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Justin Nozuka Happy To Leave His Teens Behind

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009

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When he turned 20 in September, singer-songwriter Justin Nozuka lost one of his marketing hooks — being a teenager making music that sounds older than his years. And he doesn’t mind that at all.

“I’ve always tried to not really use my age,” says Nozuka, an American-born, Toronto-based artist who’s winning fans with his debut album, “Holly” — named after his mother, who helped to finance it — and its first single, “After Tonight.”

“Obviously, people try to use (my age) to promote me, and that’s cool and all, but I feel happy being out of that world. Now, I try to promote myself as a songwriter rather than a young guy who writes songs.”

Mostly Nozuka is happy to be writing his own music, which hews toward the Jack Johnson school of loose-limbed, casual but crafted pop. He started his musical life in Brothers Love, a “boy group” with two of his brothers that started as an a cappella troupe but evolved “into R&B/pop and then straight-up R&B stuff.”

“We were working with a producer in Toronto,” says Nozuka, whose aunt is actress Kyra Sedgwick. “We had a bunch of demos and sort of had our own thing going in that R&B world. It was kid of like Usher, even B2K, that kind of stuff. Then I went off to do my own thing, and I’m just happy with the way that’s going now.”

Justin Nozuka, Missy Higgins and Lenka perform Wednesday (March 11) at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $21.50 in advance, $24 day of show. Call (248) 392-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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