Listen to a rare demo recording of a pre-fame Amy Winehouse aged just 17
Gil Cang, a London musician and producer, has released a rare and previously unheard demo of a 17-year-old Amy Winehouse.
The song entitled ‘My Own Way’ was written by Cang with co-composer James McMillan and was recorded in September 2001 in a bid to attract record label attention prior to Winehouse signing to Island Records.
“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,” Cang said. “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.”
He added: “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, the iconic musician who left a major imprint on the landscape of contemporary music before she tragically passed away at the age of 27, began writing her own music when she was just 14-years-old after playing around on her brother Alex’s guitar. From that moment on, the spark had been ignited.
With a strong musical pattern running through the history of her family, with her maternal uncle working as a prominent professional jazz musician and her grandmother, Cynthia, being an accomplished singer with the roots of London jazz running through her veins, Winehouse was destined to follow her creative vision.
Recording demo tapes and sending them out to anybody who would listen, Winehouse was determined to get her unique sound out to the masses. Blending neo-soul rhythm with blues and jazz, the singer added a contemporary and pop music edge to a classic sound. Here, we revisit where it all began with one of her earliest ever recordings.