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Seneca News

May 8, 2020

Two proud Senecans have come together to make music that carries messages of courage and hope against the isolation caused by COVID-19.

Newmarket Deputy Mayor Tom Vegh, who studied bookkeeping at Seneca, and 22-year-old Patrick Smith Jr., an up-and-coming rapper and second-year student in the Child & Youth Care advanced diploma program, have created a music video along with a host of professional musicians, producers and editors, including Sam Reid of the Juno-winning rock band Glass Tiger from Newmarket.

The video, titled Newmarket United We Stand, has garnered more than 21,000 views on YouTube.

A remix of an old classic by Brotherhood of Man, the video features a chorus of more than 30 local community leaders, entrepreneurs, health-care workers and residents, each of whom filmed themselves on cellphones and submitted their work online. The production took three weeks to complete and all the work was done without any physical contact between the participants.

Mr. Vegh, who produced and directed the video, says he chose the song as its lyrics speak to anyone who is feeling lonely being away from friends and family. Mr. Smith Jr., who works in the recreation programs run by the Town of Newmarket and at 360Kids, wrote and performed his original rap verse which was added to the song. Mr. Smith Jr. is also a founding board member of the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association.

“I wanted to vibe with the youth, to let them know that though they are socially isolated due to coronavirus, they aren’t alone,” said Mr. Smith Jr., who found his passion for songwriting three years ago in a friend’s basement while composing rap verses for fun.

Mr. Smith Jr. and Mr. Vegh met in person for the first time only after the video was produced and posted online.

“I was introduced to Patrick by a common acquaintance and he was absolutely wonderful to work with,” Mr. Vegh said. “He wrote some beautiful lines.”

Patrick Smith Jr.

Patrick Smith Jr., a second-year student in the Child & Youth Care advanced diploma program, wrote and performed his original rap verse in the Newmarket United We Stand video. (Photo: submitted)