Justin Tokimitsu Nozuka
Nozuka was born to a Japanese father and a Canadian mother of English ancestry. His mother's half-sister is actress Kyra Sedgwick and his first cousin twice removed is Edie Sedgwick. Nozuka's mother raised him and his six siblings as a single mother. Nozuka is the brother of R&B singer George, actor Philip, and singer/songwriter Henry.
Nozuka began writing his own songs at age 12. The earliest of his songs on Holly, "Supposed to Grow Old" and "I'm in Peace," were written when he was 15. While attending St. Andrews College, an international boarding school in Aurora, Ontario, Justin learned to play guitar from classmates. He then went on to the Etobicoke School of the Arts, where he graduated from in 2007. His musical influences stem from artists such as Lauryn Hill and Marvin Gaye.
With help from a fellow Canadian artist, Damhnait Doyle, whom he met at a song writing workshop, Nozuka was introduced to Universal Records talent scout, Allan Reid. He recorded three tracks through Universal with Bill Bell as producer, leading Universal to request that Nozuka sign with their label. However, he decided he wanted to "record an album on (his) own, with (his) own freedom". Justin Nozuka in concert 07 November 2009 in Annapolis, Maryland (U.S.)
In 2007, Nozuka released his debut album Holly. The album is named after his mother who helped and supported his chosen career in music. The album has eleven songs to it and includes a hidden track following the final listed song "If I Gave You My Life". Many of Justin's songs deal with mature themes such as the song "Save Him", which is a fictional account of a woman abused by her husband. Another track, "Down in a Cold Dirty Well", is about his perspective being stuck in a well, watching his life flash before his eyes. "Criminal" describes the story of a drunken man facing the consequences of throwing a bottle into a street "where children play with bare feet", and suffers from the overwhelming guilt. In February 2008, Justin was nominated for a Juno award in the category of "New Artist of the Year", following the commercial and critical success of his debut album.