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Leslie Feist (born 13 February 1976) is a Canadianmarker singer-songwriter. She performs as a solo artist under the name Feist and as a member of the indie rock group Broken Social Scene. At the 2008 Juno Awards in Calgarymarker, she was the top winner with five awards, including Songwriter of the Year, Artist of the Year, Pop Album of the Year, Album of the Year and Single of the Year.

Biography

Feist was born on 13 February 1976 in Amherst, Nova Scotiamarker, Canadamarker. Her parents are both artists - her father, Harold Feist, is a Canadian abstract expressionist painter who worked at both the Alberta College of Art and Designmarker and Mount Allison Universitymarker in Sackville, New Brunswick. Her mother, Lyn Feist, was a student of ceramics from Saskatchewan. After their first child, Ben, was born the family moved to Sackville.

Her parents divorced soon after she was born and Feist, Ben, and their mother moved to Regina, Saskatchewanmarker where they lived with her grandparents. They later moved to Calgary. She aspired to be a writer, and spent much of her youth singing in choirs. At the age of twelve Feist performed as one of 1000 dancers in the opening ceremonies of the Calgary Winter Olympics, which she cites as inspiration for the video "1234."

Because her father is American, Feist has dual Canadian-American citizenship, though she joked in a televised interview on The Colbert Report that she was given American citizenship as part of a deal with Applemarker.

She has two half-siblings, Emily and Jackson, from her father's later marriage.

Feist has been romantically linked at various times with at least three of her Broken Social Scene bandmates including Brendan Canning, Andrew Whiteman and Kevin Drew.

Music career

In 1991, at age fifteen, Feist got her start in music when she founded, and was the lead vocalist for a Calgary punk band called Placebo (not to be confused with the European band Placebo). She and her bandmates won a local Battle of the Bands competition and were awarded the opening slot at the festival Infest 1993, featuring the Ramones. At this concert she met Brendan Canning, whose band hHead performed immediately before hers, and with whom she joined in Broken Social Scene ten years later.

In 1995, Feist was forced to take time off from music to recover from vocal-cord damage. She moved from Calgary to Toronto in 1996. That year she was asked by Noah Mintz of hHead to play bass in his solo project Noah's Arkweld. She played the bass guitar in Noah's Arkweld for a year despite never having played bass before. In 1998, she became the rhythm guitarist for the band By Divine Right and toured with them throughout 1998, 1999, and 2000.

In 1999, Feist moved in with a friend of a friend, Merrill Nisker, who then began to perform as an electro-punk musician Peaches. Feist worked the back of the stage at Peaches' shows, using a sock puppet and calling herself "Bitch Lap Lap" . The two also toured together in England from 2000-2001, staying with Justine Frischmann of Elastica and M.I.A.. Feist appeared as a guest vocalist on The Teaches of Peaches. Feist appears in Peaches' video for the song "Lovertits", suggestively rubbing and licking a bike. Later, Feist covered this song with Gonzales (whom she met while touring with Peaches) on her album "Open Season." In 2006 Feist contributed backup vocals on a track entitled "Give 'Er", which appeared on Peaches' album Impeach My Bush.



Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down)

Feist's solo debut album, Monarch , was released in 1999. It is composed of 10 songs, including "Monarch" and "That's What I Say, It's Not What I Mean." Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down) was produced by Dan Kurtz who would later form Dragonette.

Let It Die

In the summer of 2001, Feist self-produced seven songs at home which she called The Red Demos, which have never been released commercially. She spent more than two years touring throughout Europe with Gonzales. In that same year she joined a group of old friends in forming a new version Toronto indie rock group Broken Social Scene, adding vocals to many tracks after being forbidden to play guitar by defacto bandleader Kevin Drew.. She subsequently recorded You Forgot It in People with the band. 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 songwriter and as an innovative interpreter of other artists' songs.

After the recording of Let It Die, Feist moved to Paris. While in Europe, she collaborated with Norwegian duo Kings of Convenience as co-writer and guest vocalist on their album Riot on an Empty Street, singing on "Know How," and "The Build Up." She also co-write and sang "The Simple Story" as a duet with Jane Birkin on her album Rendezvous.

Feist toured during 2004, 2005 and 2006 through North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia supporting Let It Die. She won two Canadian Juno Awards for "Best New Artist" and "Best Alternative Rock Album" in 2004. Sales of Let It Die totaled 500,000 internationally, and she was awarded a platinum record in Canada, as well as a gold album in France. Fellow Canadian Buck 65 appeared in the Feist-directed music video for "One Evening," which was also nominated for Video of the Year at the 2004 Juno Awards.

In 2005, Feist contributed to the UNICEF benefit song "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?"

In early 2006, Feist returned to Europe to record a followup to Let It Die at LaFrette Studios with Gonzales, Mocky, Jamie Lidell, and Renaud Letang, as well as her touring band Bryden Baird, Jesse Baird, Julian Brown of Apostle of Hustle, and Afie Jurvanen of Paso Mino. An album of remixes and collaborations, Open Season, was released on 18 April 2006.

Feist also lent her voice to the two tracks "La Même Histoire" and "We're All in the Dance" for the soundtrack to the 2006 film Paris, je t'aime.

