Justin Nozuka: Local and Lyrical

I have a soft spot in my heart for this young Toronto west-ender. Justin Nozuka was born in New York in 1988 but raised in Toronto. During his most recent concert at the Pheonix Concert Hall, Nozuka expressed his love for Toronto’s west-end, especially Kensington Market, which—according to Nozuka—is “the heart of Toronto.”

One evening, I was bar-hopping in Kensington with some friends, and we passed three guitarists who were set up on a curb along Augusta Avenue. My friend—who happened to be a freestyle rapper—joined in, and the four of them had an impromptu jam session while a crowd gathered. I’d later learn two of the three musicians were Nozuka’s brothers, who also work in the music industry.

I admire Nozuka ‘s accomplishments thus far; his debut album Holly has reached international acclaim and peaked at number six on the US Heatseekers Albums chart. Still, I’m certain we haven’t seen the climax of this talented singer/ songwriter’s career. Keep your eye on this Toronto boy—he’s destined for great things.


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