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All About Amy (Black Sheep Magazine Interview 2006)

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#1 Uno


    It's bricked up in my head

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 11:38 AM

I'm really surprised this one never got posted before ...

All About Amy
By Richard Bamford | 28 July 2011

Black Sheep's Richard Bamford takes a fond look back at his chats with Amy Winehouse back in the summer of 2006.
On the 23rd July 2011 came the news that Amy Winehouse had passed away, in what police described as an 'unexplained death'.

The news made me morosely sad; as did her recent, much televised start of her European tour.
It's all too easily forgotten just how talented she was. She not only paved the way for the Adele's and Duffy's of the world but laid the tarmac and steam-rollered her way onto the scene with Frank back in 2003.

Though she was immensely talented and left us way too early, her passing, I think, was sadly inevitable. The Amy I met was sweet, fragile and slightly insecure – not the hard-faced, drug whore the majority of the ignorant naysayers would have you believe. People who are quick to condemn, generally have little knowledge of mental illness and certainly no concept of the decease that is addiction.

On the second time we met, Summer 2006, in a pub in Camden, of course, I decided to bestow her with gifts: Count Basie & Frank Sinatra live and a Special's Live at the BBC album; both of which she didn't have, but was very grateful for. She promised me, as a thank-you, to give me a pash then not beat me too embarrassingly at pool. While she did stain my cheek with her lippy, she also annihilated me at pool.

After my pool thrashing, she invited me to attend a secret gig at Proud in Camden the following Friday, for friends and family only.
This was one of my most memorable gigs. Firstly 'cos as I arrived with a friend, Amy recognized me and flung her arms around me. Secondly 'cos the gig was part acapella and the rest her singing and playing the guitar, to a very small crowd. She laughed and joked and gave a spellbinding performance. I was in awe!
It's always sad when someone looses their life to mental illness or addiction, but, I did feel an attachment to Amy, but I think that was just how the real Amy was; warm, friendly, naive and naughty. Rest In Peace, Lioness.

The Interview

"Frank was a bit wank for me. The overall tone of the first album was like me saying, 'Fuck you. You fucked up our relationship. It's all your fault,'" states a surprisingly fragile and demure Amy Winehouse in relation to her award-winning first album, from the dingy yet friendly corner of her local Camden drinking haunt. "The new album [Back to Black] is me realizing that though you have a bad relationship, it's not down to fault, but more down to circumstance," she says.

Amy's matured demeanour certainly compliments the depth and vocal style her new album has to offer. Winehouse puts most of her previously outspoken, sassy ways down to her insecurity. "I don't really say things for the sake of it anymore coz I don't smoke weed no more. I'm not self-doubting anymore. I'm a drunk. I love everyone," she jokes with a Sybil Fawlty-like cackle and a languid slurp of her drink.

Surrounded by all the things she currently loves, Ska, alcohol, men and pool, Amy certainly seems very relaxed in this environment. Twitching her white Converse All-Stars along to The Specials soundtrack playing on the Jukebox, she affectionately comments: "I love The Specials so much. I was asked once why I never do covers. I do feel like I've still got loads to say, but when I thought about it, it made me think how much I'd like to cover them. I've just recorded a cover album of their stuff with Mark Ronson. It's gonna be the nuts."

Amy freely admits that before recording her new album, she immersed herself in pools of old music, ranging from 60s girl groups, like the Shangri-Las, to classic Doo-Wop from The Five Royals and, of course, The Specials. These influences aren't solely apparent in her music. Her big hair, wild and busy like a beehive drunk with honey, hangs neatly on her Fred Perry polo shirt and the red braces that hold up her cling-film-tight denims. Though she claims to have always dressed like a skin head, she's keen to point out: "I don't set out to do things in a way. It's always down to what I've been listening to and how it rubs off on me. How deep I feel it."

Lyrically, Amy Winehouse has always told it like it is, penning exactly as her life prescribes. No change there then, as her new single, 'Rehab', is indeed a true depiction. "I only went coz I wanted to please people," she explains. "I asked my management, 'what's gonna happen if I don't go, still?' They said they'd come back tomorrow," smiles Amy with bemusement. "I get there and this feller starts asking me why I'm there and do I think I'm an alcoholic. Then [he] starts telling me about his life story. The thing is," she continues: "People that go to rehabilitation don't have music in their lives. I can wake up wanting to die - I just have to listen to Dinah Washington or some Ska for a bit and I'll feel on top of the world again."