The Reminder

Feist's third solo album,The Reminder, was released on 23 April 2007 in Europe, and on 1 May 2007 in Canada, the USA, and the rest of the world. She toured worldwide to promote the album. The album features "1234," a song co-written by New Buffalo's Sally Seltmann, that became a surprise hit after being featured in a commercial for the iPod nano, hitting #8 in the US, a rare feat for indie rock musicians and even more notable since it hit the Top Ten on the strength of downloads alone. She has been lauded in the press and was featured on the cover of the New York Times arts section in June 2007. The Reminder had sold worldwide over 1,000,000 copies and is certified gold in the U.S. The album also won a 2008 Juno Award for "Album of the Year" on 6 April 2008 in Calgary, Albertamarker.

Videos for many of the singles were directed by Patrick Daughters, who previously directed the video for "Mushaboom" and went on to direct "1234," "My Moon, My Man," and "I Feel It All." "1234" and "My Moon, My Man" were choreographed by the acclaimed dancer Noemi Lafrance. The video for Honey, Honey features the work of avant-garde puppet troupe, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop.

"I Feel It All" was featured in the UK teen comedy The Inbetweeners. "Honey Honey" was featured in The L Word (episode 5.06, "Lights! Camera! Action!"). "I Feel It All" was featured in the 2008 film The Women. Popular German DJ Boys Noize remixed "My Moon, My Man," which appears on his 2007 debut album Oi Oi Oi. The DJ has also been known to close sets with the remix. In January 2009, Bon Iver played a cover of Feist's "The Park" from The Reminder on Australian radio's Triple J. The song "The Limit To Your Love" was featured in season 2, episode 1 of British teen drama skins.

"1234"

Prior to the airing of an Apple iPod nano commercial featuring this song, The Reminder was selling at approximately 6,000 copies per week, and "1234" at 2,000 downloads per week. Following the commercial, the song passed 73,000 total downloads and reached No. 7 on Hot Digital Songs and No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100; The Reminder jumped 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, the single beat its original chart position of 102 to become number 8 in the UK charts. Time magazine named "1234" one of The 10 Best Songs of 2007, ranking it at #2. Writer Josh Tyrangiel called the song a “masterpiece,” praising Feist for singing it “with a mixture of wisdom and exuberance that's all her own" . On 6 April 2008, Feist won a Juno Award for the single as "Single of the Year".

Feist performed an alternate version of "1234" on Sesame Street during its 39th season, teaching children to count. She also sang with Elmo on the same episode. She said working with the Muppets was a career highlight .

On 5 February 2009, Feist was referenced in The Office episode "Lecture Circuit (Part One)", in which Andy finds a Feist CD in the car of his love interest and sings a song about Splenda to the tune of "1234."

"The Water"

In 2009, Feist appeared in a short film directed by Broken Social Scene bandmate Kevin Drew that focused on her song "The Water." Feist appears alongside Cillian Murphy and David Fox in the silent role of "Mother." This film was streamed from Pitchfork.com for a week starting on 2 March 2009. In an interview with the site, Feist described the experience of being in this movie as "watching a movie while being in a movie."

Present

In July 2007, Feist was placed #9 on Spinner.com's 2007 Women Who Rock Right Now.

Feist was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the November 2007 issue of Vanity Fair (No. 567) as part of a photo essay on folk music, also featuring Joni Mitchell, Peter, Paul and Mary, and The Guthrie Family. On November 3, she performed "1234" and "I Feel It All" on Saturday Night Live. In that same month Feist performed a duet with Chicago native Brian Rasek (formally lead singer of "Repus") in a charity benefit concert at Millennium Parkmarker for AIDS relief in Africa.

Feist was on the cover of the Spring 2008 edition of Naked Eye. On 28 April, Feist was interviewed by Stephen Colbert. At the end of the show she performed "I Feel It All," while Colbert donned Feist's blue, sequined, strapless jumpsuit from the “1234” video. Feist joined Colbert again on his first-ever Christmas special, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!, which first aired on 23 November 2008. She played an angel working for Heaven's overloaded phone (prayer) service.

In 2008 she accompanied the Disko Bay Expedition of Cape Farewell.

On 20 October 2008, she told The Canadian Press that, following the success of her last album, The Reminder, she felt she needed to step away from the pressures of the music industry to consider her next career move and "rest for a minute".In March 2009, it was announced that she would make a guest appearance on the track "You and I" on Wilco's seventh album.

Feist collaborated with Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear on the song "Service Bell" for the AIDS charity Red Hot + Blue. This song appears on the album Dark Was the Night, and she joined the band in June 2009 during their Toronto show to sing this song and contribute backing vocals to the song "Two Weeks."

In June 2009, she re-joined Broken Social Scene at a North by Northeast performance celebrating the launch of the band's biography entitled This Book Is Broken, in which she is prominently featured. This contradicted various rumors saying that it was unlikely Feist would ever play with the band again. She also re-joined Broken Social Scene during their 11 July 2009 concert at Toronto's Harbourfront Centremarker to perform the band's song "7/4 Shoreline".

In June 2009, Feist joined Beck, Wilco, Jamie Lidell and James Gadson in a Los Angeles studio covering Skip Spence's Oar as part of Beck's Record Club series, with videos appearing on Beck's website beginning November, 2009.

Discography



Awards

See also



References

External links




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