Leslie Fatai has a special talent: she plays the piano—with only five fingers.
Leslie was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 7 February 1986 with only two fingers on one hand and three on the other. But that did not stop her from seeing past her limitations. She says, “I’ve always loved the piano. I can still remember the first time touching the keys and feeling amazed at what my hands were doing. 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.”
Around age 10, she started writing her own music. “I first started playing [the piano] just by hitting the keys and putting songs together like ‘Mary had a little lamb.’ My desire to learn moved me to take piano lessons. My parents were very supportive of me. My first piano lesson with my piano teacher was very interesting because the first lesson had to deal with hand positioning. My piano teacher did her best to teach me that, but I had to teach myself. My desire to play was strong enough for me to see past my limitation.”
When she was only 14 years old, Leslie she entered the Tongan Heilala Festival’s singing competition with her original song “Shining Star” and won. They awarded her Soloist of the Year. In 2003, she signed with WP Records as a solo artist. She stayed for a while but in the end, Leslie decided this was not the path she needed to take. In 2006, with the help of friends, she formed One Voice, a young adult church choir. She wrote several songs and different arrangements of LDS Hymns for the choir.
Music is not the only shining detail of her life. Faith overpowers her physical limitation. In 2006, Leslie chose to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To fund her mission and her two brothers’, Leslie released an original album called “My Testimony.” The money generated from the sales is donated to the LDS General Missionary Fund.
You can visit her website for more information on original songs and arrangements.
Leslie Fatai is married to Ofa Nau Jr. They have three beautiful young children.