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Leslie Feist - a Canadian singer-songwriter - was born on February 13, 1976. She performs as a solo artist under the name Feist and as a member of Broken Social Scene.
Feist belonged to parents who were both artists themselves. Her father Harold Feist was an abstract-expressionist painter and instructor at the Alberta College of Art and Mount Allison University and her mother was a student of ceramics. Their first child, Ben, is now a Software Engineer in Toronto.
The family moved to the Maritimes, and Leslie Feist was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Soon after, her parents got divorced, and Leslie, Ben and their mother moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, where they lived with her grandparents, and later to Calgary, Alberta. She desired to become a writer one day, but instead spent most of her early life singing in choirs.
When Feist turned 15, she took her career-start in music. She formed a Calgary punk band called Placebo ( not the British band Placebo) and was the lead vocalist. She and her band-members won a local Battle of the Bands competition and were awarded the opening slot at the festival Infest 1993, featuring the Ramones. There, she met Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew (presently her boyfriend) with whom she formed Broken Social Sceneafter a decade. In 1995, Feist was strained to take time off from the music scene to recover from vocal damage. She shifted from Calgary to Toronto in 1996 and took up guitar; by 1998, she was the guitarist for By Divine Right. She toured throughout 1998, 1999 and 2000 with By Divine Right as rhythm guitarist. She also released her debut solo album, Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down), the same year, which was produced by Dan Kurtz who later formed Dragonette. At this time she played a 70's JK Ledo beige guitar she called Smoker's Tooth due to its streaked pattern, but it unfortunately, got stolen at a concert in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2000. Feist at present plays a 1965 red Guild Starfire guitar.
In 1999, Feist moved in with a friend of a friend, Merrill Nisker, who subsequently began to perform as electro-punk musician Peaches, with Feist working the back of the stage at Peaches' shows, using a sock puppet and calling herself Bitch Lap Lap. Feist appeared as a guest vocalist on The Teaches of Peaches. She also met musician Gonzales in this time, which consequently resulted in a long-standing partnership formed. In the summer of 2001 she herself produced 7 songs at home which she titled The Red Demos though have never been released commercially. She took more than two years touring throughout Europe with Gonzales. During the same year, she and a group of old friends formed Toronto indie rock supergroup Broken Social Scene and afterwards recorded You Forgot It in People. While on tour in Europe with Gonzales, they began recording new versions of her home recorded Red Demos, which would later become her major label debut Let It Die. Let it Die featured both original compositions and covers, and Feist has been noted both as a lyricist and as a pioneering forward planner of other artists' songs. After the recording of Let It Die, Feist moved to Paris. While in Europe, she teamed up with Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience as co-writer and guest vocalist on their album Riot on an Empty Street as well as co-writing and singing as a duet The Simple Story with Jane Birkin on her album Rendezvous. Feist carried on touring all the way through 2004, 2005 and 2006 in North America, Europe, Asia and Austalia supporting Let It Die. She won 2 Canadian Juno Awards for 'Best New Artist' and 'Best Alternative Rock Album' in 2004. Sales of Let it Die totalled 500,000 internationally and she was awarded a Platinum record in Canada as well as a Gold album in France.
Principally, Feist works with video director Patrick Daughters, who directed the videos for Mushaboom, 1 2 3 4 and My Moon, My Man, the latter two were choreographed by the highly praised dancer Noemi LaFrance. Feist dwelled in Paris, France from July 2003 until early 2007, and then shifted back to Toronto.
Feist's latest album, The Reminder was released on On July 10, 2007 and was discovered to be on the shortlist for the 2007 Polaris Music Prize. That same year, Feist placed #9 on Spinner.com's Women Who Rock Right Now.Feist was appeared as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live on November 3, 2007, where she performed 1 2 3 4 and I Feel It All.
Before the Apple iPod Nano commercial was aired, the track was selling about 2,000 downloads per week, while the album was shifting 6,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. On the most recent charts before the commercial aired, 1 2 3 4 cleared 73,000 downloads and reached new peaks of No. 7 on Hot Digital Songs and No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Reminder jumps from No. 36 to No. 28 on the Billboard 200, with sales of 19,000. Following the television advertisement for the iPod nano in the UK using the single 1 2 3 4 the single beat its original chart position of 8 to become number 4 in the UK charts.
A talent that doesn't lack in variety, Feist has accomplished ample in her ongoing stellar career. The maestro of folk, indie/pop music sang for the first time in 1991 when she was only 15. Serving as the lead vocalist of a punk band Placebo, she took her first step towards a professional career and started performing at musical festivals. She later joined hands with Merrill Nisker aka as Peaches and worked with her for some time.
Feist made her solo debut in 1999 with the album Monarch and though it didn't bring her any mainstream success, her vocal strength and songwriting skills were lauded. Her sophomore album Let it Die was released after a gap of five years and the wait was certainly worth it was nominated for the Best Alternative Album. The single Inside and Out was also named Single of the Year.
Feist hit jackpot with her fourth studio album The Reminder, released in 2008. Securing a spot on the Billboard 200 chart, the record earned her a Grammy nomination along with wins for the track 1234 at the Juno Awards. The diva is well known for her songwriting skills and she has more than once bagged Songwriter of the Year award. Penning soulful lyrics, Feist's words are about real life experiences and heartfelt stories.
Feist with her wide ranging vocals has won the hearts of millions. As soon as she starts singing the arena goes quiet and her mesmerizing voice takes over. To witness that on your own, secure your Feist tickets and catch the superstar in full glory.
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