On June 12, 2023 , Multi-Platinum Grammy Award Winning Producer Jerry Wonda Duplessis, The Honorable Mayor Ras Baraka and the Office of Violence Prevention & Trauma Recovery, and Brick City Peace Collective presented The Other Side of Newark’s Video Screening & Dinner Event in Newark, New Jersey.
Additional support was provided by The Newark Board of Education and Baseball Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera.
The event celebrated the outstanding accomplishments and impact of the arts of over 2000 students.
The red carpet event celebrated the outstanding accomplishments and impact of the arts of over 2000 students and took place at Central High School in Newark, NJ.
10 music videos showcased the talents of the students who participated in The Other Side of Newark’s program.
The lead single off the album is “They Won’t” click here to watch the music video
The debut music release of the full album entitled, The Other Side of Newark is FREE and streamed on Spotify and other services and features a variety of artists, including spoken word poetry by Mayor Ras Baraka, West Ward’s Councilman Dupré “Doitall” Kelly, and rappers from Newark’s wards, J.1.DA, Khalil Jibran, Haze Heffner, Bigga Bz, Dangerous MBK, Unicorn151, Kellz Merlin, Its Pearl and singers Monique The Star and Fatimah B.
The Other Side of Newark Program began in August 2022, as a peace-building and anti-violence music initiative, Mayor Baraka said,
“This is about giving artists in Newark the opportunity to express themselves freely in a way that sometimes isn’t celebrated and highlights the City, our artists and creates a space for their stories to be told. It is using music to drive unity and peace in our communities. When this is consumed by the larger public they will know Newark is strong and always will be. These artists did an outstanding, phenomenal, and amazing job. We celebrate the pioneers of the Other Side of Newark and the positive impact they are making using music and the arts.”
Music Producer Jerry Wonda Duplessis added,
“The program is changing students’ lives through music and the arts, giving them confidence, self-esteem, and discipline for learning, improving social skills, and a better path to success after High School. The students worked as a team in an environment where everyone had to demonstrate their manners and no cursing or foul language was allowed within the program or any of the songs. Most importantly we are making an impact in our community and promoting peace and unity.”
This special event celebrated the students participating in the program, many of which faced life challenges and adversities. Through their collaborative work, they have learned a life lesson in finding better ways to succeed.
The Other Side of Newark anti-violence and arts education advocacy program is a collaboration of the great City of Newark, Multi-Platinum Producer Jerry Wonda Duplessis from Wonda Music, the Honorable Mayor Ras Baraka, The Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery, Brick City Peace Collective with the support of Newark’s Board of Education and Newark Public Schools.
Music producer Jerry Wonda Duplessis and students who participated in the The Other Side of Newark program are set to perform at New Jersey Symphony Hall on Wednesday, June 21 at 6PM as part of the North to Shore Music Festival.
About The Other Side of Newark
The Other Side of Newark is a music program created by the Honorable Mayor Ras Baraka and Multi-Platinum Producer Jerry Wonda Duplessis (Fugees, Whitney Houston, Shakira, Justin Beiber + many others) Office of Violence Prevention & Trauma Recovery, Brick City Peace Collective with the support of Newark’s Board of Education. The music program explores anti-violence, peace-building, and unity themes within Newark, New Jersey. The students in the community-based program created a full album release by participating in the music-intensive head-up by a multi-platinum Grammy winner. Jerry Wonda Duplessis. The master producer, who works with many Grammy Winning music talent, created the music program to showcase The Other Side of Newark. The debut release features a variety of artists, including spoken word poetry by Mayor Ras Baraka, West Ward’s Councilman Dupré “Doitall” Kelly, and rappers from Newark’s wards, J.1.DA, Khalil Jibran, Haze Heffner, Bigga Bz, Dangerous MBK, Unicorn151, Kellz Merlin, Its Pearl and singers Monique The Star and Fatimah B. The songs are all original compositions, produced by multi-platinum producers Jerry Wonda, Ar Keyz, Billionaire Beatz, and Ymmi and mixed by renowned engineers Young Guru and Serge Tsai at Platinum Sound Recording Studios. The songs deal with various topics, including the challenges of growing up in a violent city, the importance of education, and the power of music to heal and unite.
About Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis
Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis is a Haitian Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum music producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful and musically adept producers to emerge from the hip-hop era of the early 1990s, earning 3 Grammy Awards, over 16 Grammy nominations, a publishing catalog of 300+ titles, and 300+ million single and album copies sold. He has written, produced, performed, and directed for artists such as The Fugees, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Shakira, Carlos Santana, Melissa Etheridge, and Justin Bieber, among many others. He has scored and produced songs for films and documentaries such as the Golden Globe-nominated “Million Voices” for Hotel Rwanda. He currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Grammy Producers & Engineers wing. In addition to his work in music, Duplessis has developed an extensive portfolio of business ventures and investments, including founding one of New York City’s most iconic and long-standing music recording studios, Platinum Sound Recording Studios, and his own production company, Wonda Music. An avid philanthropist, he has also founded organizations such as the One World Project, WeThePlanet, and the nonprofit Yéle Haiti, which assists Haiti in education, health, environment, and community development. He is currently a member of the board of directors for the Newark Symphony Hall. He is working with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on “The Other Side of Newark,” a music program that provides educational and collaborative opportunities for underprivileged youth throughout the city.
Photos by: Wonda Music