Music producer Mel Lewis spent eight years working out of Philadelphia’s legendary The Studio, where he’d operated his own independent facility within Larry Gold’s. But when he moved across the Delaware River, he struggled to find a comparable setup in New Jersey.
“I figured I’d build an office in my home,” Lewis said. “I worked there for many years until my wife and I had a few more children. So I got kicked out again.”
As much as Lewis knows the value of a musical household—his father played trumpet, and his mom maintained an extensive record collection—he also recognized it was time for a new office. Once he discovered the former projectionist’s break room at The Factory, he had it fitted out in less than a week.
“During my days at the house, it was so conflicting,” Lewis said. “Being here, I was able to think, play my music loud, and get back into business. Everything has changed for the better.”
A 20-year veteran of the industry, Lewis has worked with acts like The Roots, The Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Jaden and Willow Smith, and Alessia Cara. He’s toured as a producer, engineer, and deejay. And now, based out of a full-service production studio within a few blocks of his Collingswood home, Lewis says he feels more rooted than ever in his business. At The Factory, inspiration is abundant.
“It feels good to walk in here every day and know that everybody is doing what they love to do,” Lewis said. “I can hear movement; people doing stuff, sawing, building downstairs.
“It feels alive, and it inspires me to know that even though we’re not all doing music, everybody’s being free and being creative and doing what they do,” he said.