Paul Field Brings Big Band Swing to Peachy Keen, His Ambitious New Children’s Music Project
Paul Field is betting on history repeating itself.
After more than two decades steering The Wiggles to global stages and television stardom, Field is preparing to dance a new dance as he launches Peachy Keen, a new children’s entertainment brand that he believes has the potential to educate and entertain a new generation of munchkins.
Field already has three Peachy Keen albums in the can. The first, “Animal Songs“, arrived on streaming platforms Friday, while the next two albums – “Lullabies” and “Nursery Rhymes” – are scheduled for release later this year. And he’s already got sixty-odd more tracks in Peachy Keen’s impressive song bank ready for albums four, five and six.
Field told TMN that the new project is both “a leap of faith” and “a leap of bucks.”
“I’m back in the zone,” Field said. “I’m now a grandfather of two little ones. There’s a lot of [children’s music ], but it’s not great quality. In starting this project, and in creating this brand, the aim is to make the best of the best.
“So I think it’s like runs on the board. Johnny’s one of the best early childhood songwriters in the world,” Field said, referring to his brother, musician and “Hot Potato” co-writer John Field.
“And between us, Johnny and I, between The Wiggles, Cockroaches, our own solo and various other projects, we’ve worked on about 50 albums. So we really needed the best of the best, just to get through the amount of material. We grew up huge Stones and Beatles fans. We thought, this time, it’s going to be like making albums in the sixties. We need to be on top of our game.”
The bops on “Animal Songs” were recorded at Sydney’s iconic Studios 301 with a live band and string quartet, and are also available in Spatial Audio on Apple Music – which Field admits, might fly above the teeny tiny heads of his target audience.
“I reckon we’d have to be the only early childhood brand in the world doing [Dolby Atmos],” he said. “I don’t think my one-year-old granddaughter’s going to go, ‘Hang on. The bass is a bit left of the speaker.’ But it’s more the punchline of, we were seriously after the best quality of everything.
“This music will go around the world.
“The core essence of whatever the appeal of Peachy Keen will be, it kind of starts and ends with the music, and so we had to get that right, and we have, we are going in the studio next month to do another three albums. And absolutely, we want to do some short-form videos and then see where that takes us. And I’ve got some very, very clear ideas about that.”
It’s been two years since Field hung up his skivvy and passed the baton to his son, Luke, who now manages The Wiggles. Those 24 months were enough to reflect on his many successes as manager of the biggest children’s band in the world and “make a solo album with mates,” including chart-toppers Jimmy Barnes and Casey Chambers.
“I’ve been making music with Johnny and Anthony since I was 16. And I’m now 61,” he said.
“It’s what we’ve done since we were kids, just make music together. I’m very lucky to be able to do it with Johnny. And again, that’s the real standout part and why the kids came to me, but Johnny’s my not so secret weapon, but the great majority of these songs are originals. And as you’ve heard, man, they’re good. They’re great songs.”
Pictured: Paul Field, Shane Nicholson and John Field in the studio. Image: Supplied.
Despite The Wiggles connection, Peachy Keen couldn’t sound any more different. The music on “Animal Songs” sounds less like “Hot Potato” and more like The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine”. He’s also gathered an impressive team around Peachy Keen, including his other brother, songwriting maverick John (who penned over 300 songs for The Wiggles), and multi-award-winner, Shane Nicholson, among the creative cohort bringing Field’s vision to life.
He has also bypassed recorded labels in a bid to keep creative and commercial control. Instead, he’s partnered with the Apple-owned A&R and digital distribution platform Platoon, which helped launch the career of global superstar Billie Eilish. In fact, it was Platoon’s co-founder, Australian-based Ben Grabiner, who lured Field back into the arena.
“[Grabiner] saw that I was no longer at The Wiggles and I was still making music,” Field said. “And we got talking, and that’s where it came from. I guess what I’ve done with The Wiggles really informs people. The decision for them to reach out to me was quite good, it was really all about starting a brand.”