Amy Winehouse’s long-standing relationship with drugs and alcohol might have gotten the better of her, but producers who worked with the singer have revealed aspects of her personality that not many know about. Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, who handpicked twelve unreleased songs for her posthumous compilation, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, reminisce special moments while working on the tracks with the singer.
The duo compiled the collection after listening back to several hours of recordings that she had done over the past decade. “It’s been hard for me in a lot of ways because I spent a lot of time just listening back to everything we recorded over the last ten years, so I was like ‘wow, you know what?, somebody else needs to hear that’,” says Remi, adding, “She (Amy) was an absolute comedian and very witty and I want people to recognise how brilliant she was as a writer and lyricist.”
Talking about the first song in the album, Our Days Will Come, a lazy reggae cover of the original by Ruby & The Romantics, recorded during the time Winehouse was working on her debut album Frank, in 2002, he says, “While we were still in ‘jazz-mode’, I’d hipped her to this song, so we cut a version of it. Amy probably heard it once or twice, maybe a day before she actually recorded the song.”
It didn’t make to her debut album, but almost a decade since it was recorded, it was declared Record of the Week by BBC when it released last month. Another cover that features on the album is The Shirelles' Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. Says Mark Ronson, “Darcus Beese of Island Records, who signed Amy, had asked me if I wanted to produce this version of the song. I think it’s one of the best vocals she’s ever recorded.”
Remi also remembers getting blown over by her talent at their first meeting in 2002.“We sat down in my studio and I was like ‘so, what do you have?’… she pulled out a guitar and she started singing Girl From Ipanema and it lit up the whole room. This song also inspired Cherry(2003) and Me and Mr Jones (2006).”