Producer Jerry Wonda: ‘Maria, Maria’ Was The Toughest Record I Ever Worked On!

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Jerry-Wonda

 

The name may not sound familiar, but his work behind the production boards is instantly recognizable. Jerry “Wonda” Duplesis is an all-around renaissance man in the music industry. Not only has he been churning out hits for your favorite stars for more than 17 years, Jerry Wonda has branched out in to entrepreneurship. He opened the Platinum Sounds Recording Studio in New York City in 2001. The studio has become the hot studio in NYC to record.

The Urban Daily ran into Jerry Wonda at the 2013 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards and briefly spoke to him about his long list of producer credits, why making Carlos Santana’s “Maria, Maria” was so arduous, his new label Wonda Music, and why his artist Olivia doesn’t make too many appearances on “Love & Hip Hop New York” anymore.

TUD: You have a serious catalogue of hits. How does that feel when you take a step back and look over your career?

JW: Man, you just feel good especially when you’re on the street and someone says, “Yo, I really love this record!” A lot of times their favorite record isn’t your favorite record. Me? I don’t have a favorite record because every song means something to somebody. I like knowing my songs have blessed somebody at some point in time. Also, I’m really excited about what I’m working on with Jennifer Hudson and what I’m doing with Ledisi.

You made an appearance on “Love & Hip Hop” when you were working with Olivia. Is she still signed to your label?

I’m still working with Olivia. She’s in the studio right now and doing branching out and doing other things.

We don’t really get to see her on the show too much anymore.

Well, she’s really working on different things. Olivia is a busy woman. Besides music, she’s an entrepreneur. People do music and also do other things. Music is one thing, but you have to understand that people need to get out and do other things besides what they’re known for.

Jerry Wonda & Olivia In The Studio

You work very closely with Wyclef Jean. What was the toughest song for you guys to create for an artist?

I can tell you “Maria, Maria.” That record was dope and easy to make, but when you’re talking about mixing–that’s where it got tough because we have to go back and forth to make sure that we have the sonics right. When you work with Clive Davis, you have to really be on point.

I was just asking people in the office, so I’m glad I can ask you. What happened to The Product of G & B?

You know, a good thing is that I met with them about a month ago. Right now, they do have a single out in Europe. This is the thing that I love with Europe: even if you aren’t doing well in America, you can still go to Europe and still have a hit. They’re on tour right now! They’re still doing shows and making money.


What was the first album you bought with your own money?

The first album I bought with my money had to be Sade! [laughs] I bought Anita Baker. I bought some P-Funk record. I bought a lot of Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder–you that’s where Wonda comes from. I just have a vast catalogue of music all started by Sade.

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