“I’m a manic-depressive and drinking doesn’t really help me”
A voice like Aretha’s, a blasphemious vocabulary that doesn’t have to inferior with the one of an average dockworker and an exotic physique that dazzles many men and women. Phenomenon Amy Winehouse was brought in with her debut ‘Frank’ as the indie Joss Stone, with her new record ‘Back To Black’, the 23-year old Jewish diva from Camden crowns herself as a Diana Ross from hell.
Tutorial Amy Winehouse: she grew up with the pop from Kylie Minogue and Salt ‘N’ Pepa, but she already chose for the record collection of her parents when she was ten years old: Frank Sinatra, Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald. On her thirteenth, she enrolled in the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London – in her class also future popstars Billie Piper and the frontman from Busted – she got thrown out two years later due to a lack of commitment ànd a piercing.
She made her debut with ‘Frank, a jazzy record that sorely against her will classified her with Katie Melua – Norah Jones & Jamie Cullum (Winehouse about Cullum: ‘Lift Music, mate!’) After three years of silence, she strikes back with ‘Back To Black’: bathing in a fat vintage Motown-sound, Winehouse sings, in real time whiter than white, but qua voice blacker than black, about her daily tasks.
We meet Amy Winehouse in the offices of Universal in London. The rumours are right: the in times of ‘Frank’ voluptuous Winehouse is frightingly skinny. Elegantly wasted too: teased hair, black painted Cleopatra-eyes, skinny jeans and a t-shirt that shows off her full tattooed arms and breast. She’s watching a dvd of Smokey Robinson, ‘The Track of my Tears’ blares through the room. We congratulate Winehouse with her brilliant album, and what’s next is a hyperkinetic chain reaction of distract thoughts.
Amy Winehouse : ‘There wasn’t a clear direction in my last album: a song sounded like this, the other like that. There wasn’t a consistent style, it was just a jamble, some jazz here, some hip hop there. This record…I haven’t tried anything, the only thing I wanted was that it sounded like the same band playing all the songs, like it was recorded in one go. I wanted it to sound like those albums (points at the telly) were recorded: in two weeks.’
HUMO But that was not how it was done?
‘No, of course not. I cheated. It did take ages and ages, I wasn’t even there when the band came and played it live, I was somewhere between Miami and New York. It wasn’t even the same band, there were two. But I suddenly started to listen to all that Motown music, it’s wicked. I used to listen to jazz especially, but that’s over now. I know jazz, I don’t have to listen to it all the time any more.
HUMO What made you discover Motown?
‘Pool. I’ve done nothing but playing pool for more than a year. I didn’t feel like making music, I didn’t feel like doing anything really. I needed a break for a while. The original plan was to take three months off but it eventually became a year and a half doing nothing. It was so bad that my record company even came and asked me: ‘do you even want to make a second album’? And I said: ‘yes, but first I have to live my life for a while’. I’m very grateful that they let me do that.’
‘I just played pool. I mean, I still play pool, but for a year, I did almost nothing else but playing pool – every day solidly for like a year. And there just isn’t any jazz in a pub-juke box. I only heard sixties soul, and I loved it immediately. It’s so dramatic and atmospheric. And there’s the heartbreak of course: most of those songs are about how in love you are and how you would die for that person. I immediately thought: this is the shit. This is me, every Sunday of the year.’[FONT="]
Edited by Chloë, 29 October 2011 - 08:25 PM.