Two years removed from his last album, Run to Waters, JUNO-nominated artist Justin Nozuka is finally back with a new single called “No One But You,” featuring rising UK star Mahalia.
At first glance, it’s an unlikely pairing, but Nozuka and Mahalia’s soulful stylings complement each other perfectly, coalescing over top a bubbling instrumental radiating with the butterfly feelings of a first date.
It’s feel-a-way, name-a-better duo type music, and just because the summer’s over, it doesn’t mean you have to stop swooning come fall. Relationships with others have been the only true constant during these trying times and the pair easily encapsulates love at first sight here.
“I wrote this song earlier this year about someone I was with,” explains Nozuka to us over email. “Within the first seconds of meeting this person, I just felt light and like I could really be myself. Most of the people I’m around, I find myself putting up a wall, but with her, it never came up. [I] felt like this person really understood me through and through.”
Connecting on the idea that there’s no one else you’d rather be talking to than a special someone, “No One But You” is an unexpected, yet blissfully honest, duet between Toronto’s own and Britain’s best. It’s a welcome surprise as the pair takes turns singing about what it means to open up and feel comfortable with another person while showing that it’s easy to connect when you know it’s real.
The visuals, directed by Julia Elizabeth Hendrickson, depict Nozuka sitting at home simply in the presence of his love interest. You can really feel the closeness of it all—the good, the bad, everything.
And while the 2019 Brit Award nominee is absent from the video, Mahalia’s presence is felt immediately. Her sublime voice introduces the track and meets Nozuka’s emotion-filled vocals halfway, going back and forth in the song’s call-and-response structure.
“Once the song was written and produced, I really wanted to have Mahalia sing it with me,” recalls Nozuka. “I was introduced to her music a few years ago after she shouted me out on Twitter. I just reached out on Instagram and she was like, ‘Send it over, I’m down!’ And literally within a week, it was done.”
2020 has been awful so far, but with songs like this, you’d be hard-pressed not to become just a bit more optimistic. The Toronto-based singer has been hard at work since his 2018 album, having recently created the Justin Nozuka App, via which you can keep up to date with his latest releases while you wait for more music leading into the new year.
Watch the video for “No One But You” above.