I find that I can be a very selfish person when it comes to music. I can’t explain it. Whenever I hear something or come across some artist/group that is really amazing, I tend to keep them to myself. I get this kind of feeling that if they get really big, they will get tainted or messed up some how. I wish they would be financially successful beyond their dreams, but still on the level where I can see them in a small intimate venue. I remember the first time I saw a video of Amy Winehouse I was like WTF… who is this chick?… Then I did what I normally do. I youtube stalk them and try to find everything they’ve ever sung, rapped, written, anything.
There are some people with amazing voices, but they have NO F*^king soul, so it doesn’t matter what notes they hit, they don’t move you in the slightest. Then there are the Otis Reddings, (who was Only 26 years old when he died), but he sang like a 90 year old ex- slave who’d been beaten and broken down and hurt like no one else ever had. His voice was beautiful, no question about that, but his soul was always exposed. You could feel his heart breaking, or him ripping your heart out of your own chest when he sang some of his songs. I mean, Otis Redding could sing the ABC and I would cry. Same with people like Chaka Khan, Bobby Womack, Anita Baker, Shirley Caesar, Patti Labelle, Janis Joplin and Sade. Of the newer generation, it is Erykah Badu,Lauryn Hill (when she’s on her meds), Jill Scott, D’angelo (when he’s off the sauce), and the generation after that, we have Fantasia when she gets to completely wile out, Adele, John Legend …. and a few others. One of those few others was Amy Winehouse, who unfortunately lost her battle with her demons today.
I remember thinking woow the first time I heard her sing.I couldn’t believe that sound was coming out of her. It wasn’t just her singing, it was the pain and the agony that I could feel sometimes when I heard her sing. Then over the years she morphed from this beautiful, curvy woman, to become a mis-guided shadow of her former self. I hoped that she would disappear for a while and cut the people who had no real interest in her besides dollars from her life and get back to herself, but that will never happen now.
She always seemed so tormented.You could hear it when she sang. I mean, we will never know what ultimately drives people to do what they do, we can only speak for ourselves, but I know that deep pain can make people no matter how talented or how beautiful or how wealthy they are, feel like nothing. They just never seem to see what other people see and unfortunately, never know their own worth. It’s terrible, not because she is famous or anything silly like that, but because she could have been so great and used her talents for soo much good. She wasn’t one of those manufactured smoke and mirrors singers, she could really, really sing. It’s like Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain rolled into one.., but no one can save you if you don’t want to be saved….
So now, I do what I always do, when things go contrary to what I would like. I remember a situation how I need to, in order to accept it and move on. This is my coping mechanism. I choose to remember her like her performance below and just hoped that when she passed on, she was in a mentally peaceful place, even if it was just for a few seconds, when she slipped from consciousness to afterlife.