Wednesday, October 18, 2023

From One British Icon to Another: Skepta honours Amy Winehouse in ‘Can’t Play Myself (A Tribute To Amy)’

2023 proved to be the year that Skepta cast grime aside and stepped into his house era. The British rapper turned DJ has released a series of singles this year, as well as announcing the arrival of his house label Más Tiempo alongside Jammer, a fellow grime MC and creator of Lord of the Mics.

Skepta’s most recent release, ‘Can’t Play Myself (A Tribute To Amy)’ features the vocals of the late Amy Winehouse, thanks to a sample that many listeners will recognise. It is taken from her iconic track ‘Tears Dry On Their Own’, that features on her album ‘Back to Black’, alongside one of Winehouse’s most celebrated tracks, ‘Rehab’. ‘Can’t Play Myself’ is the newest release from Más Tiempo and is the first tribute to another artist featured on the label.

Kicking off with a hefty beat, Amy’s ghostly vocals come through cleanly with a high continual synth backing them. Once the beat drops again we sink into the 130BPM meat of the track. Whilst a good chunk of the original chorus is featured in the song, the lyrics “I cannot play myself again” are repeated throughout. The production has the vibe of an instant club classic, whilst the lyrics serve up a generous helping of nostalgia to the listener. Whilst the song is reminiscent of some of the other Más Tiempo tracks, notedly ‘Touching My Body’ featuring Jammer and Etta Bond, it is unique is its use of sample. 

Skepta enjoyed playing this tune throughout the summer at a number of festivals and, as Winehouse’s 40th birthday has just passed, there’s a high chance you’ll hear it if you attend one of his gigs at the end of this year and into the next. We look forward to seeing what Skepta and Más Tiempo will cook up in 2024.

Maddie Bridger
Image: ‘Can’t Play Myself’ Official Single Cover

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