We had the good fortune of connecting with Todd Drootin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Todd, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Since I was little I knew I’d never thrive in a typical 9 to 5 setting – a failing of my own, nothing wrong with a normal job! So I’ve always set out to find ways to keep on a schedule and lifestyle that works for me. For about a decade that meant making music, hitting the road to play shows, getting TV licensing deals, and doing whatever it took to make being a musician a viable career. When I decided to move into having a record store, this built off my past as a musician while giving me a way to do something cool for my “forgotten” community of Granada Hills. There’s not much fun for younger adults around here and I am set on changing that. A record store was an essential part of my growing up and education and we are looking forward to opening the doors to ours in the near future. And in the meantime I’m still banging away at music, planning a 4 night online festival called Sikestock at the end of April to celebrate various forms of psychedelic weirdo sounds!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My plans for a record store are much like my history as a musician – I like it weird! I like high art and low culture, I like incredibly meaningful things and total trash. I embrace this and I think this is what makes both my music and my work as a record dealer feel so personalized – I have great love for so many different things and it brings me real joy to share that, especially when I can turn people on to other stuff..
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s a ton of great stuff in LA but probably better people to make recs than a 43 year old dad living in the deep north valley. Personally, I love the backroads here! Find me with any free time cruising the 126, San Francisquito Canyon, the Mojave area, Little Tujunga or more. I think it’s nothing less than a miracle or modern science that there is so much open space so close to LA. I think people forget!
Want a more standard rec? There’s a no-frills looking food court in Oxnard with incredible vegan options you wouldn’t expect. And vegan sweets around the corner! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
At the beginning of COVID I realized that the record store would not be opening its doors anytime soon. So I started these sales called “Feeding Frenzies” on my Instagram account and they absolutely blew up. I’ll put up a record for sale and multiple people will try to claim it right away. So I really need to thank the Feeding Frenzy crew for an amazing 2020.
My pic – it uploaded upside down!