Justin Nozuka used to sit and listen to music over and over.

That’s how he found his passion for the art.

I used to sit and listen to something like Lean On Me all day and pretend to be Bill Withers,” he said through a smile as he led a group of nearly 20 people in a rendition of the 1972 hit soul song.

Nowadays, Nozuka spends his time writing and making music. The now 28-year old folk singer saw an early rise in his career with his debut album, ‘Holly’.

“It’s always great to just be able to sit down and be creative. This exercise that we did, it’s fun. It’s great to see everyone come and enjoy themselves.”

It’s been 10 years since ‘Holly’ debuted, and Nozuka has since worked towards self-producing his own work. Following his 2010 tour, he took a break. Producing music is a process:

You have to be able to cut things. You can’t be too attached. There are days where everything is great and you’re on a roll, and then there’s the opposite. Good and bad, it’s how you handle that environment.

It took 4 years for ‘Ulysees’ to be released, but it was met with, while limited, very high critical praise.

He has a new album that is being set for release likely in August.

At this point in his career, Justin says he’d just like to get back on the road:

I want to tour. Be able to do it for the rest of my career. That’s the goal I have in place. I typically do North America, parts of Asia and Europe. Those are my major markets.

It’s the first time he’s been to Yellowknife and the first time he’s been this far north. He landed in town on Thursday night and he said it’d been great so far.

A participant offers ‘coffee bean’ as one of their words for the exercise.

Through a partnership with Ice Wireless, Justin was able to set up a music workshop for Yellowknife amateur musicians to attend. Justin was able to work the attending crowd to help try to explore and develop their talents as artists.

It’s always great to just be able to sit down and be creative. This exercise that we did, it’s fun. It’s great to see everyone come and enjoy themselves.

The exercise he mentioned was a group exercise of throwing random words onto a sheet of paper and making a song out of what was available.

This gave us the great lyric, “friendship, your lovelips fall through the sky now.

So, basically gibberish.

That said, there is something so literally poetic about a group of people being able to make music out of nonsense.

Heck, The Beatles changed the world that way.

Justin will be performing at 3pm on Sunday at Folk on the Rocks. There is also talk that the song they made during the workshop (spontaneously titled, ‘Blue Serenity’) will be performed as well.