A rare demo recorded when Amy Winehouse was 17, “My Own Way,” is just starting to make its rounds online. Gil Cang, a producer who worked with the late singer as she was coming up, released the track yesterday on YouTube—and it’s not something her fans will recognize.
Gone is the singer’s trademark raspy contralto. In its place is a saccharine-sweet lilt that’s perfect for pop, underscored by the early-noughties R&B production: shimmering and glossy. There are also no hints of the soul and jazz inflections that had catapulted Winehouse to stardom. But for a 17-year-old who apparently finished the song in three takes, it’s pretty damn special.
“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,” Cang said in an interview. “Amy came to see us, opened her mouth and just blew us all away.”
Listen to “My Own Way” here: