Leslie Fatai Nau
Leslie Fatai Tavo-Nau is a singer, songwriter, and pianist. She was born on February 7, 1986, in Salt Lake City, Utah. She grew up in a family that sang together and she began writing songs at the age of 10. She gravitated to the piano and remembers the first time she touched the keys, she was amazed by what her hands could do.
She was born with a deformity from her elbows to her hands, consequently, she has only five fingers—two on her right hand, and three on her left. “My favorite thing about the piano is its reflection of my capabilities and not my disability. This is a big part of my testimony. The Lord can do so much more with your life than you could ever do for yourself. Let God show you who you truly are.”
At the age of 14, Leslie entered the Tongan Heilala Festival’s singing competition with her original song “Shining Star” and won. She was awarded Soloist of the Year.
“When I was young, I never thought my hands were different from anyone else. I don’t remember being told I couldn’t do anything. A few years after being told that I would be limited, after many hand massages, I was able to move my two fingers on my right hand. This helped make things easier with carrying and picking up things. I had to learn to do things just like everyone else. Of course, I did things differently but I learned it.”
In 2003, she signed with WP Records as a solo artist. This experience taught her that Hollywood was not the path that she wanted to follow then. In 2006, with the help of friends, she formed One Voice, a young adult church choir. She wrote several songs and different arrangements of Latter-day Saint hymns for the choir. That year she also decided to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her album My Testimony was released in December 2006 and proceeds helped pay for her mission and were also donated to the General Missionary Fund.
In 2020 she collaborated with Heather Parker and Leslie’s recording of the Primary song “Reverence Is Love” is included on Parker’s Shine album. Partway through her 40 minute recording session, she took a few minutes to pray in order to focus on her testimony that she wanted to convey through song. “I’ve always felt that if I’m going to sing about Him, I have to be as genuine and real as possible. And so when singing about reverence for Him—that has always been a priority in how I worship Him,” Nau says. “For me, it’s all personal. It’s all trying to come from a real place which is where your heart and Spirit is.”
She currently is a member of the Grammy award-winning Saints Unified Voices Choir under the direction of Gladys Knight.
She and her husband Ofa Nau Jr. are the parents of four children. She is the author of What I Have Is Enough: Tuning Your Life to Your God-Given Potential.