You get the feeling that on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “sulfuric acid on the foot” and 10 being ” ’Hostel’-style ocular surgery,” Amy Winehouse rates doing interviews as something like a 14.
Which is probably why, when MTV News sat down with her on Tuesday, she looked — and acted — like there were about a million places she’d rather be. Then again, can you blame her? In recent months, she’s rivaled only fellow songstress Lily Allen in terms of British-tabloid exposure (see “Lily Allen Is Not Pregnant, Is Sick Of Rumors — And Work” ), so you can sort of understand why she’d be a little wary — and weary — when the cameras started rolling.
But, hey, this wasn’t any normal interview. Though it was originally set up as a sort of “catching up with Amy” chat, it quickly morphed into a discussion about several of those aforementioned media reports about her. First and foremost, the one about Prince.
For those not in the know, the Purple One held a press conference Tuesday in London to announce A) a lengthy stand at the city’s O2 arena, dubbed the “21 Nights in London” tour; B) that after the tour, he’d be disappearing from the public eye to study the Bible; and C) he loves Winehouse’s music (he’s covered her “Love Is a Losing Game”) and would “absolutely” invite her to join him onstage when he performs it during his London engagements (see “Prince To Play 21 Concerts In London — Then Take A Break To Study Bible” ).
Of course, all of this was news to Winehouse.
“What? I didn’t know that. Prince is gonna study the Bible?! Is he going to be a rabbi?” she laughed. “I hope I can do [the gigs] though. I’ll drop everything to do that. Stuff like that doesn’t make me go, ’Oh, I must be the nuts.’ Stuff like that makes me want to do this tomorrow, and the night after, and the night after. Now I want to find out how solid that is. I’d do it with bells on. All day long.”
The conversation then quickly swung to her growing list of admirers, which includes Jay-Z, who jumped on a remix of her hit “Rehab” (see “Jay-Z Goes To ’Rehab’ With Amy Winehouse For ’Wicked’ Remix” ); Snoop Dogg, who called her “an inspiration” (see “Snoop’s Only Guests On Ego Trippin’ New LP? ’Me By Myself'” ); and, uh, the braintrust behind the “James Bond” franchise, who — according to those pesky reports again — are so enthralled with Winehouse that they want to offer her a role in an upcoming 007 flick.
And while all the hip-hop love did make her smile a bit (“I suppose it’s nice, isn’t it?”) she’s decidedly less, uh, effervescent when discussing those Bond rumors.
“I’m not an actress, am I? I’m just not an actress, you know what I mean? It can’t be true,” she sighed.
OK then. But before you start thinking that there’s absolutely nothing that Winehouse wants to talk about, the topic of artists she admires comes up. And for the first time, there’s a spark in her eyes. Because — when you think about it — it’s probably the only chance she has to talk about something other than herself.
“I’d love to work with people like Nas, Mos Def, Busta Rhymes, Rah Digga,” she said. “I love how they write songs. If they want to do a track with me, I’d love to do it. Call me, please.”