Singer-songwriter Justin Nozuka had a hit album at 17; by the time he’d turned 21, he’d opened shows for Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, John Mayer and Jason Mraz, appeared on Letterman, Kimmel and “Good Morning America” and earned his second Juno Award nomination — competing against Neil Young for Adult Alternative Album of the Year honors in Canada’s equivalent of the Grammys.
Not long after, Nozuka made a radical move: he stepped off the merry-go-round to replenish his creative juices and consider his future.
It turned out to be a wise decision. The time off gave him a chance to grow personally while exploring where he wanted to go artistically. On his well-crafted new Glassnote Records release, High Tide, Nozuka has chosen to look inward, to lovely effect. Produced by Chris Bond (Ben Howard), its three songs reveal mature, thoughtful lyrics and beguiling melodies, while hinting at what’s to come on an album unfolding in three stages.
“When you make a record, you live in that record for a few years, and potentially many years,” Nozuka observes. “I wanted to make something that I felt I could live in; something honest that I could be proud of and enjoy touring.”
Nozuka’s music also has that feel — a warm, uplifting vibe he describes as “a summery, nature-inspired, youthful-type energy.”