AMY WINEHOUSE PASSED her first songwriting attempts off as poems, but according to her early collaborators she was always determined to write her own material.
The singer’s beginnings are examined in depth by new documentary AMY – The Girl Behind The Name. In a clip you can watch below, the singer’s former manager Nick Schmansky suggests that, despite an initial shyness, she always knew she wanted to be a songwriter.
“We’d recorded quite a few demos and I started talking about whether she would ever consider writing,” he recalls. “She said she [was] not sure about writing songs but she’d written a lot of poems. She knew full well she’d been writing songs, but they were very personal.”
The documentary was made by the same team whose Senna – about the Brazilian Formula 1 driver – won the BAFTA for Best Documentary in 2011. AMY adopts a similar format, mixing rare and previously unseen footage with a selection of spoken word audio, including archive material featuring Winehouse herself, plus new interviews with those who knew her.
“She knew full well she’d been writing songs, but they were very personal.”
Amy Winehouse’s management
The film, which is due to be shown at the Cannes film festival on May 13, has attracted criticism from the singer’s family ahead of its cinematic release on July 3.
Her father, Mitch Winehouse, has attacked its approach to the final years of the singer’s life, suggesting in a recent television interview that: “These guys have got a duty as her biographers to portray her life, not to pick chunks of it to suit them, which is basically what they’ve done.”
Director Asif Kapadia responded to these remarks, insisting the film is balanced. “We approached the project with total objectivity,” he explained. “During the production process, we conducted in the region of 100 interviews with people that knew Amy Winehouse: friends, family, former partners and members of the music industry that worked with her. The story that the film tells is a reflection of our findings from these interviews.”
Watch the clip.
For more on the film visit www.amyfilm.co.uk.