Spektor was born in 1980 in Moscow, Soviet Union, to a musical Russian Jewish family. Her father, Ilya Spektor, is a photographer and amateur violinist. Her mother, Bella Spektor, was a music professor in a Soviet college of music and teaches at a public elementary school in Mount Vernon, New York. She has a brother Boruch (also known as Bear), who was featured in track 7, “* * *”, or “Whisper”, of her 2004 album Soviet Kitsch. Growing up in Moscow, Regina started taking piano lessons when she was seven and learned how to play the piano by practicing on a Petrof upright that her grandfather gave her mother. She grew up listening to classical music and famous Russian bards like Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava. Her father, who obtained recordings in Eastern Europe and traded cassettes with friends in the Soviet Union, also exposed her to rock and roll bands such as the Beatles, Queen, and the Moody Blues.