It's all the work and mindset we put into it. We're going to continue pushing ourselves to reach great heights.
Who do you think is the most exciting band or musician around right now?
Joseph: In terms of new projects we've discovered - I'm a huge fan of Mk.Gee. His music is so unapologetically authentic and incorporates so many eras of music. His new record his a great listen.
What else are you working on at the moment?
Issac: Our new EP! We have all our music ready to go for the rest of the year, and we're so excited for the world to hear it. We think it shows the full scope of PTR's musical palette. Our EP is going to be a great blend of the sounds we've shown this year. We're excited to get it out at the top of next year, coupled with a tour (hopefully).
Peach Tree Rascals' new single 'Deer' is out now.