Todd Nathanson is AKA Todd In The Shadows, an excellent YouTube creator. His in-depth videos are smart and funny, shining a spotlight on unexpected music stories. With nearly 500,000 subscribers to his channel, he’s among the biggest music-centric creators on the platform.
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
My career path has been… complicated. I was a big fan of many film and music critics growing up (honestly maybe more than I was a fan of actual film or music) and I started reviewing movies and songs in my college paper (I was eventually editor-in-chief). I never imagined that it would pay anything so instead I got a job at a small-town paper; eventually I realized that a steadier job in “hard” journalism would never pay anything either. I quit and started pursuing a teaching degree, but I never wound up with a full-time job, partially because I was more invested in a new hobby I had developed.
“Angry” comedy reviews were popular on YouTube at the end of ‘00s; my friends and I were big fans. There were many of this type but I noticed that they mostly reviewed films and video games; music reviewers were basically absent, and I realized this was a void I could fill. Since I was still pursuing a teaching job and I didn’t want my online life to follow me around, I did all my reviews in a silhouette profile that I thought would make me stand out. I started in 2009, during a time when pop music was at its most obnoxious and overexposed, and it made for easy material for angry rants.