Justin Nozuka

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Justin Nozuka
Justin Nozuka 2.jpg
Justin Nozuka
Background information
Birth name Justin Tokimitsu Nozuka
Born (1988-09-29) 29 September 1988 (age 26)
New York City, New York, U.S
Genres Folk, acoustic rock, soul
Occupation(s) Musician
Years active 2006–present
Labels Glassnote Records, Coalition Entertainment
Website http://www.justinnozuka.com,
http://www.justinnozuka.co.uk

Justin Tokimitsu Nozuka (born September 29, 1988) is an Canadian-American singer and songwriter. His debut album Holly has been released in Europe, Canada, Japan and the United States. He has licensed the album to indie label Coalition Entertainment Records, distributed by Warner Music in Canada, Outcaste Records in the UK/EU distributed by EMI and Glassnote Records in the US distributed by RED.

Biography[edit]

Justin was born one of seven children to American Canadian mother Holly Sedgwick [1][2] and Japanese father Hiromitsu Nozuka. Sedgwick raised Nozuka and his six siblings as a single mother.[3] He is the brother of musician George Nozuka, musician Henry Nozuka, and actor Philip Nozuka. Other family members include Christian, another musician and two sisters, Margaret and Sandra (Sandy). His mother's half-sister is actress Kyra Sedgwick[4][5] and his first cousin twice removed is Edie Sedgwick.

Nozuka began writing his own songs at age 12. The earliest of his songs on Holly, "Supposed to Grow Old" and "I'm in Peace," were written when he was 15.[6] While attending St. Andrews College, an international boarding school in Aurora, Ontario, Justin learned to play guitar from classmates.[citation needed] He then went on to the Etobicoke School of the Arts, where he graduated from in 2007. His musical influences stem from artists such as Lauryn Hill and Marvin Gaye.[7]

With help from a fellow Canadian artist, Damhnait Doyle, whom he met at a song writing workshop, Nozuka was introduced to Universal Records talent scout, Allan Reid. He recorded three tracks through Universal with Bill Bell as producer, leading Universal to request that Nozuka sign with their label. However, he decided he wanted to "record an album on (his) own, with (his) own freedom".[8]

Justin Nozuka in concert 7 November 2009 in Annapolis, Maryland (U.S.)

In 2007, Nozuka released his debut album Holly. The album is named after his mother who helped and supported his chosen career in music. The album has eleven songs to it and includes a hidden track following the final listed song "If I Gave You My Life". Many of Justin's songs deal with mature themes such as the song "Save Him", which is a fictional account of a woman abused by her husband. Another track, "Down in a Cold Dirty Well", is about his perspective being stuck in a well, watching his life flash before his eyes. "Criminal" describes the story of a drunken man facing the consequences of throwing a bottle into a street "where children play with bare feet",[9] and suffers from the overwhelming guilt. In February 2008, Justin was nominated for a Juno award in the category of "New Artist of the Year", following the commercial and critical success of his debut album.

Since then, Nozuka has played at such venues as the Green room stage at the Irish music festival Oxegen and T in the Park in 2007. Nozuka's song "After Tonight" has also been featured in a commercial for Scott Baio Is 46...and Pregnant on VH1, as well as on mtvU's The Freshman. Nozuka has also traveled to Austin, Texas to take part in the SXSW Music Festival as well as being interviewed by many radio stations in the area.

In 2008, Nozuka toured with Marié Digby and Eric Hutchinson. From August 2008 through November 2008, Nozuka toured all around the United States with Gabe Dixon Band & Jay Nash as well as in parts of Europe. In the beginning of 2009, he toured the United States again, this time co-headlining with Missy Higgins and with special guest, Lenka. He also toured in France to heavily promote the Holly album for its re-release.

In the summer of 2009, Nozuka began working on his second studio album, while touring and playing live shows in Europe. The result was his second album titled You I Wind Land and Sea. The album was released in the US on April 13, 2010 and debuted at Number 118 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. The album receive positive reviews, similar to his first album.

On February 18, 2010, Nozuka lent his vocals alongside 50 of Canada's best and brightest artists on a reworked version of K'naan's "Wavin' Flag." The song was reworked in order to inspire help for Haiti after it was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Other singers involved included K'naan, Nelly Furtado, Kardinal Offishall, Avril Lavigne, Lights, Drake, Fefe Dobson, Esthero, Jacob Hoggard and Justin Bieber, among others. It was released on iTunes Friday March 12, 2010 for purchase with all proceeds going to designated charities: World Vision, Free the Children and War Child.

