Justin Nozuka is a Canadian-American Singer-Songwriter with music that can be best described as a soothing blend of acoustic-folk-soul laced with thought-provoking lyrics and heart string pulling angelic vocals. Yes, That’s a mighty long description and it’s a pretty accurate one in my books. Justin Nozuka has the ability to evoke emotion through his gift for storytelling and in all honesty, it’s second to none. His stage presence is mesmerising and if you ever get the chance to see him perform live, I highly recommend that you do.
Painted a picture of how it’s supposed to turn out ~
Last Month saw Justin Nozuka’s European tour land at The Garage in London and you can bet your sweet bottom dollar I was there. If only you knew how long I’ve waited to see Justin Perform live. It’s been well over a decade and I have to say it exceeded my expectations and left a lasting impression. I live for making memories that last a lifetime and this was definitely one of them.
Supported by Ferris and Sylvester; a London based duo hailing from Streatham, the night got off to a great start. If soft folk meets powerhouse blues sounds like something you’d enjoy then definitely check them out. There’s something magical about home-grown talent. I love how they paint pictures through their songwriting. If I had to pick my personal favourite number of theirs (although it’s hard to choose) I would have to say Better in yellow and London Blues. Trust me ~ you’ve never seen a more grounded, hardworking and talented duo that can do it all.
I saw the ocean and I felt myself soften
The neverending pacific swell ~ Hourglass
Opening with ‘Down in a cold dirty well’ and working his way through his impressive back catalog of songs, Justin implemented delightful doses of new songs such as Reverie, Laury and All I Need (A personal fave) into his set. I loved that his set comprised of songs backed by a full band (amazing musicians) for songs such as ‘Swan in the Water‘ and ‘Carried you‘ but then stripped back for an acoustic set for songs such as ‘Criminal‘ and ‘Golden train‘. It was clear to hear and see that the authentic quality of his older songs that engaged and locked fans into his music over 10 years ago, overtime has still remained. Each song holds such significance and that’s precious.
We were moving Our hands to the starry night ~ All I need
Highlights for me would have to be hearing Laury Live, I mean you think you understand a song but then you hear it live and the conviction in the lyrics and atmosphere blow you away. Justin also performed ‘Right by you’ from the album Ulysees which he referred to as experimental and that makes me love that album even more now. I’m listening to it with brand new ears. He also asked what we’d like to hear to which I bellowed out September Grass – You know how a certain song transports you back to a different time and place – September grass takes me back to a time where that was the only song on my phone and all was well in my world. Listening to Justin sing and play guitar brings on an instant calm and that was very much highlighted in his last performance of the night; Sail Away Momma. Tranquil moment. It was a magical experience and one I’ll always remember.
I went to a party once and they were playing R&B classics from the 90s and someone started shouting over the music “This is when music was music!”. That’s how I feel about Justin’s music; It’s individual and it’s hard to come by these days and I just wish there were more artists like him; humble and true. I rarely say this about anyone but Justin is an inspiring individual with such a pure and honest heart.
Emerald in the sea calling out to thee ~ Run to waters
If you’re new to Justin and his music there is no better time than now to jump on board. May 18th marked the release of his new and highly anticipated album; Run to Waters. The release process was beautiful as Justin took audiences along with him on his journey which saw him tour Europe and wind up in the Netherlands on the same beach that the album cover (photographed by his friend Brendan Ruck) was taken. An hour before the clock struck midnight Justin streamed a very relaxed listening party via Instagram live. There’s something special about being a part of those encapsulated moments that makes them unforgettable.
Oh, love, I’m on my way ~ Right By You
The album is jam-packed full of peaceful and nostalgic tones. It is fabulously produced and captures that inner glow you feel in the present moment when you recall your happiest moment from the past. And then there are songs that have the opposite effect; a humbling bitter-sweet feeling when recalling the end of a chapter in your life or hope for the future.
I’ll be adding highlights from the gig to my Instagram highlights section so make sure to check that out if you’re interested. I’d like to round up by saying congrats to Justin on the new album and thanks for taking us all with you on your journey. Run to Waters is available to stream, download and purchase everywhere now. Click the link here.
If you want me to
I’ll be right there
If you need me to
I’ll be right there – Laury