A previously unsurfaced Amy Winehouse demo, recorded the day before 9/11 when the singer was just 17, has appeared online.
The track — titled “My Own Way” — was one of many sent to record labels while starting out in the industry.
The majority of Winehouse’s unfinished demoes were destroyed following her death in 2011 to prevent posthumous releases.
However, Camden-based musician Gil Cang — who wrote the track with James McMillan — kept the newly released recording, deciding to upload the song onto YouTube. Listen below.
McMillan, a Grammy-nominated producer, told The Independent the song had been recorded the day before the 9/11 attacks when Winehouse was aged just 17. After the atrocity in New York and Washington, he said, they failed to return to it.
“We always had a strong feeling about it, and it seems so relevant now,” he said.
“She sounds amazing, so natural and singing with such flexibility and real understanding of the idiom. Mitch, her dad, is a fine singer and surrounded her with all the greats on record from a young age. She was just a regular 17- year-old north London girl.”
In an email from South Africa where he is currently on a recording project, he said the reaction from Winehouse fans to Cang’s decision to post the “lost recording” on YouTube had been very positive.
“[There’s been a] really beautiful response,” he said. “I think it means a lot to a lot of people , lyrically, and her singing is so fresh.”
Speaking about the track with the Camden New Journal, Cang explained how the track was released in 2001, before Winehouse signed onto Island records.
Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music Sign up now for a 30-day free trialSign up
“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,” he told the local paper.
“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.
“We were struck immediately by her talent – it was a real jaw on the floor moment. We were like wow, yes.”
Of deciding to release the track now, 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.”
There was only one posthumous Winehouse release, the B-sides and covers collection Lioness Hidden Treasures. Universal UK CEO David Joseph destroyed tall the other demos, saying it “was a moral thing.”
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies