Benjamin Falik is ambivalent about the idea of personal fame. That’s one reason the producer, songwriter and beatmaker chose the name Julia Lewis as a professional pseudonym: “It’s a little bit of smoke and mirrors,” admits Falik, a Berkeley native. “I like playing with people’s expectations.”
That drive to upend the expected is a through line in Falik’s work, as his reputation for making soulful dance music — emotional, human productions and remixes that blend hip-hop and electronic elements with a shot of his first love, jazz — has spread throughout the Bay Area and beyond.“On the Regular,” the first of a forthcoming series of releases with Oakland rapper Elujay, is a laid-back, bouncy new track for the waning days of summer. True to his collaborative nature, Falik created the initial beat with fellow DJ-producers Mr. Carmack and Mikos Da Gawd: “It had a distinct island vibe, and it made us all dance,” says Falik of the song’s easy feel. “Elujay heard it a week later and wrote a melody on the spot.”
Other upcoming projects include releases with Atlanta singer-songwriter Bosco (Fools Gold Records), a Lil B and Rexx Life Raj collaboration, and more production work with Mr. Carmack as well as Ryan Hemsworth.