Amy Winehouse’s brief, but brilliant singing career left an indelible mark on soul and pop music before her premature passing in 2011. But extra footage from the Asif Kapadia-directed documentary Amy depicts her as a child in hopes of a career in a wholly different genre: hip hop.
At the age of ten, Winehouse formed Sweet ‘n’ Sour with friend/singer Juliette Ashby. And in the film’s additional footage, which is available on iTunes Extras today and on DVD/Blu-ray on December 1st, we can see Winehouse in her earliest stages as a recording artist.
Rolling Stone notes that producer Alan Glass, the stepfather of Juliette Ashby, brought Ashby and Winehouse into the studio to record three of their hip hop tracks: Glam Chicks, Spinderella, and Boys… Who Needs Them. These previously unseen clips show the duo in the studio, recording the first of what would become the first of many studio sessions for Winehouse in her short life.
“So much of the power of the film is really about [Juliette and Amy]’s relationship,” said Kapadia to Rolling Stone. “Amy’s a kid with a kid’s voice, but she could do it. She had talent even back then. Later in life, they were pulled apart and everything changes [for Amy]. Her friends are still there, but they’re distant. They’re in another world, but they couldn’t stand being around while she was harming herself. Sweet ‘n’ Sour is nice because it’s them doing their version of Salt-N-Pepa. Amy’s obviously sour [laughs], but they take it really seriously.”
Kapadia further explained that the footage cements the long, deep-rooted friendship Ashby had with the late singer. “Juliette said they were best friends, but everyone said that. Sweet ‘n’ Sour, in part, was the proof.”
There are 17 previously unseen scenes in the doc’s extra footage, also including Winehouse’s first U.S. show in New York, interviews with producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, and a State Department press briefing explaining why the singer’s visa to attend the 2008 Grammys was denied.