“When you make a record, you live in that record for a few years, and potentially many years,”BOOK TICKETS
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.”
High Tide reflects his evolution from the youthful passion and funky, bluesy pop rhythms that permeated early songs like “After Tonight,” to a quieter, more contemplative sound that’s just as exciting — and perhaps more lush. Its songs share a sunny, yet nostalgic vibe, while conveying the kind of intimacy that comes only through the understanding of experience. They’re gentler, folkier, inspired by artists such as Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young and Howard — though of course, they still exhibit the gorgeous high tenor voice and singing style Nozuka developed as an adolescent listening to artists like Lauryn Hill, Marvin Gaye and Boyz II Men.
And the response, so far, has been positive, with fans expressing excitement and praise for the new music. Such feedback resonates deeply because, he admits, getting to this place wasn’t easy.
“I had started touring and releasing music when I was 16,” explains Nozuka, “My team and I had been working for five years pretty heavily, building momentum, and we had been growing pretty well, but at the end of the day, I had to stop touring and have a breather to take care of my well-being and my creativity. I just wanted to press ‘refresh’ and spend some time at home, get grounded, and make music that I was into.’’
‘’I’m really charged up,’’ he says cheerfully, just before a string of European dates. “I feel really motivated to get out on the road and play.”
Supports: Basciville & Laura Elizabeth Hughes
Cillian and Lorcan Byrne are two men growing up in a world that celebrates the short attention span. They are very much of this world, they understand it and indeed participate in this rush. Basciville however don’t operate in the world that you or I live in. They soundtrack a world that you or I aspire to. We all have glimpses of this world - where time moves at the pace that we dictate - where we have time to look around, time to breathe, time to truly live. Cillian and Lorcan are Basciville and Basciville makes sense of our world by stopping and looking around.
Laura Elizabeth Hughes
Hughes’ songwriting is mature far beyond her years, she captures moments of beauty, loss and hope in a way that makes them feel like frozen scenes from a play. But for many people, it is her voice that first turns them from listeners into fans. She sings with a glacial purity that effortlessly drifts over several octaves and send a shiver down your spine.
Having already been featured in Hot Press, The Irish Times, The Irish Independent and on national TV/radio, Laura Elizabeth Hughes is one of the hottest rising stars in the Irish music scene and a name you will hear a lot more of in the future. Her self titled debut EP is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Tower Records and direct from her official website. Buy her music, see her play live and remember where you heard of her before she becomes famous.