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Mark Foster (musician)

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Mark Foster
Mark Foster @ Esplande Park (23-7-2011).jpg
Mark Foster performing in 2011
Background information
Born (1984-02-29) February 29, 1984 (age 36)
GenresIndie Pop, Indie rock, Alternative Rock, Electronic, EDM, Rock, Pop
InstrumentsVocals, Guitar, Keyboards
LabelsStartime, Columbia
Associated actsFoster the People

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Mark Foster (born February 29, 1984) is an American musician best known as the lead vocalist of the Indie pop band Foster the People.

Early Life[edit]

Foster was born in San Jose, and grew up in suburban Ohio attended Independence Primary school[1] where his talent was recognized at an early age. A music teacher at the school referred to Foster as a "gifted" child. He was prompted by this same music teacher to audition for the Cleveland Orchestra Children's chorus. After he was accepted, his father was proud of him and his teacher alike. Foster recalls in an interview with Cleveland.com: "My dad made brownies for her, basically thanking her for putting up with me" he continues on his experience in the chorus: "I was rambunctious -- a boy's boy, full of energy. I wasn't a bad kid. I just liked to talk. And I was one of five boys surrounded by 80 girls. You can imagine the trouble that I got into." Foster has been a fan of the Beach Boys from age 5, stating in an interview with Beat Magazine that "The Beach Boys were the first band that I heard when I was a little kid that really sparked something in me. I remember just riding in the car with my parents and I Get Around came on the radio and it just resonated."[2]

Moving to Los Angeles and formation of Foster the People[edit]

After graduating from Nordonia High School, Foster moved in with his uncle in Los Angeles. It was around this time that he was addicted to drugs. In an NPR interview, Foster states that it "got pretty bad." and further says "I was young enough to where I still felt pretty invincible. And so it really took like, my friend - who I moved out to LA with, actually - was kind of the one that opened up my eyes, 'cause I hadn't seen him in a few months. I had kind of gone off the deep end. I don't know, I call those my Gonzo years - you know, my Hunter S. Thompson years. That's kind of what it felt like."[3] He became clean one year later. "When I was 19 years old, it got to a point where I said, 'Enough is enough' ... I saw time was just passing me by. I wasn't being productive."[4] Foster attempted to start a band several times, but it was unsuccessful. It was around this time that he worked as a commercial jingle writer. He looks back on this with disdain. "It was just me and a laptop. Really, it was terrible. I knew I needed a band."[5] In 2009, Foster met Mark Pontius, a film school student and drummer who left his band Malbec to form a new band with Foster. Pontius was impressed with Foster's songwriting skills. "Some were on the guitar, and some were on the computer. But it was this really awesome singer-songwriter thing with a tricked-out beat, and I felt we could go wherever we wanted with this." Pontius said. The duo later added a bass player to their lineup, Jacob "Cubbie" Fink, a friend of Foster's. The band was originally known as "Foster and the People" but it was often misheard as "Foster the People." Foster decided to change it to the latter, saying that it evoked an image of nurturing others.[6]

Music Career[edit]

Foster the people[edit]

Foster the People's debut album "Torches " was released in 2011 to back up the Foster-written song "Pumped Up Kicks", which had attracted attention from record companies.[7] "Pumped Up Kicks" was originally released on Foster's website. Foster called the soon to be co-manager Brent Kredel, who was an artist manager at Monotone Inc. "Mark was saying, 'I think I just did something good,'"[7] recalls Kredel. "'Everyone is calling me and emailing me-what do I do? Who are the good guys, who are the bad guys?'"[7] Nylon had previously used the song in an advertisement, and Foster was getting many calls a day, and a debut album was needed to back up the song, therefore "Torches" was released.


  1. "Will 'Pumped Up Kicks' yield Grammy gold for Foster the People?". cleveland.com. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  2. "Foster The People". Beat Magazine. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  3. "For Foster The People Frontman, Fame And Isolation". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  4. "Band to Watch: Foster the People's Pumped-up Psych-Pop". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  5. Martens, Todd (2011-06-26). "Foster the People: Pumped up, indeed". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  6. "On the Verge: Foster the People - USATODAY.com". USATODAY.COM. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Foster the People: How a Free Download Begat a Business". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-02-22.

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