Recently it seems more press attention has focussed on Amy's new slender figure, than on the voluptuousness of her music. Though Amy is happy to discuss her alcoholism and the fact that she thinks she's a manic depressive – the actual reason she went to rehabilitation - she refutably quashes any anorexia rumours, putting her weight-loss purely down to the fact that she replaced the weed in her life with rigorous gym sessions. "Gyms are great coz all the sweaty men around gear me up and get my adrenaline going," smiles Amy cheekily.

Adamant that she's grown up and moved on from her bad-mouthing teenage years, Amy professes that the last thing she wants to do is take herself too seriously. "Too many people do," she claims. "I was at the MOBO after-party the other year. Everyone was there holding up the wall," she recounts. "Keisha from the Sugababes was standing there with her arm around Natasha Bedingfield, and I said, 'Oi, Keish, let's go and 'av a dance!' She looked at me like I was on crack. Lauryn Hill's another one," she continues excitedly. "I went to her last gig and she kept everyone waiting for ages. When she finally came on stage, I shouted out, 'Lauryn, people have fucking paid fifty quid to watch you fanny about!' Then she does this bit in the middle where she starts reciting poetry, while fifteen musicians sit on the stage looking gormless. I do love Lauryn," she elucidates. "I think it's just coz she's been a mummy for so long - she's just too nervous now. She smokes [weed] too, and that just makes everything worse." Obviously keen to get her point across she feverishly continues: "I don't know if this is true but I heard she makes people call her Miss Hill. If people started calling me Miss Winehouse that would make me nervous. I'd be looking for the bank manager coz no one else calls me Miss Winehouse," she jokes.

In the past, Amy has been accused of being a Jewish Princess. "I'd see myself more as a real Jewish mother. I'm definitely not a Jewish Princess coz that's usually associated with being high maintenance." To validate her argument further, she explains what a typical Amy day consists of: "Most normal days, I wake up with my boyfriend. He goes to work and I clean the house. Then, I have a bath, do my hair and face and go out. I tend to run about all over the place all day. I'm just a normal girl," she sighs. "I can't stand drama queens. I feel like saying to them, 'Save the headache. Have a drink and shut the fuck up!'" she concludes.

Though Amy has a reputation for being quite hard-faced, she's actually very caring. Quite often, after a night out, she will hustle everybody back to her place and cook for them. "I love looking after people," she adds. "Some people, boys especially, just don't eat well. My boyfriend is a chef and it's a great challenge for me to try and make him more exotic things."

It is obvious, after speaking to Amy Winehouse, that she's a very passionate person, and cares deeply about people and her music; especially on stage. Amy's live performances can be, for the unsuspecting audience, a little like losing your virginity. That's not to say that they are brief; more that they start off a little awkward, shy even. As momentum builds, however, you're soon swept away in a wave of awe, experiencing tingling senses that you didn't realise you had. "In fact," says Amy, "it's better than sex. Sex lasts for about twenty minutes. You can be onstage for ages. I don't tend to notice that I'm being sexual," she claims. "I do have a habit of lifting up my dress and playing with the microphone in a certain way," she adds coyly.

Surprisingly, she has no difficulty in excluding the influence of her education at Sylvia Young's Drama school from playing any part in her onstage sexual exploits. In fact, as she recalls with a mischievous giggle, "I remember my ballet teacher, whose name was Nina. She used to wear these see-through yellow trousers, with no knickers. You could see her pubes through her trousers," she laughs. "Really gross!"

Amy is just twenty-three years old. Though she's clearly been through a heck of a lot, she fights on with an unbridled passion that displays just how tough she really is. When things are good she remains forever hopeful and optimistic about her future. "I'm on a roll now. I reckon in the next ten years I'll've made another six albums. I can do it and I really wanna do it too." A woman who has lyrically always been mature has now also moved on mentally, leaving the headline grabbing, slag-off fests to the likes of Lily Allen. "Fuck it, as long as I've got music in my life, I'll be cool."

Quick Fire Dirty Dozen (Questions)

1.) Do you have a rampant rabbit?

Amy: Yeah!

2.) Where do you keep it?

Amy: I've got it in my little Chinese box next to my bed.

3.) Any other sex toys?

Amy: I used to have loads but when I moved I only kept my essential things and my rabbit is essential.

4.) How often do you use it?

Amy: It really varies from week to week. I did make myself cum this morning.

5.) Do you ever incorporate the rabbit in your sex-life with your boyfriend?

Amy: It's very rare for me not to cum, but on the odd occasion I do get it out.

6.) Are boys any good with them?

Amy: A lot of boys are clumsy with it and don't know what to do. They can be rough. You have to guide them.

7.) Do you have any tricks that are guaranteed to make you cum?

