KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Meet the Kuala Lumpur-based genre fluid band, The Peachskins making waves online with their unusual digital guerilla marketing for their upcoming EP. 

The band, which was formed back in 2017, is making a comeback to the local independent music scene with a more radical approach through their upcoming seven-track EP, Are You Okay?.

The band, consisting of Rafique Ramleh as frontman, Shahid Rogers as the producer and DJ and Faheem Amir on drums, are excited to share their latest work come April 20. 

Building up to their release, the band has come up with a cheeky and out-of-the box marketing approach which involves former prime minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak’s Instagram account.

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Last Friday, The Peachskins posted a series of their promo flyers on Instagram, tagging the official account of Najib in the images. 

As a result, Najib’s tagged photos section on Instagram automatically became their ‘marketing’ page for the rest of that day. 

“First of all, we didn’t have any negative intentions or ulterior motives.

“It’s just that, no one thinks about their tagged images. I mean it’s just not our first instinct to go there and it’s amongst the forgotten features on Instagram. 

“So, we discussed amongst ourselves that if we’re going to do this, we need someone who has a strong presence,” explained Rafique to Malay Mail.

“We actually had a list (of other prominent figures) and Najib wasn’t on top of that list.

“The reason why him is actually quite simple. 

“He was the only one on our list who didn’t protect their tagged images which means, anybody can tag him in their photos.

“So, we experimented with the list and Najib’s page was the only one that worked out for us,” he said. 

Rafique added that the reason they pulled the stunt was to attract more local listeners as the majority of their Spotify listeners are from the United States. 

The Peachskins’ unusual marketing method has resulted in positive response from the public with many complimenting them on their stunt. 

“99 per cent of the response was just about how everyone was saying how clever the stunt was.

“No political views were shared at all. 

“Everyone was just impressed and we’re really happy that the stunt has managed to turn a lot of heads to us,” said Rafique.

 “We’ve got people from the industry taking note of us, people like Jin Hackman, he came to our Instagram and commented ‘Roll out of the year’. 

“Would we do it again? Maybe not but I hope when others are doing it after this, just know that we did it first.”

 The Peachskins are Rafique Ramleh (centre), Shahid Rogers (left) and Faheem Amir. — Picture courtesy of The Peachskins
The Peachskins are Rafique Ramleh (centre), Shahid Rogers (left) and Faheem Amir. — Picture courtesy of The Peachskins

Are You Okay? also followed the concept of journey and confronting one’s feelings which explains the reason why they’re using the commercial flight background in their promos. 

According to Shahid, going on a flight is not just about getting from point A to point B, instead it is a whole experience. 

“It’s the airport, the ambiance, the planes, and their distinctive smell along with the pilot’s announcement and that’s what we want the EP to feel like. 

“We want it to feel like an experience and I hope people can appreciate the details that we’ve really gone through in making this EP very interesting.”

He added that he felt that the local music scene is boring as it keeps following the same format when it comes to releases, which is why it's important to start introducing original ideas on the table. 

Meanwhile, according to Faheem, he sees The Peachskins as a brand instead of just a band and it is important for them to be confident and relentless in achieving their vision. 

“You just have to wait to listen to the EP and you’ll see how we sort of indulge you in that sort of experience with our sampling, with our choice of music.

“And there’s always a bigger picture as well to what we have to release,” Faheem said. 

 

 

The Peachskins are also currently doing a survey on their official website asking their listeners about their state of mind and how they’re feeling at the moment. 

According to Rafique, the reason for the survey is due to the fact that Malaysians had gone through a lot in the past couple of years with the Covid-19 pandemic and the back-to-back floods. 

“So, we’re using the data not to sell anything but we’re using the data just to let our listeners know that we hear you.

“The pandemic was such a difficult time for everyone, for us as a band as well. We just wanted to pay homage to everyone.” 

 

 

Since their inception in 2017, The Peachskins have released multiple singles and even opened for local songbird, Yuna at the 2017’s Yuna X Uber Secret Show. 

Their upcoming EP will be going live on April 20, for more information and to take part in their Are You Okay? survey, click here.