On Sept. 28, I had an interview with Chris Cotter, the owner and producer of Tribe Sound and Taylor Made Media.
The entertainment business in West Chester has been affected by COVID-19 for many months now, with only a few able to function normally throughout the pandemic. Tribe Sound Records, a recording studio in West Chester, is one of these businesses. I was able to get a small interview with Chris Cotter, the owner of Tribe Sound, Taylor Made Media and the recording studio.
After giving our greetings, we went straight into business, where I asked him about how he was doing. Cotter’s response was, “Futures always remain sort of unclear right now,which is an unfortunate byproduct of global pandemics.” Much like other businesses in the area, Cotter has had to contend with the purpose of his business and the unfortunate circumstances of what a pandemic can do to his line of work.
“So, in the spring, we opened a brand new studio just out of town, our second location for the recording studio, so it’s a little bit of unfortunate timing.” And it truly is. According to Cotter, many artists are hesitant to be recording in a confined space due to the traditional COVID-19 contagion-prevention strategies that currently exist, i.e. social distancing. That isn’t even considering his second business, Taylor Made Media, which has been hit harder than even the studio. “As far as Taylor Made Media is concerned, all of our shoots have been cancelled for the year overnight in the spring.”
In the midst of his businesses being suppressed by the pandemic, Cotter had to think of new ways to keep his businesses and himself afloat. Utilizing new ways to both produce content and improve old ways to keep his business up a running, Cotter has stated that they have “started to do things like live streaming, so the video production company in particular has been able to stay afloat with streaming events.” The studio itself has been in operation as well, with some restrictions. “Everybody’s curious about what we do to protect them.” Such restrictions include having only one artist in the booth at a time, having groups when they are in the recording booth socially distant to maintain a more safe environment and instructing people using the space to wear masks as much as possible. This is how even a band was able to come into their studio and record without too much hassle. “If you told me this time last year what we’d be going through this year, I would’ve thought you were crazy.”
When going into money, specifically how they were doing financially, this was his response: “Our overhead is pretty low. So far, we’ve been pretty alright.” He stated that with all things considered, he viewed the coronavirus as a good learning experience. Despite the fact that he has saved money for an occasion similar to this, it still caught him slightly off-guard. He said that the virus has pushed him to work harder and consider new ways to keep his family and himself afloat. “We have to kind of watch our money a bit more. I think that’s a good thing. I think it’s good to have a moment to pause and think about what we kinda do as a community and as a household, and I guess as a race.”
Chris Cotter, like many other businessmen and businesswomen in the area, has learned to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic in creative ways that allow them to still work despite the limitations caused by their line of work.
Edward Park is a third year student with a BsED writings track. EP909767@wcupa.edu