The Sun Goes Down is written by 22 year old creative writer Cara Jasmine Bradley, who is a big fan of Amy Winehouse.
Cara felt enlightened after watching the Amy Film to write The Sun Goes Down, hoping it will inspire others to view Amy in a different light to which she deserves.
With the 5th anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s death approaching, Cara Bradley’s The Sun Goes Down is a tribute to Amy Winehouse.
The Sun Goes Down – A Tribute To Amy Winehouse
If you had asked me my thoughts on Amy Winehouse a few months ago, I’d have rolled my eyes, sighed and said, “I have no sympathy for people who dabble in drugs. Anyone that willingly involves themselves in that seedy world only has themselves to blame.”
However, since being introduced to the film on the singer’s tragic life – entitled ‘AMY’ – my perspective of her has very much changed. It has provided me with a deeper insight into Amy’s life and has given me a fresh understanding and appreciation of the captivatingly talented lady she was.
The film was on one Friday night and quite grudgingly, I decided to keep it rolling because ‘there was nothing else on.’ I didn’t expect to enjoy it and I certainly didn’t expect it to affect me in the way that it did.
I have since watched it three times, and each time it has had just as much impact, reducing me to tears upon hearing the hauntingly beautiful chords of her flawless performance of ‘Valerie’ at the end.
Underneath that gobby, confident exterior lay a venerable young woman way out of her depth. I don’t think she ever realised just how remarkable she was, and I don’t think she could ever fathom just how much she was going to take off.
She wasn’t ready for the limelight and the attention that induced her.
A high number of creative people fall into despair at some point in their lives. I think there is a reason for this: creative people and those with vivid imaginations see the world very differently to those who posses neither of these characteristics, henceforth meaning that your talent can actually isolate you.
Those who are creative see things with much more complex, read between the lines, let their imaginations take over. This is marginally a very powerful tool to possess, as I can tell you from experience that having the luxury of escaping into a perfect imaginary world for a few hours can actually aid you in having to deal with a morbid reality.
It can, however, also be lethal, as proved by Amy.
Inside the mind of a creative person, one thousand things can be going on at once. It can be a blur of confusion up there, plagued by not only wonderful fantasy scenarios, but also the burden of an over-active imagination, multiplying the negatives and sending the ‘what if’s’ spiralling out of control.
There is no doubt that Amy was in the creative boat in this situation – it would be a downright insult to deny that she wasn’t one of the most talented artists of our time, and quite possibly of all time.
Sometimes, being a talented, creative person can be a very lonely place. Many creative people view the world around them with a different pair of spectacles. People who lack imagination and creativity just fail to comprehend so many things and it can be so draining being around these people.
It can tire you, frustrate you, sadden you. Sometimes, the only way I feel I can express myself is via writing, in the hope that people will read it and finally see things from my perspective.
I admire, have a silent respect for and fully understand and appreciate anyone who has the ability to pour their emotions, dreams, hopes, fears, passions and deepest secrets into words, whether it be in the form of lyrics or novels. The art of self expression combined with creating something beautiful for others to enjoy is such a unique and special element.
Amy transferred all of her emotions regarding her life and her relationship into her music and selflessly shared it with us, enabling us to relate to it and come to the understanding that actually, we aren’t alone.
How many people have listened to Amy’s songs after a breakup and found themselves relating wholly to the lyrics? It is such a refreshing feeling.
I have always liked her tunes; the relaxed vibes and soulful beats made for pleasant background music.
Since watching her film, I dug out my old Back to Black album, sat down and just listened. I listened not just to the songs I knew, but also to the lyrics, the passion in which she sang them, her words dissolving in the most believable way, the striking chords of the band accompanying her in a soft duet that I can only describe as ridiculously classy.
She had a way of singing her songs, her lyrics, in a way in which I truly believed portrayed that she meant every word, had experienced all she was speaking of: the pain, the heartbreaks, the love. I’ve never heard such emotion and meaning within words before and it sends tingles down my spine.
Oh to love someone and be loved in the way that Amy and her Blake loved one another.
Needless to say, their relationship was a sad state of affairs, but look past the blood stained bodies limping through the streets, look past the drugs den they shared, look past the explosive arguments that shattered the headlines… I have never witnessed such passion and adoration from a couple before.
The fatal attraction and the love they shared was both beautiful and brutal. I often wonder if he still thinks about her, or misses her. I don’t think she ever got over him, and it is heartbreaking realising that she lay on her death bed without the support of the man she worshipped.
Did she think of him in her final hours?
Not to sound dramatic, but I have loved someone almost to the extent of the Amy-Blake scale. It was the sort of love that combines with pure obsession, and sadly for me, it was far from retaliated.
The guy liked the attention, but he didn’t like me. It was ever so cruel; whenever I tried to get over him, he’d do something to put himself back in the centre of my universe again. I was 17 years old, but I had never felt such a burning passion for another human being before. I was completely and utterly fixated with him, to the point that it physically hurt.
The lad in question and I had a blazing row at one of my house parties and I felt my heart had been replaced by a cheese grater. Once everyone had left, instead of going to bed, I stayed up on my own, tidying the house, mopping the floors, crying and listening to Back to Black.
I scolded myself, muttering, “Christ, you know you need to sort yourself out when you’re downing Pepsi straight from a bumper bottle, shovelling Doritos into your mouth, sobbing and relating to Amy Winehouse lyrics at four o’clock in the morning.”
