A new album from Amy Winehouse will be released months after her death, hitting stores in time for Christmas.
A handful of journalists listened to the 12 track record, entitled “Lioness,” in a London recording studio.
The album’s producer, Salaam Remi, was present, introducing seven of the new songs. Several of them are polished versions of earlier demos with Remi adding back-up vocals and other instrumental tracks to fill out the sound.
Remi defended his process, saying it was what he’d have done “with any recording.”
“For me, working on a record was a healing process,” he said. “I had a big brother relationship with her—with me, there was a musical space where she could be herself and not worry about anything else. And with this record: I wanted to get it off my chest. I knew what material was there, and I didn't want to rehash the pain that I feel now, in 12 months' time. These songs: I'd like people to know them. I didn't want them sitting on a hard drive, wilting away.”
The new songs include “Between the Cheats,” which many believe is about her ex-husband Black Fielder-Civil’s infidelity, as well as “Like Smoke,” which features a guest verse by rapper Nas, who Remi said was one of Amy’s favorite artists.
“Lots of people are going to want to remember other aspects of her life, but what we have here highlights that musically and creatively, she was the tops. She was a great musician and a great songwriter as well. She wasn't a musical fluke," he said.
Also on the album is an earlier version of her hit song, “Valerie,” and a cover version of the Shirelles’ “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”
A portion of each sale of “Lioness” will go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which helps young men and women battling addiction.