Mark Foster (musician)

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Mark Derek Foster
Mark Foster South by Southwest 2011.jpg
Foster playing a show in 2011
Background information
Born (1984-02-29) February 29, 1984 (age 30)
Genres Alternative rock, Indie pop, Indie rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter, pianist, keyboardist, guitarist, record producer, multi-instrumentalist
Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, programming, percussion, wurlitzer, vibraphone, glockenspiel
Labels Columbia, Startime

Mark Derek Foster (born February 29, 1984) is the lead singer and co-founder of Los Angeles, California based band, Foster the People. He works as a singer-songwriter, record producer, and member of the band.


Foster was born and also attended high school in Cleveland, Ohio. His father gave him the Idea of moving to Los Angeles, California which he did after graduating to start a career as a musician. He worked at various jobs and also attended to parties in Hollywood and would sing and play guitar. He stated he wanted to be "the center of the attention" in order for recognition. In his teen years he went through a lot of struggle because of a heavy drug addiction, saying, "It got pretty dark. My friends thought I was going to die. I was blind to it. 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." During his years in Los Angeles he lived in an apartment where he would let friends stay without asking them for rent in order to help them to focus on their dreams, these events inspired his song "Fire Escape". After turning 22, he says he was contacted by Aftermath Entertainment about showcasing his musical talents, but the opportunity ultimately fell through. For the next few years, Foster waited tables at a cafe while dealing with writer's block, but he remained in Los Angeles after landing a job as a commercial jingle writer for Mophonics in 2008. He said of the profession, "I definitely learned from the commercial standpoint what works", and he credited it with reviving his confidence in performing. The music Foster wrote spanned a wide range of genres, but he had difficulty reconciling his eclectic compositions. He explained: "I'd write one song and it'd be a hip-hop song. I'd write another and it'd be heavily electronic. Another would be like a spiritual, and another would be classic piano song. I was constantly trying to pull those elements together. It took me six years to do it." He still wished to be part of a group; reflecting on a residency he did at a venue performing electronic music, he said, "It was just me and a laptop. Really, it was terrible. I knew I needed a band." After 10 years of failure at starting a band and focusing on music, on 2009 he founded the band Foster the People alongside Mark Pontius and Jacob "Cubbie" Fink. He came up with the name of the band starting as Foster and the People because of his last name but the name was later misheard by fans and listeners calling the band Foster the People which remained the band's name because Mark said it meant "caring of people".

Personal life[edit]

Before wanting to become a musician, Foster wanted to become a lawyer. Foster has a tattoo of a shamrock on his shoulder and 3 red stars on his right forearm. He also has a pair of boxing gloves on his left triceps, cause his grandfather was a boxer.

Musical Influences[edit]

Mark cites that he has been inspired to write many of his songs under the influence of artist and bands such as David Bowie, My Morning Jacket and The Clash. He is also a huge fan of The Beach Boys and the bands performed together at the 2011 Grammy Awards


Foster the People[edit]

As a featured artist[edit]