Growing up, Brian Witkin was surrounded by beautiful music. His parents were local San Diego musicians and his father was a founding member of Sha Na Na, the band that played right before Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock in 1969. Those stories carried over and gave Brian a passion to make music and help others create it. At a young age in 2004, Brian opened his first retail record store in Mira Mesa and then grew it to be Pacific Records, a company that includes recording studios, engineering services, CD replication, screen printing and talent buying services, while its primary focus remains as an independent record label and music publisher. This laidback beach lifestyle label continues to grow through some recent partnerships with Valley View Casino, Gig Town and ReverbNation. It has been able to place its artists on several TV shows and has more than 10 releases lined up for 2015.
Q: If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
A: I can relate most to Quailman from the Nickelodeon cartoon “Doug.” He is an unconventional superhero whose powers are very much human -- patience, intelligence and speed.
Q: Which album that you recorded are you most proud of and why?
A: That is difficult question to answer, as I’m proud of all my artist albums. In particular, I am proud of Lindsay Perry’s “Dancing with the Devil,” which debuted at No. 2 on the iTunes blues charts. She is also an artist that embodies the San Diego lifestyle: She is a pro surfer, musician and model. I am also proud of Sandollar’s “Roller Coaster Ride” which debuted at No. 6 on the iTunes reggae charts. Their music - described as beach rock - also resonates with me as a native San Diegan.
Q: If you had to choose one song that represents your life or who you are, what would it be and why?
A: I’ve been listening to a song a lot lately by Steven Ybarra. It’s called “Stand” and has a powerful message about persevering during difficult times. It’s an analogy for my life, both personally and professionally.
Q: What’s the best thing about doing business in San Diego?
A: Everyone is laid back and relaxed. I also have a front row seat watching the San Diego music scene grow into a thriving community that will soon rival L.A.
Q: If you could sit down and have dinner with one musician who would it be and why?
A: Paul McCartney because he’s been a music icon for decades. I would love to get his perspective on how music has changed over the years and where he sees it going in the future.
Q: Describe your perfect day in San Diego?
A: Early a.m. surf session, followed by a productive day at work, band practice and then coming home to my wife!
Q: If you could only bring three things to a deserted island what would they be and why?
A: Wife, surfboard and my acoustic guitar (in order of importance) -- that’s all I really need to be content.
Amber Mesker is an entertainment and lifestyle reporter for DiscoverSD. She loves providing readers updates on Hollywood gossip, San Diego fashion and cool weekend events. You can follow Amber and laugh at her fun, crazy life at @ambermesker