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Wednesday, February 28th
The Hot Sweat
Justin Nozuka
Hana Pestle
Canada has spawned many acts including Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette, Michael Buble, Celine Dion and Sum 41.  Could we be adding singer-songwriter prodigy Justin Nozuka to that esteemed list?  The 19 year old is the nephew of actress Kyra Sedgwick and has bursted upon the music scene this year in 2008.  His sound is described as eclectic, drawing influences from acoustic pop/rock, Southern blues/soul, and songwriting that speaks to the mind and tells a story like no other.  It is hard to believe that someone so young can speak volumes in his or her songs.  The Canadian import is best known for his debut music video for the US market, 'After Tonight,' which is from his debut album 'Holly.'  The album has already been critically acclaimed in his native Canada and in Europe where it had been released over a year ago while it is just a few months old in the US.  Buoyed by appearances on networks like VH1, Justin may also take a seat right next to Jason Mraz, whom US critics have compared him to.

Spencer:Can you introduce yourself?
Justin:Hello, my name is Justin Nozuka.

Spencer:How did you get your start in music?
Justin:Um, I started, uh, playing music when I was about 12 years old or so. And, uh, what really started me out was my older brother was really into Michael Jackson and the whole scene there and so I looked up him a lot and uh sorta followed in his footsteps.

Spencer:Thats cool.

Spencer:When did you start playing guitar?
Justin:I started playing guitar when I was about 14 years old. Um, I learned guitar um at my boarding school that I was at from some friends from Mexico who knew how to play guitar so they taught me.

Spencer:Where did you acquire the southern blues and soul feel in Be Back Soon?
Justin:It just sorta came out that way, I think um I had been listening to a lot of that sorta stuff during that time and a lot of what I write you know sorta comes out the way it does due to the music that I am listening to at that time, you know so. Yeah I think it just came out that way I had not been planning on having it you know to be that way but it just sorta happened that way.

Spencer:How did you manage the perspective in Save Him? and whats the meaning behind it?
Justin:Um, it was sorta tough but my mom uh was sorta giving me guidance as far as, you know, putting herself in the same position that, you know. I was trying put it more like being an outsider you know what I mean, and witnessing it and seeing it from an outside point of view. But at the same time, um, being on the inside as well, you know what I'm saying, trying to just sort of get involved in the story and the relationship and such and so.. I had a lot of help from my mom actually on that one.

Spencer:Whats your favorite part about being on tour?
Justin:Um, my favorite part is just, you know, seeing different places. Getting to know some people from different areas, you know. Uh just the whole experience is great, you know what I mean? And performing every night is great, and yeah.

Spencer:Do you have a favorite song to perform?
Justin:Yeah, um, with my full band I like to play, we don't have our drummer on this tour unfortunately, but you know, when he's here, um, I like to play a song called “Down In A Cold Dirty Well.” And, uh, “Don't Listen To A Word You've Heard.”

Spencer:Small or large audiences?
Justin:Um, I like about, a medium, I like a small audience, maybe like 350 people. And a nice intimate club.

Spencer:Who inspired you to become interested in music?
Justin:Um, a bunch of different people. Like I was really inspired by Ben Harper, and uh, he was the first artist that really turned me on into doing, you know, um, songwriting on my own and to write on my acoustic guitar, and uh, sorta put things in a more authentic way. So yeah he was the first artist that really inspired me.

Spencer:Whos your favorite band or artist?
Justin:I'm really into Radiohead. I like Radiohead a lot, like what they are doing.

Spencer:Can you play any instruments other then the guitar?
Justin:Yes, I play piano somewhat.

Spencer:When did you write your first song?
Justin:Uh I wrote my first song when I was about 12 years old.

Spencer:Do you have a certain routine before you preform?
Justin:Uhm, yeah. I like to, uh, warm up my voice and uh I try to get excited, you know.

Spencer:If you could tour with any band, dead or alive, who would you chose?
Justin:Uhh, Bob Marley.

Spencer:Are you nervous when you are on stage?
Justin:Uhm, sometimes, sometimes I'm very nervous.

Spencer:Are your friends supportive of you?
Justin:Yes, very supportive of me.

Spencer:When did you know you wanted to start recording and performing in front of audiences?
Justin:Since I was probably 12 years old.

Spencer:Where would you like to be in 5 years?
Justin:5 years I'd like to be tour the world. I'd like to be able to play at nice venues around the world and I'd like to have two more albums, I think, yeah. And just, you know, doin some different stuff.

Spencer:Were you in band or choir when you were in school?
Justin:Yeah I was in the choir, I think, when I was real younger and in high school.

Spencer:Have you had any embarrassing moments on stage?
Justin:Yeah, I have. One time I was singing on stage and I burped into the microphone while I was singing, and I don't  know if everyone heard but  there were definitely a few people who were laughing.

Spencer:How old were you when you first preformed in front of an audience?
Justin:Uhm, 13 years old.

Spencer:Whats your philosophy on music?
Justin:Music, um, I think like, all forms of art, music should be straight from the soul and a very spiritual thing and uh, just be like yeah theres no real theme to music. Like the radio and the industry, call for poppy catchy songs, you know what I mean? It's reall whatever, what you feel like, you know, whatever, um, you feel. I guess expresses your soul, you know what I mean, it's just the outbreak of your words and your soul.

Spencer AbbottSpencer Abbott is a staff writer at Musiqtone. You can reach her at spencerabbott@musiqtone.com

(C) 2008 Musiqtone. All Rights Reserved. Any part of this interview cannot be used without written express consent from both the representatives of Justin Nozuka and Musiqtone.
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