Romel Williams, the founder of Enviyon Entertainment, a studio that offers recording, mixing and visual services, shared with the Crusader the early trials and triumphs around his entertainment company.
Williams is from Country Club Hills, and he started Enviyon in 2010 out of his garage. “We started by recording local artists from the neighborhood post work hours. Prior to having the proper stationary equipment, we traveled to peoples’ homes and recorded them there using two laptops, a keyboard, and a microphone.
We ended up having to move to the studio space as our client list grew and we needed more space. At the time, I was working a full-time job and decided that I need to go all in on Enviyon, so I resigned from my position and moved into the space that we are currently in.”
Williams’ first client was a guy named Mike. “He lived on the East Side of Chicago, roughly 15 miles from the garage. We did not know him personally, and the first time we met was when he needed some help recording,” Williams said. “He called and said he didn’t have transportation, so I loaded up my 2002 Ford Explorer with my mobile studio (two laptops, one keyboard, a four-track mixer, and a microphone) and set up in his basement and recorded him.”
Williams said that he earned $50 from that job and then packed everything back up into the Ford and headed to the studio to mix it the best way he could. “I burned the song on a CD and mailed it to him! I never heard from him again, his number was eventually disconnected. I hope he enjoyed it.”
Enviyon Entertainment initially grew from funding from Williams’ full-time job, and after a time he was able to pay his bills from the business income. “I maxed all my credit cards (about $55,000 to get enough equipment to fill the space). Once I began to see more income than I actually needed to survive, I paid the credit cards back, and the rest I saved until there was enough to open another space. This process was repeated four times, and now we have four studios.”
Williams is pleased to now be able to make a difference in the lives of the people with whom he works. “I figure, the bigger we grow, the more people we can help.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Williams to adapt a new product called Enception. “This allows us to record people over Wi-Fi, while they are in their homes. It allows for actual interaction between Artist and Engineer, and the final product sounds as close as possible to physically being in the studio.”
Other measures include limiting the amount of people in a room; all artists and staff members are required to wear a mask; artists must give engineers 6 feet of space while they are working; and plexiglass dividers are placed behind the engineers to serve as sneeze or cough guards.
Williams says that there are big plans in the works for continued training and growth at Enviyon going forward. “We plan to expand into other areas that we feel could benefit from our brand. We plan to travel to different areas and cities to inquire about their current needs and demographics.”
For more information about Enviyon Entertainment, visit www.enviyon.com.