Amy Winehouse has had startling success in the music industry, with her soulful voice earning her international praise. From an early age she was engaged with music, even forming a rap duo Sweet n’ Sour as a takeoff of Salt n’ Pepa. Her album, Back to Black, has performed beyond all expectations, selling over nine million copies worldwide, and Winehouse has earned herself many awards in the process. At the 2008 Grammy Awards, she became the first British woman to win five awards in one evening, topping the Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Best New Artist, Song of the Year and Record of the Year (both for the single Rehab).
The music that first made Winehouse want to become a musician was “proper jazz,” performed by artists such as Thelonius Monk and Sarah Vaughan. At the moment, she says “I listen to girl groups,” particularly those from the 1960’s, saying “I like The Shirelles, The Shangri-Las” also admitting to a penchant for a more poppy sound, telling t5m “I love The Bangles!” Listing her musical heroines, Winehouse tells t5m that “Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington” are her top two.
When asked who she makes her music for, Winehouse coquettishly replies “me!”, adding that this means she is her “own worst enemy” and “own best friend” rolled into one. She is also very obviously influenced by the support of her father, saying “me and my dad are like brother and sister.”
Talking of her spectacularly successful collaboration with music producer Mark Ronson on the hit single Valerie, Amy Winehouse she describes what seems like a perfect musical match. “He likes getting a song and then doing his thing over it and I like writing a song myself. The melody, the words, the lyrics, the chords, I like bringing a song to someone and then them doing their own thing over that” she says. “We were both a bit spoiled.”