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Amy Winehouse demo recorded at 17 to attract labels is released online

The Guardian logo The Guardian 27/02/2018 Patrick Greenfield

Amy Winehouse Amy Winehouse An Amy Winehouse demo recorded when the singer was just 17 has been released by a London producer. 

Winehouse’s unfinished demos were destroyed by her label after her death in 2011 to prevent the creation of posthumous albums, but Gil Cang, a composer and musician from Camden, has uploaded a recording of the singer as a teenager to YouTube.

Cang told the Camden New Journal Winehouse sang the track ‘My Own Way’ – that he co-wrote with James McMillan – while trying to attract the attention of record labels prior to signing for Island Records in 2003.

Amy Winehouse © Getty Amy Winehouse “We’d been writing quite a lot of pop tunes, doing a lot of pop promos with various artists who would come in, many of various, dubious talent. 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. Amy came in to see us, opened her mouth and just blew us all away,” Cang told the local paper.

“We were struck immediately by her talent – it was a real jaw on the floor moment. We were like wow, yes,” he added.

Following the singer’s death in 2011, Universal released a posthumous album of B-sides and covers titled Lioness: Hidden Treasures. The album was not well received, so Universal UK CEO David Joseph destroyed the remainder of Winehouse’s unfinished demos.

“It was a moral thing,” Joseph told the Guardian in 2015. “Taking a stem or a vocal is not something that would ever happen on my watch. It now can’t happen on anyone else’s.”

On his decision to upload the song to the internet, Cang said: “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.”

Related: Amy Winehouse: Career in Pictures (GES)


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