(Okay, so that might not be on the same level of rock and roll behaviour as Amy’s average night but for me, that was particularly rebellious, considering as I’m usually in bed by 10pm with a book and my soft toy unicorn collection.)
It just goes to show that the icy grip of unrequited love can wrap its fingers around any one of our necks and send our world into turmoil. Combine this pain with the many cons of celebrity culture -including the fact that no breakup is concealed when it comes to the media – and perhaps you will start to see what I am getting at.
“Love is a losing game.”
Of course I’m not attempting to portray Amy Winehouse as a saint. As someone who doesn’t even drink alcohol, I am personally against drugs, but I urge everyone to just try and see the contributing dynamics that led her on the path to ruin and self destruct.
I feel there were a number of factors that led to the downfall of this successful singer, including her devotion to and fascination of Blake, a man who openly admitted to using substances such as heroin and crack cocaine before he met Amy.
As previously stated, the media was another definite cause of her spiral.
Amy was just a normal young woman like myself, like you, expect she was blessed with the incredible voice of a bygone era. Push the voice aside for a few minutes. Put yourself in her shoes. People make the misconception that celebrities are some sort of robots, immune to anything bad being said about them.
This really isn’t the case. Just because they have money and are more fortune than ourselves, it certainly doesn’t mean that their thoughts and feelings are any different. Trolling is rife across the internet and is actively encouraged on sites like Twitter and Instagram. I’ve lost count of the times I see derogatory articles aimed at the likes of Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Cheryl Cole and co.
Think about it: if such things were set up, if such things were said in a workplace, or at a school, there would be uproar. It was immediately be classed as bullying. So why do people think it is okay to sit behind the shelter of their computer screen and slate celebrities?
Can you imagine how that must make them feel? Waking up to see thousands of tweets from people you’ve never met from across the world all recklessly voicing their needless and blunt opinions on your new haircut, or that skirt and boot combination you wore down to the shops yesterday?
People just don’t stop to think of the implications of their actions, and they relish the scandal when a figure in the public eye has a breakdown or does something a little bit crazy. Imagine if someone documented your last night out to every newspaper in the country?
Hasn’t everyone done something they regret on a night out? Hell, for someone who doesn’t who doesn’t even drink, even I’ve done some pretty foolish things. With this in mind, why do people act so shocked and outraged when a celebrity is photographed drunk, or falling out a club? One of my friends once fell asleep in a club with her legs splayed, revealing her pants to everyone in passing.
This incident was prior to her boarding the night bus and vomiting on the top deck, sending it dripping down the stairs, while she gleefully sang “It’s Raining Men.” Horrific, it was, and yes we laughed and teased her about it the next day, but it certainly wasn’t news worthy.
The media needs to get a grip when it comes to what is deemed as ‘breaking news.’
‘Breaking news’ to me is an event on the same scale as 9/11, NOT something along the lines of ‘Geri Halliwell wears Topshop trousers to Tesco!’
It’s really no wonder so many celebrities have expressed an unhealthy, tiresome and negative relationship with the media and the paparazzi. Honestly, just watch the film and assess how poor Amy is mobbed every time she leaves her house. Could you cope with that? I reiterate: she was just a normal person like you and I.
Of course she, like anyone, would get frustrated and lash out when she couldn’t even walk to the shops without a million cameras pushing into her face, their garish flashes disorienting her. She couldn’t go a day without having every single aspect of her so called ‘private life’ scrutinised and invaded by total strangers.
Until we have been in that position, I don’t think any of us have the right to judge the effects and impact fame would have on our lives. One thing is for certain – I highly doubt all the effects would be positive.
You may argue that some celebrities actively encourage the paparazzi and relish the attention. This might be the case, but they still don’t deserve to be treated as mere pieces of meat, passed around the country, the newspapers, the internet, for all to slander.
Amy was not out to seek media attention. This statement is backed up by the fact that she took herself off to St Lucia in a bid to escape any form of coverage while she attempted her recovery process. It was actually her beloved Dad who brought the cameras along and corrupted her new found peace and serenity.
I am aware that there was some uproar about how her Father was portrayed in the film and it is not for me to pass comment on, but I have to agree that the dynamics surrounding this particular situation were not exactly painted in a very good light.
Beneath the big hair, the big make-up, the big voice, the big personality, there was a little girl who just wanted to be loved, a lot like the rest of us. She wanted to be loved by her fans, she wanted to be loved by her Dad and she wanted to be loved eternally by a man like Blake.
All she needed was for someone to take control of her fragile life and reassure her that everything was going to be alright. The fact that no-one was able to reach out and do this is a failure to the world of music.
As the fifth anniversary of Amy’s death approaches, a heartfelt thank you has to be said to the singer.
Thank you for sharing your music with us, for allowing your legendary and poetic lyrics to caress our lives in the most soothing ways.
Amidst the misfortune, one thing remains certain: Amy Winehouse is timeless. Her sincere, shy and spine tingling music will be fondly passed down the generations, like a mournful yet beautiful secret.
About creative writer Cara Jasmine Bradley
Cara Jasmine Bradley is 22 years old and combines a love of travelling with creative writing.
She travelled solo across Europe in 2015, and then went on to secure a seasonal job abroad, granting her lots of material for her books and articles.
Her debut book is due out in November and is a collection of diaries she kept during her time living in a small village in Ibiza last summer, away from the media’s misconceptions of the island.