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Leslie Feist is a Canadian singer-songwriter. She performs as a solo artist under the name Feist and as a member of Broken Social Scene.
Feist's parents were both artists. Leslie Feist was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Her parents divorced soon after, and Leslie, Ben and their mother moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, and later to Calgary, Alberta. She aspired to be a journalist, but spent some of her youth singing in choirs.
At age 15, Feist got her start in music when she founded, and was the lead vocalist for, a Calgary punk band called Placebo. She and her band mates won a local Battle of the Bands competition and were awarded the opening slot at a Ram ones concert. After five years of touring, Feist was forced to take time off from music to recover from voice damage. In 1998 she moved from Calgary to Toronto and took up guitar; by 1999, she was the guitarist for By Divine Right. She also released her debut solo album, Monarch, that year.
Feist moved into a Queen Street West apartment in 2000, with Merrill Nisker, who then began to perform as electro-punk musician Peaches, with Feist working the back of the stage at Peaches' shows, using a sock pocket and calling herself Bitch Lap Lap. She also met musician Gonzales during this time. She spent more than two years in Berlin with Gonzales and Peaches, and began developing songs with Gonzales that would later appear on Let It Die. She then joined the recording sessions for Toronto Indie rock super group Broken Social Scene's albums Feel Good Lost and You Forgot It in People. While in Europe, she collaborated with Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience as a guest vocalist on their album Riot on an Empty Street. She also appears on The New Deal's 2003 album Gone Gone Gone, and on Apostle of Hustle's 2004 album Folkloric Feel.
Feist recorded her second solo album in Paris in 2002 and 2003. That album, a combination of jazz, bossa nova and Indie rock, was hailed as one of the best Canadian pop albums of 2004. On these records, and in performances, Feist played a 1965 Guild Starfire which aided in her jazz-like tone.Feist's single Mushaboom, from Let It Die, is featured in advertisements for Lacoste perfume. This is most likely due to her popularity in France, where she recorded Let It Die. Before this, McDonald's offered one million dollars for the rights to use Mushaboom in their commercials which Feist flatly refused.
She contributed to the UNICEF benefit song, Do They Know It's Hallowe'en? in 2005,Feist returned to Europe in early 2006. An album of remixes and collaborations titled Open Season was released April 18, 2006 in Canada.On April 23, 2007 Feist's third solo album was released in Europe, and was released on May 1, 2007 in Canada, USA and the rest of the world. She then went on a worldwide tour to promote her new album.
Feist recently collaborated with former roommate Peaches on a track entitled Give 'Er, which appeared on Peaches' album Impeach My Bush. Feist contributed backup vocals. Feist also lent her voice to two tracks on the soundtrack to the film Paris, je t'aime.
Feist has had her music covered by many artists such as fellow Nova Scotians Travis MacRae and Buck 65, as well as band mates Broken Social Scene and former tour mate Bright Eyes. Buck 65.
Feist resided in Paris, France from July 2003 until early 2007 when she moved back to Toronto. Her boyfriend is Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene.
On July 10, 2007, Feist's newest album, The Reminder was revealed as being on the shortlist for the 2007 Polaris Music Prize. The winner will be announced at a gala ceremony on September 24, 2007.