Nas’ tenth album, Life is Good, was just released this summer – and it features an artist that may surprise you. Through his producer Salaam Remi, Nas was able to meet and befriend the late Amy Winehouse via a Skype video call. The virtual meeting eventually resulted in their collaboration on Cherry Wine, a duet which was mixed and mastered after Winehouse’s passing. “We’d talk about songs. I’m just sorry we never got to do that in person – Salaam would be on the drums and Amy would be on Skype,” Nas said.
Remi said how despite the distance and constant traveling, collaborating was easy via Skype: “It was just clockwork. I was in London or Miami at the time…But [Nas] understood it, just from getting at that chemistry.” Remi was working on Winehouse’s third album at the time, which was never completed. Cherry Wine was initially a song that Remi and Winehouse had been working on together for that album.
Remi remembered how Winehouse viewed Nas as an inspiration and was excited to be able to first connect with him through Skype. “She was really inspired by him…over the last couple years, a lot of times if I had my computer in the studio, my Skype would ring and Amy would be there, ‘Hey what’s up?’ And then she’d end up talking to Nas or whatever, then they got each other’s numbers and they would talk.”
Of their Skype friendship, Nas said, “[Amy] 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.”
Nas recently announced that he will be honored at the Amy Winehouse Inspiration Awards & Gala on October 11. “Amy was an amazing talent and a special artist. She was like a little sister to me,” Nas said, “I’m happy to be involved with a foundation that not only keeps her memory alive but helps support those things she cared most about – kids and music.”