Nozuka collaborated with the musical group The Slakadeliqs on their single "Love Controls the Sun" in November 2011. The song is part of the group's debut album The Other Side of Tomorrow. The group released a music video for the song featuring Justin and Slakah the Beatchild riding their bicycles on a rural road and partying.[10]

Nozuka has performed the song "Gone" in his live shows but has yet to record it for an album. Wu-Tang Clan member RZA came across the song and decided to sample it. RZA, joined by Kobra Khan, James Black and Justin, released the song, also titled "Gone," in October 2011 as a tribute to former Wu-Tang Clan member the late Ol' Dirty Bastard. The group filmed a music video for the single featuring clips of Ol' Dirty Bastard. The single is available on iTunes.[11]

Nozuka has also had various acting roles, including an appearance on Degrassi: The Next Generation as Chuck Hosoda, the fictional brother to recurring character Chester, played by Justin's real-life brother Philip Nozuka. Their brother George Nozuka also shared a small role in the same episode playing the third brother, Chad.

In April 2014, Nozuka released his third studio album, Ulysees. After spending 2010 touring, Nozuka took a break and started self-producing the album himself, resulting in a four year gap between albums. The album features a soothing, calm tone which is significantly different from his previous albums, and is backed by the singles "Right By You", "Sweet Lover" and "Iulius".

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak positions
US US
Heat
US
Indie
DU FR
2007 Holly
  • Released: March 19, 2007
  • Label: Outcaste
- 6 30 79 23
2010 You I Wind Land and Sea
  • Released: April 13, 2010
  • Label: Outcaste
118 1 13 40 45
2014 Ulysees - 49 - - -

Extended Plays[edit]

  • Blue Velvet Sea - EP

Singles[edit]

  • 2007 After Tonight
  • 2007 Mr. Therapy Man
  • 2007 Criminal
  • 2008 Be Back Soon
  • 2009 Golden Train
  • 2010 My Heart Is Yours
  • 2010 Heartless
  • 2014 Right By You
  • 2014 Sweet Lover
  • 2014 Iulius

Other releases[edit]

  • iTunes Festival: London - Justin Nozuka (live) - EP (2007) Available in the U.K.

B-sides[edit]

  • Ain't No Sunshine (Cover)
  • By Your Side (Cover)
  • Bad Fog Of Loneliness (Cover)
  • Comfort In Emptiness
  • Don't Listen To A Word You've Heard (Hidden Track)
  • Grandma's Hands (cover)
  • Hollow Men
  • I Don't Know
  • I Wanna Know
  • Lullabye
  • Motherland
  • River
  • Seasons Change
  • Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay (Cover)
  • Sorry
  • Why
  • Willow

Videos[edit]

  • Mr. Therapy Man (Holly, 2007) [12]
  • Criminal (Holly, 2007 and 2009) [13]
  • After Tonight (Holly, 2007) [14]
  • Be Back Soon (Holly, 2008) [15]
  • Golden Train (Holly, 2009) [16]
  • My Heart is Yours (You I Wind Land and Sea, 2010) [17]
  • "Heartless" (You I Wind Land and Sea, 2010)
  • "Save Him" (Holly, 2007) [18]
  • "Gone" (2011) [19] (with RZA, Kobra Khan & James Black)
  • "Love Controls The Sun" (with The Slakadeliqs, 2011)
  • "Keep Breathing" (with The Slakadeliqs, 2011)
  • "Right By You" (Ulysees, 2014)
  • "Sweet Lover" (Ulysees, 2014)

Guest contributions[edit]

  • Bad Fog of Loneliness, from the album Borrowed Tunes II: A Tribute To Neil Young (2007)
  • At Long Last You by Joe Sbrocchi f/ Justin Nozuka - Fatlabs Studio (2007) [20]
  • At the Same Time (Shad, TSOL, 2010)
  • Love Controls The Sun (The Slakadeliqs, The Other Side of Tomorrow, 2011)
  • Keep Breathing (The Slakadeliqs, The Other Side of Tomorrow, 2011)
  • Come Back Home (Perfeck Strangers, Series Premiere, 2012)

References[edit]

External links[edit]