At least a dozen unheard tracks from Amy Winehouse could be released posthumously.
A spokesman close to Universal, the mother company of the singer songwriter’s label, Island Records, said the singer had put down the “framework” of around a “dozen” new songs.
Although Winehouse had not released any new material since releasing the Grammy-award winning Back to Black in 2006, she had been sporadically recording for the last two and a half to three years, he said.
“Amy had expressed an interest in getting back into the studio, and after some consultation everyone thought that would be a positive thing and a distraction from the other things she was dealing with,” he said.
“She had put down the bare bones of tracks and some were further along than others.”
When Winehouse was comfortable with a new track she would let the co-president of Island Darcus Beese, or the Universal chief executive, Lucian Grainge, listen to it, he added.
“People were getting very excited, quite frankly they were really good. We heard rough cuts and they sounded like vintage Amy.”
As far back as November 2008, speaking at the Music Industry Trust Awards, Grainge told the audience that some new material he had heard sounded “sensational”.
A source close to Winehouse’s management said it was believed there was “masses” of material around, perhaps enough for more than one album. “Amy was a writer, she was always writing songs. She had studios at home and would create demos. It seems that she was singing and playing drums to the last.”
Any songs were at a relatively early stage, he added. “They need to sit down with a producer and shake them into tracks,” he said.
The decision to release any new material would have to be taken jointly by Winehouse’s parents, her management and her label, he said, adding it was too early to consider a release date. He understood the songs were not a “huge departure” from her previous work, and were thought to be personal and autobiographical. “I know her dad sometimes worried about her writing because she had to dig it out of her soul,” he said.
In various live appearances in the last two years Winehouse is not believed to have played any new material. In July 2010 she said in an interview that her third album would appear in January this year, a deadline which passed with no release.
“The album will be six months at the most,” she said, saying the sound would be similar to the soul-infused Back to Black. “It’s going to be very much the same as my second album, where there’s a lot of jukebox stuff and the songs that are … just jukebox, really.”
Alexandra Topping, The Guardian