“Amy’s voice always brought the absolute best out of me as a producer and arranger. Not only did we have such a similar sensibility when it came to music, but her vocals and her material gave me license to create a sound that I never would have found without her. The day she came to my little studio on Mercer Street in Manhattan changed my life forever.
I will probably never again get to create something as singularly magical as the stuff made on ‘Back to Black’ and I have accepted that. I’m a pragmatist, it’s something that I accepted even before we lost her. Sometimes the starts align, and things just happen; Guy Moot happened to send her to my studio on her last day in New York, we talked about music, I came up with the chords to ‘Back to Black’, she stayed in New York a bit longer, she wrote the hook to ‘Rehab’ accidentally while we were walking down Spring Street.
I fucking hate the fact that I will never get to make any new music with her. I feel like a part of my creative soul has been removed, never again to be recovered. But then I have to remind myself how lucky I am to have even got to work on one album with her. I hate that fact that I lost such a good friend, someone with whom I could be on the same exact wavelength without opening my mouth. Someone who, when I was around, felt just a bit more whole.
Maybe part of it was the element of two kids from a North London Jewish background who were completely consumed by and obsessed with soul music. She used to joke and call me ‘the big sister she never wanted’. It was meant to be a joke but rang true. She felt like a sister from the moment I met her. And then, we made these records and got to share this ride together, the ride of her massive success, with me trailing the rear. Then, I saw it start to get the better of her and I did what I thought I could to try and get her out of harm’s way. And then, finally, I hated myself for not doing enough.
There’s no way I could do justice to my feelings for her in this short piece, I really haven’t yet fully come to terms with not having her here myself. But I think of her all the time and how she never ever compromised herself in her music and her everyday life. And I think to myself, if I can make music and live my life with a shard of the level of honesty and integrity with which she lived hers, I will be a better man because of it…”