Hey everybody! Hope you’re enjoying your Monday morning. I’m nursing my MTV Movie Awards Hangover ( I overdosed on the internet last night after Robert Pattinson’s epic FAIL of a speech for Reese Witherspoon), but today’s MM artist is helping me get back to normal.
His name is Justin Nozuka, and he’s a Canadian singer-songwriter. You might remember his 2007 single “After Tonight” off his album Holly. That single had some success here and abroad, but Nozuka has sort of been kicking around the underground since then. He’s just released a new EP titled Blue Velvet Sea, which is a collection of live/ stripped versions of tracks from his 2010 album You I Wind Land and Sea.
Born to a Japanese father and American mother, Justin Nozuka is one of seven kids. He’d been writing songs since the age of twelve, but it wasn’t until some high school friends taught him guitar that he started writing songs that would eventually become Holly. Nozuka, who was just nineteen when Holly was released, has said that he is influenced by Soul legends like Marvin Gaye and Lauryn Hill.
That influence is obvious on Blue Velvet– from the ’70s groove of “You I Wind Land And Sea”, to the haunting, tribal drumbeat of “Gray.” This EP (and the LP its acoustic sessions were based on) coolly has a cool mix of earthy blues with folk sensibility. And Nozuka’s voice is raspy perfection. He’s like a more riff-tastic Jason Mraz. Check out this bananas live version of “My Heart is Yours” from Land and Sea:
My favorite YouTube comment on that vid:
Justin makes it seems so effortless. Singing, playing the guitar, walking, and looking cute all at the same time. How does he do it?!?!
I dunno, girl. I dunno.
In any case, I think you’ll be into this laid-back Canadian’s sweet tunes. They’re perfect for the summer. Give “Heartless” a listen and see if you agree:
Justin Nozuka’s EP, Blue Velvet Sea: The Sessions, is on iTunes now. Pick it up, along with his other two albums, and tell me what you think. I love comments! They are like little virtual high-fives! Have a great day! xx