"His eye catches something sparkly and he's gone" are just a few words used to describe the twenty one year old Justin Nozuka. About a minute before our interview back in November, Justin had been skateboarding outside Paradise Rock Club and had completely wiped out. His love for life and his guitar have gotten him a long way in the hearts of girls everywhere.
He was first featured on the popular series Artist You Should Know with his hit single, "After Tonight" and got some major radio play with a few others like "Golden Train" off of his debut album Holly.
About to release his sophomore effort in early 2010, I caught Justin on his second date of his latest tour that he just finished in promotion of the new album and while listening to the openers on the rest of the tour sound check, his childlike enthusiasm and charm was vivid as we talked about the new album, the way he goes about his songwriting process and his major influences.
I know the tour has just started, how was last night's show?
It was beautiful. It was just really good energy and very comfortable.
How do the shows in big cities compare to smaller towns?
Every show is different and lovely. Every city has their own vibe.
I believe your sophomore album is coming out next year or that's the plan. How does it compare to your debut, "Holly"?
Yeah, there are a lot of songs on the new album that were written at the same time as the first. A lot of the songs though are a little more open and free.
I know for you, 'After Tonight" was pretty big which was off your debut album and you were featured on VH1 at a very young age.
Well, it's all been a very natural progression so it hasn't been an overnight thing. We started just playing a lot of shows, a lot of touring, a lot of time on the road. A lot has happened in the last few years,a lot of evolution.
What first inspired you to start playing music?
It just felt really nice to sing.
If you weren't doing the music thing, what do you think you would be doing?
Um, I love dancing. I'd probably be doing something in the arts.
What's your favorite part about playing?
Just the chance, the opportunity to actually create the songs you really want to.
What are some of your major music influences?
Started at first listening to whatever was on the radio then it became people like Bob Marley, Sufjan Stevens, Bjork, Radiohead, Sigur Ros.
Besides from music, where do you find your inspirations for your songs?
I find inspiration from everything. It's really magical to kind of disconnect , give yourself up to all the stuff that doesn't exist.
Massey Hall in Toronto.
And finally your favorite treat?
Time and space to do your thing.
Just coming off of the tour where we had talked, Justin will be playing two dates in Toronto this next week and then who knows what's coming next! For now, add Justin to your list of most anticipated albums (Alternative Press just does not do justice!) of 2010 and check out his music on itunes and on his myspace.