How in the World Did This Amy Winehouse Demo Stay Hidden for So Long?

Seven years after her death, an Amy Winehouse demo recording has surfaced that dates back to when she was 17 years old.

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The writer/producer who finally let the song loose, Gil Cang, from Camden, London, is head of the reggae label Tuff Scout. Cang says he wrote “My Own Way” with co-writer James McMillan, and that Winehouse recorded the demo in September 2001 prior to signing to a major label.

Camden New Journal reports:

Composer and musician Gil Cang found the demo track called My Own Way he made in 2001 when Amy came to his studio in Hornsey Road. The singer, 27, died at her Camden Square home in 2011.

Amy, then 17, walked into the studio wearing a pair of jeans with ‘Sinatra Is God’ written in black marker across the bum, Mr Cang recalled.

“It was at a particularly dire time in the pop world—lots of terrible, terrible girl bands and boy bands and we had to make something for them,” Cang says. “Amy came in to see us, opened her mouth and just blew us all away. We were struck immediately by her talent. It was a real jaw on the floor moment. We were like wow, yes.”

How has this song stayed holed up for so long? Cang says, “I’ve had it knocking about for so long. I found it again last week and thought, I’ll put it out there so people could hear it.”

Winehouse’s vocal grate is there, but you can tell it’s an early recording, with its ’90s-R&B bounce, much springier than her later material. “I’ve never been in love before/ Such a foolish thing to be,” she sings. “Seems to me the price is high/ But I’ll keep my own company.”

According to Cang, the session was done in three takes and Winehouse sang flawlessly. “When we first spoke, she liked the same sort of thing as us. We chatted about reggae, ska, ’60s female groups,” he says. “When you record with some one for a day or two you have to get the right sound very quickly and Amy knew what we wanted. I always think how I would have loved to produce more of her music. She was properly amazing to work with.”

Culture Editor, Jezebel

DISCUSSION

derbyduck42
DerbyDuck42

The head voice and synth music is very early-00's, but the soul is so there. (Damn, she was only 17 when she did this?)

Amy Winehouse is the one celebrity death that pisses me off. She was capable of so much more, and was surrounded by people that cared more about the money she could make than they did about her. Breaks my damn heart.