(Counterclockwise from bottom right) Vocalists Tarrek Abdel-Khaliq and Joseph Barros, creative director Jorge Olazaba, vocalist Issac Pech and producer Dominic Pizano are DIY band Peach Tree Rascals. (Photo by Nick Dybel)
Mission Viejo High School

DIY band Peach Tree Rascals is ready to bloom

Peach Tree Rascals say their development has been entirely organic. Their ethnic backgrounds can be traced across the globe, but vocalists Issac Pech, Tarrek Abdel-Khaliq, Joseph Barros, producer Dominic Pizano, and creative director Jorge Olazaba met during high school in San Jose and all lived within 20 minutes of each other.

Like the name suggests, Peach Tree Rascals makes genre-blending indie pop that’s generally fun and carefree. The group layers their songs with lush chords and peppers their visuals with vivid colors.

“Dom’s production really started Peach Tree Rascals because he gave us a unique sound that brought us all together as a group,” Abdel-Khaliq said.

After honing their crafts individually for some time, they began making music together as high school ended.

“I knew Tarrek had a good voice but I didn’t see how I could work with him. It pissed me off,” Pizano said with a laugh.

To accelerate the group’s workflow, the guys spent an “inhumane amount of hours” building a 10-by-10 foot shed in Pizano’s backyard.

Despite the cramped conditions, weak weather resistance, and lackluster equipment, they were ecstatic to have a designated studio space to work in.

playground DIY band Peach Tree Rascals is ready to bloom
(Photo by Nick Dybel)

Although Peach Tree Rascals has been developing for years, the opportunity to make music full-time felt like a dream until it became a reality.

“I never would go to school and then I would just drop my classes two weeks before the semester ended,” Abdel-Khaliq said. “I just wanted to sing all day.”

The name “Peach Tree Rascals” was spontaneous, created in response to a looming release date for their first single. The five-piece group held a quick brainstorming session a week before the song dropped, and their moniker was born.

Having recently relocated to Southern California, Peach Tree Rascals has come a long way from skipping class and recording in the shed. The guys are calculated, focused on their long-term success. They’re confident their organic relationships will carry them to new heights.

“I feel there’s a lot of groups that don’t meet the way we met,” Abdel-Khaliq said. “In the studio, we’re honest and open with each other. Dom will let us know if something could be better.”

Their plans don’t end with music, as their chemistry could create various other opportunities.

“We’re gonna do a sitcom, or a cartoon, if not both. Since we all live in the house together, there are moments every day that we’re like damn, this should be recorded,” Abdel-Khaliq said.

camera 2 DIY band Peach Tree Rascals is ready to bloom
(Photo by Nick Dybel)

Peach Tree Rascals prides themselves on their authenticity, which translates in their music. Their lyrics touch on love interests, heartbreak, and anything else they’re feeling. Regardless if the subject material is positive or negative, their pitched-up vocals always glide over catchy beats.

“Whatever is going on in our heads will go into the song, so we don’t usually think about how the lyrics match the feel of the song,” Pech said. “It’s cool to make optimistically sad music when we do, it makes us feel better during those down times.”

Making “Violet,” one of the group’s more somber releases, helped prove their cohesiveness to themselves and their audience.

“We finished it at six in the morning after being in the studio all night and I knew it was really special. When I hit that line, ‘coffee and a cigarette…’ it was over,” Abdel-Khaliq said through a laugh.

Peach Tree Rascals has made it this far just by being themselves, and they’ll continue to succeed by sticking to that formula.

“Right now, we can wake up and sing all day. That’s the freedom people dream about,” Abdel-Khaliq said.