Feist (singer)

Feist (singer)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Feist

Img_capt = Feist performing at the Olympic Island Festival, 2006
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Leslie Feist
Born = birth date and age|df=yes|1976|2|13
Amherst, Nova Scotia
Origin = Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Instrument = Vocals, guitar, piano, banjo
Genre = Pop rock, anti-folk, indie folk, baroque pop
Occupation = Singer-songwriter
Years_active = 1991–present
Label = Arts & Crafts, Cherrytree, Interscope
Associated_acts = Placebo
Kings Of Convenience
By Divine Right
Broken Social Scene
URL = [http://www.listentofeist.com www.listentofeist.com]
Notable_instruments = Guild Starfire

Leslie Feist (born 13 February 1976 in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada) is a Canadian 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 on 6 April 2008 in Calgary, Alberta, she was the top winner with five awards, including Songwriter, Artist, Pop Album, Album and Single of the Year.


Early life

Feist's parents were both artists. Her father, Harold Feist, is an abstract expressionist painter and worked at both the Alberta College of Art and Design and Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. Her mother Lyn Feist was a student of ceramics. Their first child, Ben was born (Ben is now a software engineer at Sapient in Toronto) and the family soon moved to Sackville, New Brunswick. Leslie Feist was born on 13 February 1976 in Amherst, Nova Scotia which borders Sackville and at the time, had the closest maternity wing. Her parents divorced soon after, and Leslie, Ben, and their mother moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, where they lived with her grandparents, and later to Calgary, Alberta. She aspired to be a writer, and spent most of her youth singing in choirs.cite journal| last =Stren| first =Olivia| authorlink =| title =Dream girl| journal =Toronto Life| volume =41| issue =7| pages =58–62| month= July | year= 2007| url =http://www.torontolife.com/features/dream-girl/| doi =| id =| accessdate = ] 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". She also has two half-siblings, Emily and Jackson, from her father's later marriage. Feist has dual Canadian-American citizenship due to her American father [ [http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/entertainment/reviews.nsf/concert/story/CDA498AA8ECEFE7E8625742B002251D6?OpenDocument STLtoday - Leslie Feist ] ] , though she joked in a televised interview on The Colbert Report that she was given American citizenship as part of a deal with Apple. [In an appearance on "The Colbert Report" on 28 April 2008, Feist joked that she is a dual citizen and holds a U.S. passport, having been offered American citizenship “as part of the iPod deal”.] [Transcript of episode 4056 of The Colbert Report, 28 April 2008 [http://www.nofactzone.net/?p=3621] ]

Early 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 and Kevin Drew, with whom she formed 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". [cite news| last =Everett-Green| first =Robert| title =Grammy girl: Feist| pages =R1, R19| publisher ="The Globe and Mail"| date =2008-02-09| url =http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080208.wgrammy09/BNStory/Entertainment/home| accessdate = ] The two also toured together in England from 2000-2001, staying with Justine Frischmann of Elastica and M.I.A. [cite web | author=Feist|title= "A Torch Singer with an ancient sound"| url=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/05/arts/music/05play.html | work = The New York Times | date=2005-05-05 | accessdate=2008-05-14] Feist appeared as a guest vocalist on "The Teaches of Peaches". She also met musician Gonzales during this time, and a long-term collaboration formed.

"Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down)"

Feist's solo début album, "Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down)", was released in 1999. Composed of 10 songs, it is a companion to her two recent and better known albums "Let it Die" and "The Reminder". The album contains the songs "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 and a group of old friends formed Toronto indie rock group Broken Social Scene and subsequently 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 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", as well as co-writing and singing as a duet "The Simple Story" 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.

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.

"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, Alberta.


Prior to the Apple iPod Nano commercial airing, "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. [cite web|url=http://music.aol.ca/article/feist-1234-ipod/167/|title=Feist gets big boost from little iPod|accessdate=2 October|accessyear=2007] 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." [Tyrangiel, Josh; "The Best Top 10 Lists of the Year"; "The 10 Best Songs"; "Time" magazine; 24 December 2007; Page 39.] [ [http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/top10/article/0,30583,1686204_1686244_1690619,00.html "Time" magazine's Top 10 Songs of 2007 at time.com] ] On 6 April 2008, Feist won a Juno Award for the single as "Single of the Year". Feist recently performed "1234" on Sesame Street during its 39th season, teaching children to count. She said working with the Muppets was a career highlight. [http://bostonmusicspotlight.com/article.php?id=1281 BostonMusicSpotlight.com] , additional text.]

In popular culture

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

*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.

*Feist performed on the season premiere of "Sesame Street", that aired on 11 August 2008. She sings a version of “1234” with the lyrics modified to focus on counting, and performs another song accompanied by Elmo. [cite news |first=Siri |last=Agrell |title=Will Feist’s famous number be a monster hit with children? |url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080716.FEIST16//TPStory/Front |work=The Globe and Mail |page=A1 |location=Toronto |date=2008-07-16 |accessdate=2008-07-16 ]

*Feist has had her music covered by many artists such as fellow Nova Scotians Travis MacRae and Buck 65, as well as bandmates Broken Social Scene and former tour mate Bright Eyes. 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.

*Feist works primarily with video director Patrick Daughters, who directed the videos for "Mushaboom", "1234", "My Moon, My Man", and "I Feel It All." "1234" and "My Moon, My Man" were choreographed by the acclaimed dancer Noemi Lafrance.

*Feist currently plays a 1965 red Guild Starfire guitar, and in many photographs is seen playing a (now discontinued) Framus acoustic guitar, model/body type unknown.

*Feist in November 2007 performed a duet with Chicago native Brian Rasek (formally lead singer of "Repus") in a charity benefit concert at Millennium Park for AIDS relief in Africa.

*Feist was placed #9 on Spinner.com's [http://www.spinner.com/2007/07/15/women-who-rock-right-now-no-9/ 2007 "Women Who Rock Right Now"] .

*Popular German DJ Boys Noize remixed "My Moon,My Man", which appears on his debut album Oi Oi Oi. The DJ has also been known to close sets with the remix.

*In November 2007, Feist performed 1234 at Saturday Night Live

*In 28 April 2008, Feist was interviewed by Stephen Colbert. At the end of the show she performed "Feel it All", while Colbert donned Feist's dress from the “1234” video.


*1999: "Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down)"
*2004: "Let It Die" (#36 Heatseekers)
*2006: "Open Season"
*2007: "The Reminder" (#2 CAN, #16 US, #28 UK)


ee also

*List of Canadian musicians
*Mononymous persons


External links

* [http://www.listentofeist.com ListenToFeist.com] - official website
* [http://www.capefarewell.com Feist is part of the 2008 Disko Bay Expedition crew of Cape Farewell]
* [http://www.arts-crafts.ca/feist/ Feist's Arts & Crafts artist page]
*imdb name|id=1967893|name=Leslie Feist
* [http://www.cbcradio3.com/issues/2005_01_28/index.cfm?page=30 Feist in Session] at CBC Radio 3
* [http://comfortcomes.com/?page=interview&id=221 Feist Interview with Comfortcomes]
* [http://www.canada.com/globaltv/calgary/story.html?id=a8855e7f-ec31-40a4-b733-b0d36f7e9c47&k=77000 Feist's road to success]
* [http://music.aol.ca/feature/feist/ Everything Feist on AOL Music Canada]
* [http://www.tasteofindie.com/concert-2354-Feist-Festineuch_2008.html Photos of Feist in Switzerland (2008)]

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