Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Apr 27th 2010 4:30PM by Jessica Lewis
"Most songs that I hear that are coming out of the mainstream are material based," Nozuka tells Spinner. "There's no real dimension of spirit, there's no real emotion there. It's an illusion, ultimately."
While admitting fellow Canadian singer Justin Bieber is "harmless" and a "very sweet guy," Nozuka feels the pop industry is tainting music that could otherwise have a positive impact.
"It's sad that music has become poisoned in that way," Nozuka says.
Nozuka, a 21-year-old singer/songwriter from Toronto, has spent several years in the music business. He started singing when he was 12 and attended Etobicoke School of the Arts -- the same school that members of Broken Social Scene, Metric and Stars attended. After 'Holly' was released, Nozuka was nominated for New Artist of the Year at the Juno Awards.
He also grew up with siblings who have spent time in the spotlight -- brother George has an R&B career of his own, while Phillip is an actor on the television show 'Degrassi: The Next Generation.'
Nozuka was wary of the industry even before the release of 'Holly' -- Universal Records offered him a record deal, but he turned it down. "It wasn't the right time, it wasn't the right place, it wasn't the right move," he says.
Nozuka is now with Coalition Entertainment, a division of Warner Records. He owns his songs, licenses them to his management, and in turn they license them to Warner. He says he's happy with the deal because it provides collaborative relationships both ways.
Recently, Nozuka was one of dozens of Canadian musicians who collaborated on the Young Artists for Haiti song, 'Wavin' Flag.' The track, written by Canadian hip-hop artist K'Naan -- someone Nozuka looks up to -- has rapidly taken on a life of its own, bringing the 2010 Juno Awards to a rousing conclusion as well as being named the official song of the 2010 World Cup.
Though he feels what's going on in the pop industry is a representation of how the world flows naturally, he's still occasionally overwhelmed by how fast things around him are moving.
"Sometimes I fear the world and I fear the way that we are living," he says. "It's a challenge to live consciously in such a world. [But] I think music is actually an important way to connect to something greater than money and material things."