Régine Chassagne was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and grew up in St-Lambert, a suburb south of Montreal. Her parents, who were of Haitian origin, emigrated from Haiti during the dictatorship of François Duvalier, which is alluded to in the Arcade Fire song "Haiti", in which she sings, Mes cousins jamais nés hantent les nuits de Duvalier ("My unborn cousins haunt Duvalier's nights"). The line is in reference to the relatives who were killed during the Jérémie Vespers massacre.
Chassagne has also been involved with a medieval[clarification needed] band called Les Jongleurs de la Mandragore, and a jazz band, Azúcar. She also wrote the music for the two-minute David Uloth sketch "The Shine", and contributed to the UNICEF benefit project as part of the North American Hallowe'en Prevention Initiative, performing the song "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?" along with Win Butler.
^Hoard, Christian (10 March 2005). "The Fire This Time". Rolling Stone (969). pp. 59–60. Posted in an abridged form at "The Fire This Time". rollingstone.com. 24 February 2005. Archived from the original on 2 October 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2007.