Why “Amy” is the greatest parable in modern music


Often suppressing the existence of the individual behind the art in order to extract the marketable product from it, the entertainment industry has long been known to harness personal talent for commercial purposes. This has been the reality of the industry for decades, although in the promise of the 21st century such stories, unfortunately, have become commonplace. One of the most tragic victims of the exploits of the entertainment industry was the late Amy Winehouse, who rose to prominence in 2003 before her untimely death in 2011 at the age of 27.

Having recently commemorated the tenth anniversary of the tragic loss of the extraordinary performer, Asif Kapadia’s touching life account in the 2015 documentary, Amy, remains a definitive text which breaks down with sensitivity the life of an icon. A true purveyor of musical soul, Kapadia rightly prefers to focus on her lesser-known uprising, the story of a humble singer who finds success from her most unlikely debut rather than her public demise.

Becoming famous at the age of 20, Amy Winehouse was just a young girl in her infancy in the industry, still having the same simple dreams and ambitions as her peers, pursuing love and an outlet for her creativity. . With genuine talent and purity of mind, American singer Tony Bennett described Winehouse as “one of the truest jazz singers I have ever heard” in the documentary.

Enjoying early success, Amy Winehouse released the follow-up to her debut album Franc, Back to black, in 2006, winning the award for UK solo artist at the Brits 2007 as well as song of the year at the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008. His burgeoning fame was not treated with care; it was an urge, however, with the media treating his success as a business opportunity.

“I think the more people see me, the more they’ll realize that all I’m good for is making songs. So leave me alone and I will, ”comments Winehouse in the film, a plea by the artist which unfortunately remains a dead letter. As the glare of the modern media and press began to bombard her daily existence, trying to force her to become a commercial commodity, Winehouse simply couldn’t stand the incessant grunts of their shadow, resorting to drugs to escape the relentless pressure.

What emerges from Asif Kapadia’s compelling documentary is a tragic parable of the greed and betrayal of the modern entertainment industry as Amy Winehouse is exploited as a product of commercialism rather than an actual individual. Her story is heartbreaking as it spirals out of control, though her demise is never sensational and is rather well contextualized in the sociological study, detailing the shame of modern consumerist culture, which rejects art in favor of a profitable star.

An exemplary documentary, Amy is a damning indictment against the incessant nature of contemporary media while recounting the incomparable life of a singer, delicately commemorated.

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