The Artistry of… Amy Winehouse

So much to give and with so little time to give it in — it seems to be almost the mantra of the blindingly artistic and creative. It can seem as if we are only to know them and be gifted by their bodies of work as a short burst. A lifetime including challenges and pressures, and demands radiating from both the internal and external; conflicts affecting health both physical and mental, wrestled with, took merciless tolls, racked up emotional and physical scars, and yet through all the adversities there was a beautiful soulful outpouring of deeply touching selfless artistry.

The sound of Amy Winehouse was from another time, or at least it evoked that. A huskiness with a kind of provocative seductive quality. All of it seemingly framed in tones, instead of tears, of sadness. It was this mix that made her artistry so very attractive and beautifully distracting.

Contemporary, she was instantly classic, a very real thing. A wide following made her as addictive to her fans as an artist as her own afflicted personality may have been. So much lush, penetrating beauty, fuelled by her honesty, which was as raw as her struggles; she did not shy away from acknowledging the battles. Bitter-sweetness would be the sensation, if you could imagine a generous bite of who she was. So much given in so little time. A short burst of truly groovy.

The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish.