The maturity of Justin Nozuka's music, a soulful blend of R&B and pensive singer/songwriter folk that recalls both Nick Drake and Lauryn Hill, belies his tender years: Nozuka was only 18 when his debut album was released.
The son of a Japanese father and American mother (actress Holly Sedgwick, who coincidentally happens to be Kyra Sedgwick's sister), Nozuka was born in New York City in 1988, the sixth of seven children. Nozuka's older brothers were musicians -- George Nozuka, three years Justin's senior, released his debut dance-pop album, Believe, in 2006 -- and after the family moved from New York City to Toronto, Ontario after his parents' divorce, he began to explore music himself. Learning to play guitar from a classmate at boarding school, Nozuka began writing the songs that would make up his debut album when he was only 15. Playing gigs on Toronto's active folk and singer/songwriter circuit while still in high school, Nozuka attracted the attention of the British indie label Outcaste Records (Joss Stone, KT Tunstall), which signed the youngster for his 2006 debut album, Holly. You I Wind Land and Sea followed in 2010. Looking to further develop his sound, Nozuka built a home studio and took his time writing and self-producing his spare, elegant third album Ulysees, which was released in early 2014. ~ Stewart Mason