Today (September 14th) would have been Amy Winehouse's birthday and with that in mind a new charitable project in her name has been announced.
Amy Winehouse Foundation and Island Records have paired up to announce new album 'Amy's Yard – The Sessions: Volume 1'.
A compilation, it features some of the finest performances from the Amy's Yard project over the past 2 years with proceeds going to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
The project sees young people with a musical talent mentored to become self-sustaining music artists. They are given time in Amy's own studio and are guided by producer Urban Monk who has worked with the likes of Giggs, Wiley, Plan B, Ghetts, Lily Allen and Mr Hudson.
Master classes are provided by industry professionals including Island Records, Metropolis Music, Clash Music and Handle Recruitment, covering all aspects of music, providing unique insight into what can be a notoriously difficult industry to break into.
The ten tracks are designed to highlight Amy's musical legacy, with Amy's Yard aiding unknown, fresh and disadvantaged talent who are eager to have their voice heard.
Artists are referred to the Amy Winehouse Foundation by one of their partner organisations - including The Roundhouse, Key Changes, New Horizon and Pilion Trust, who all work with vulnerable young people facing a variety of complex needs such as homelessness, mental health issues, unemployment or a history of offending.
"It's really gratifying to know that Amy continues to influence and inspire young people through her life and music," says Darcus Beese, President, Island Records, "The Foundation does a fantastic job in keeping Amy's spirit alive by offering hope and opportunity to young people who are struggling in life and it's an honour for Island Records to help these emerging talents get their music heard."
A double A-side single will also be released with tracks from Mainee Montana Ft Porsha Chanelle and Zodiac. To really understand what Amy's Yard can do for those who participate, the last word goes to Jhordan Romaine, 21, who's track Early Bird opens the album:
"I've always wanted to be a musician – a producer – and the inspiration Amy's Yard gives me is just amazing. But going there is about much more than just making music. My mum threw me out when I was 18. I'm 21 now. I was going through a really rough patch and smoking a lot of weed and drinking. I was registered with two psychiatrists when I was 17, my mum just couldn't cope with it. So I lived on the streets for about a month, until an organisation called New Horizons found me a place to stay. While I was staying there a mate told me about Amy's Yard."
" It's a brilliant place. You get to see how the music industry actually works. You get to see what a professional studio looks like and hear just how amazing a human voice can sound! You meet with lawyers and record company executives and real professionals. They're role models."
"I would say 50 per cent of what we do at Amy's Yard is about the music, and 50 per cent is about showing respect, giving reassurance and about the skills you need to just be a good person. And things are improving at home. It will take some time but my mum and me are rebuilding our relationship. That's a really good thing."
1. Early Bird - Jhordan Romaine Ft Posy Sterling
2. Spotlight - La Braya
3. Turn It Up - Mainee Montana Ft Porsha Chanelle
4. Tick Tock - Zodiac
5. I Owe You 1 - Porsha Chanelle
6. Warning - Posy Sterling
7. Wake Before I Die - Benofficial Ft Zodiac
8. Hang - Irini Mando
9. Out to the AM - Lalya Pars Ft Mainee Montana & Benofficial
10. Make the Most of It - Johnny G Ft Natalie B
Double A Side Listing:
1. Turn It Up - Mainee Montana Ft Porsha Chanelle – Jermaine Collins Ft Porsha Grant
2. Tick Tock – Zodiac – Jordan Matthew