Feist's Early Life:
Leslie Feist was born February 13, 1976 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She was raised in a very artistic family, as her father was an expressionist painter and visual arts professor. At a very young age, Leslie developed a love for writing, and originally planned to go into journalism. However, she was also fond of singing, and at the age of 15 started a punk-rock band named Placebo. The group won their first high school battle of the bands, and soon after were playing at local clubs and parties.
An Early Bump In Feist's Career:
After Placebo toured throughout Calgary and other portions of Canada for the next five years, Feist began losing her voice, and eventually she became temporarily mute. At the age of twenty, she went to Toronto to see a musical injuries specialist. Advised to take an indefinite break from the group, she moved to Toronto in 1998 to work and focus on healing her voice. Feist simply played guitar and wrote songs, completely avoiding singing and doing little speaking. After six months, Feist’s voice was healed and she again began working on a music career.
Quote From Feist:
From an interview with Toronto Life magazine:
"I’m not hungry to write songs for the sake of writing songs. They’ll come when it’s the season. You don’t write in your Daytimer, I’m going to have my first kiss on Tuesday at 4. You just wait and see when it happens. And the anticipation is part of the fun. The whole point is the curiosity.”
When she was once again able, Feist quickly began working and making connections within the Toronto underground music scene. Leslie quickly landed a spot as a lyricist/guitarist for the indie-pop band By Divine Right, and the group was soon touring throughout Canada and the United States. Beginning to make a name for herself, Feist recorded her first solo album, Monarch (Lay Down Your Jeweled Head) and self-released it in 1999.
Feist Becomes An Indie Force:
After leaving By Divine Right, Feist joined forces with electro-hip-hop artist Peaches. Although a seemingly random move, she toured with and sang back up for Peaches and caught the eye of Canadian indie rockers Broken Social Scene. Feist would tour Europe with the group and contributed to their Juno Award-winning sophomore album You Forgot It In People, released in 2002. Between all the touring, Feist began to develop her signature sweetly soft vocal sound while working on her 2004 record Let It Die. The album received a great deal of acclaim in indie circles, particularly the single “Mushaboom.”
Feist’s third solo album, The Reminder, was released in spring 2007. The album itself received a good deal of critical acclaim, but after a few weeks of moderate sales, the record fell from the charts. It wasn’t until the breezy single “1, 2, 3, 4” and it’s accompanying colorful music video were featured in a frequently aired iPod Nano television ad, that Feist began to truly see mainstream success. In early October 2007 The Reminder rose back into the top 30 of the albums chart, and, thanks to massive digital sales, “1, 2, 3, 4” sat in the top 10 of the pop singles tally.