Feist is the professional name of Canadian singer-songwriter Leslie Feist. She released her first solo album in 1999 and her fourth in 2011. Her causal but refined pop sound is punctuated by her laid-back but daunting voice. She’s sold millions of albums and thousands of Feist tickets throughout her illustrious career. She’s also received several Grammy Award nominations and won numerous Juno Awards including Artist of the Year and Pop Album of the Year. Her most famous song, thanks to being used in an iPod nano commercial, is “1234”
Feist was born on February 13, 1976 in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Both her parents are artists and due to her father being an American, the singer has dual citizenship. Feist’s first big performance occurred at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary; she was part of a 1000-member youth choir.
Before starting a solo career, Feist played with a number of bands including Placebo (not the one fronted by Brian Molko), Noah’s Arkweld, By Divine Right, and Peaches. In the 2000s, she would perform as part of the indie-super group Broken Social Scene.
Feist released her first solo studio album, the 10-track Monarch (Lay Your Jewelled Head Down), in 1999. Although it became an underground success, the album failed to chart and is no longer in print. Remaining confident after her failure, Feist continued writing and recording and eventually released her sophomore studio album, Let It Die, in 2004. The album was recorded in Paris in 2003 and 2004 and was generally regarded as one of the best Canadian albums of that year. To support her work, Feist concerts were held in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia from 2004 through 2006.
The singer’s third studio album came out in the spring of 2007. Titled The Reminder, the work featured her biggest hit, “1234,” as well as the songs “I Feel It All,” “My Moon My Man,” and “The Water.” Feist co-wrote “1234,” which won a Juno Award for “Single of the Year,” with Sally Seltmann. Thanks to the exposure Feist received from having “1234” in a television ad for an Apple product, her album cracked the top 20 on the Billboard 200. The Reminder peaked at number 18 while the song itself went to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Feist released her fourth studio album, Metals, in 2011. The album features contributions from Vanessa Carlton, Chilly Gonzales, and Marina & The Diamonds.
In 2007, Feist appeared on Saturday Night Live where she performed “1234,” and “I Feel It All.” She also had a cameo in the feature film The Muppets (2011).
In 2009, Feist appeared on Wilco’s seventh studio album. Her vocals can be heard on the band’s enchanting song “You and I.”