Despite Universal Music Group’s claims that all Amy Winehouse demos had been destroyed, a lost track the late singer recorded in her teens has just surfaced.
The Camden New Journal reports Gil Cang, composer and head of Tuff Scout reggae label, has shared a newfound demo from 2001 that features a 17-year-old Winehouse. The track, titled “My Own Way,” was written by Cang and James McMillan; Winehouse reportedly “sang it as part of a demo she was making to persuade record companies to sign her up.” Cang says he’d “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.” Have a listen:
Cang says he and McMillan “were struck immediately by her talent—it was a real jaw on the floor moment. We were like wow, yes.” Winehouse knocked out the track in just three takes. Of their collaboration, Cang says “[We] chatted about reggae, ska, ’60s female groups. When you record with some one for a day or two you have to get the right sound very quickly and Amy knew what we wanted. I always think how I would have loved to produce more of her music—she was properly amazing to work with.”
Winehouse died in 2011 at the age of 27. In 2015, Universal CEO David Joseph said he’d destroyed all of her demos to prevent them from being released or edited posthumously. “It was a moral thing,” he told Billboard. “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.”