Kiesa Rae Ellestad , known professionally as Kiesza , is a Canadian singer and multi-instrumentalist from Calgary, who has most recently worked in New York City and London. She relocated to Toronto, where injuries from a car accident required her to take several years off, to recover.
Kiesza was born and raised in Calgary. Her last name Ellestad is Norwegian from her paternal side and her grandfather is from Fagernes in Norway.
When she was 16, she took part in the Sail and Life Training Society program and later became a sailing instructor at the Glenmore Sailing School in 2007. A year later she joined the reserves of the Royal Canadian Navy along with her brother, becoming a NavCom . It was while she was at crew singalongs at the Navy that she taught herself to play guitar.
Meanwhile, she also entered the Miss Universe Canada pageant. She stated that her time in the Navy motivated her to give away 4,500 CDs to Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan in 2008.
Kiesza took part in the Young Canadians, performing tap and jazz dancing, as well as theatre.
She also trained as a ballerina, however, a knee injury at age 15 ended her ballet career.
When Kiesza was 18, she says that her parents' divorce caused her to write her first song, as a way of expressing her feelings. The same year, she heard a song of hers played on the radio.
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