Artist of the Week: Owen Pallett

This man has quietly had one of the most interesting music careers. From Oscar and Grammy nominations, to working with huge artists, it's time to get to know Owen Pallett.

FinalFantasy2The Beginning
Michael James Owen Pallett was born and raised here in the GTA, just over in Mississauga to be exact. Since the age of 3 he has been studying classical violin, and by 13 he had composed his first piece. His first notable composition was for the PC game Traffic Department 2192, and to give you an idea on how long ago that was, it was released on a floppy disk. After that, Pallett began scoring movies and composing operas.

He didn’t stray far from home for post-secondary education, attending U of T and ending up with an Honours Bachelor of Music Composition in 2002. Pallet then started to create his own music under the name Final Fantasy, releasing his debut record, Has a Good Home, in 2005. Album cut “Adventure.exe” was accidentally sold for commercial use in the UK. It wasn’t Pallett’s intention for this to happen, so all of the income he made from that venture was donated to Doctors Without Borders. In 2006 his second full length album, He Poos Clouds, was released and it earned Pallett the Polaris Music Prize. Again, Owen didn’t feel right about taking the money for a prize sponsored by a “cell phone conglomerate” so he gave it to bands he liked who were in need of financial assistance.

Since then, the list of artists Pallett has worked with has grown extensively, including Alex Turner, Taylor Swift, Arcade Fire, Stars, Fucked Up, Grizzly Bear, The National, and many more. In 2009 he voluntarily retired his alias Final Fantasy to release music under his shortened name, Owen Pallett. He has a new record entitled In Conflict due out May 13th this year.
2006 POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE
(Final Fantasy Winning 2006 Polaris Prize)

Achievements
Owen provided string arrangements on Taylor Swift’s Grammy nominated album Red. He was a touring member of Arcade Fire for years and contributed to their record The Suburbs, which went on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year. Pallett has a 2006 Polaris Music Prize to his name. He received the 2010 Emmy Award, “New Approaches to News & Documentary Programming: Arts, Lifestyle and Culture”, for his work on “Fourteen Actors Acting”. And of course he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score this year.

Discography
Has a Good Home – Final Fantasy (2005)
Young Canadian Mothers EP (2006)
He Poos Clouds – Final Fantasy (2006)
Spectrum, 14th Century EP (2008)
Plays to Please EP (2008)
Heartland – Owen Pallett (2010)
A Swedish Love Story EP (2010)
In Conflict – Owen Pallett (2014)

Videos