Amy: Oh god yeah. There's this spot between your belly-button and your noony [points to vagina], if you press in there, while you're having sex, that's where your G-spot is. When you press there, it pushes your g-spot out and you're more likely to cum.

8.) Do you have a favourite sexual position?

Amy: No! I love 'em all. Depends how submissive I'm feeling or how tired your boyfriend is.

9.) Any bondage exist in Amy Winehouse's life?

Amy: NO! I think you have to be quite bored in a relationship to do all that.

10.) Sex or music?

Amy: Music. Definitely. Sex is a primal thing. Music is a mind stimulator.

11.) Who do you love the most in the music business?

Amy: There are people that I love but I wouldn't necessarily rate their music. I did a chorus that Mutya [Sugababes] wants to use. Mutya's the nuts. She don't suffer fools. I love Terri Walker. The girl can sing too. Carleen Anderson is a really good friend of mine. Mica Paris I LOVE! I LOVE Kelly Osbourne. She's one of my best mates. I met her in Trash in London. When I first met her and Sharon, I went up to them at the BRITS, absolutely ****ed. I told them I wasn't a tosser, just a bit of a fuck head. I then poured all my love on them. Kelly's like me, she likes people that make her laugh.

12.) Who do you hate?

Amy: No one! I don't bare a grudge no more. People that I hate I don't give headspace to. It doesn't matter to me.

R.I.P Amy Winehouse, 1983-2011

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Amy, if you are up there listening, thank you for sharing the incredible soundtracks of your life ...

#2 amylove



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Posted 23 February 2014 - 03:03 PM

Oh Lord...LOL
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#3 HelloSailor


    I said, "No, No, No"

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 04:40 PM

good read, I'd never seen it before.
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#4 Cecilia


    What kind of fuckery is this?

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 09:57 PM

I enjoyed reading that, thank you. Of course it repeats some stuff from other interviews, but there were a few unique bits here ;) I think so many interviews and articles got published in the days after her death it was inevitable we would miss a couple...
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#5 dykehaze


    What the fuck

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:49 AM

How can anyone not love this woman?
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#6 Bogart



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Posted 25 February 2014 - 04:57 AM

She was so open-minded, love that


#7 PhemiosRK


    Plz, at least Im not openin 4 a c* like Kanye

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 12:55 PM

Reading this the sky suddenly cleared n the sun came out. Hahaha, made my day
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''If you could think of a four letter word to call someone, wouldn't it be better than 'brat'? ''

#8 ancre


    Just friends

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 11:03 AM

Thank you for sharing.

Oh, wait, have you noticed these lines?

"I love The Specials so much. I've just recorded a cover album of their stuff with Mark Ronson. It's gonna be the nuts."

Does it mean the cover album exists? If so...
"I trust my instincts, and that’s what has got me where I am, y’know?" (Amy)

#9 ladyamy


    No Greater Love Than What I Feel For You

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:11 PM

Thank you for sharing.

Oh, wait, have you noticed these lines?

"I love The Specials so much. I've just recorded a cover album of their stuff with Mark Ronson. It's gonna be the nuts."

Does it mean the cover album exists? If so...

That caught my attention, too. Can you imagine it actually exists? That'd be awesome.
Really funny interview. Amy being naughty LOL
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I’m a firm believer that we all meet up in eternity

#10 HelloSailor


    I said, "No, No, No"

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 10:46 AM

Maybe she was just referring to Monkey Man, You're Wondering Now and Hey Little Rich Girl which were on the deluxe album...or maybe there's more!

#11 OinkaOinka


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Posted 06 October 2015 - 03:52 PM

Wow Amy was really open about her bedroom stuff there.. haha for a minute I was like am I reading that right? :o :D this is whats so awesome in her though, she speaks openly to everyone like to a friend, especially if they ask her about the right stuff that interests her and not publicity and money and fame related stuff <3

#12 Love is a losing game

Love is a losing game

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 05:44 PM


#13 OinkaOinka


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Posted 16 October 2015 - 03:52 PM

This is kind of connected, was Amy really bisexual? http://bisexual.org/...being-bisexual/

#14 pearljo


    ♪♫♫ Yes

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 08:14 PM

Covers album?  I hope so.  Those questions kind of veered off to sex and I wasn't sure they were going to get back on track.  lol  Crazy girl had no inhibitions.  I guess I missed that post first time around.  No worries, OinkaOinka will find it.  Noony?!  Haha!

#15 ivycherrywine



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Posted 10 January 2024 - 03:45 AM

@amyinourhearts this is the interview where Amy mentions Lauryn!!

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