Amy Winehouse was an infinite soul filled with the gift of song and the vocal instrument to articulate her unique gift, which often enhanced the lives of those she shared it with. Nas was one of those souls that her music touched and penetrated. The 39-year-old rapper-actor met the real Winehouse as their kindred spirits converged. Now the talented rapper has had a chance to interpret the experience and share it with all of us. Thus the release the video “Cherry Wine,” featuring the late Amy Winehouse – is intended not only as an artistic expression but also a way to know them uniquely.
The two recorded together in 2008. One song, “Like Smoke”, appeared on Winehouse’s posthumous #1 album “Lioness: Hidden Treasures.” Both songs were produced by Salaam Remi (Frank,Back to Black).
Nas said the song came from “God” and “Amy”. When asked if Remi had the song from the recording sessions, he replied: “Yeah, Salaam worked on her last album, and they were working. We don’t even have an explanation for how it happened. It was just magic. It just happened. It was supposed to happen. She made it happen.”
He also said he wasn’t originally on board with a posthumous duet for “Like Smoke” with Winehouse. He added: “Part of me didn’t want to do the song… Amy and I share a birthday, so she was my sister. And she was just so much fun to be around. She would say things about well-known people in the industry that she didn’t like and it would just crack me up… We were all hoping she would pull through and come back.”
Winehouse and Nas had a dynamic working relationship, and he thought it was necessary to have her featured on “Life is Good.” “It was important for me to have Amy because that’s what we were doing. That was the direction me and her were going in, to work,” Nas told MTV News. “It’s hard to talk about it because she’s missed and she’s one of a kind. I think it’s a magic moment between us, me and her, and may she rest in peace and love.”
The late singer appears projected against a wall in the promo for the posthumous track, taken from Nas’ tenth studio album ‘Life Is Good’. The Jay Martin-directed video is the fifth to be made from the album.
On November 12 “Amy Winehouse At The BBC,” the new posthumous Amy Winehouse boxset, will be released. Three of the four discs are compilations of live performances on DVD and the other is a live CD album. It includes a selection of performances from Live At Jools Holland, a number of tracks filmed at T In The Park and other festivals and the documentary Amy Winehouse – The Day She Came To Dingle.
Nas says goodbye to another doomed love of his life, Amy Winehouse, in the visual for “Cherry Wine.” Playing bartender/eulogist as video of Winehouse is projected onto the brick wall of a dark speakeasy, Nas raps, “Your smile put me at ease / You’re the woman I need but where is she?” By the video’s end, Nas eventually leaves the bar with a woman who is at least a close Amy facsimile, dressed in a tight, cleavage-baring dress with red lips and dark eye makeup.
Reportedly titled after the late singer’s guitar — she called hers “cherry” — the serene Salaam Remi-produced track sits on Nas’ tenth studio LP Life Is Good. Winehouse turns in a masterful jazz vocal that evolves to scat by the song’s end, longing for the man “who is just like me.” That Nas and Winehouse shared a tragic-romantic relationship (the rapper confirmed he’s the Mr. Jones of Back to Black’s “Me & Mr Jones”) came to light only after her death in July 2011. He’s since called her his “soul sister” in tributes and appeared on her posthumous Lioness: Hidden Treasures track “Like Smoke.”
“Cherry Wine” bares thematic similarity to Nas’ last video, “Bye Baby,” where he rehashed and recovered from the trauma of his failed marriage to Kelis, going so far as to hold up her green wedding dress to clear up any and all ambiguity.