The song is Zalon’s emotional tribute to Amy, his friend, who also supported and believed in him as artist, signing him to her label Lioness, featuring him on her Back to Black deluxe album and encouraging him to perform his own songs in the middle of her live set.
Amy would have celebrated her birthday this month and Zalon finally decided that he was ready to release the song he wrote the day after her death in July.
“It was my immediate response,” he says, “It poured out of me. I was returning from Spain when I heard about her passing. I went to my producer’s house (JPL) and we wrote and recorded the song the next day. It was my way of dealing with it.
“The lyrics were about how helpless I felt, I could only cry for Amy, but that wouldn’t bring her back. I was crying in the booth while recording and I wasn’t strong enough to release it until now.”
Zalon met Amy when she came to the weekly sets he sang at a London club, just after she released her first album Frank. One night, she stormed on stage to tell him how much she loved his voice, literally during his performance.
“This small girl came on stage and told me I was amazing,” he smiles, “I didn’t know who she was, then the compere introduced her and she sang. After that she would come down and we would just sing to each other in the corner.
“Amy never forgot that we were friends and how we met. She never treated me as a backing vocalist, she made sure I was featured on her album, she gave me 15 minutes during her own show to do my own stuff. When she won her Grammys, she ran straight into my arms and I said, ‘You did it!’. She said, ‘no, we did it.’
“I’m so grateful to her and her family are doing fantastic work with the Foundation, it is only right to donate the proceeds of the single to the charity. It’s an amazing cause in the name of an amazing person, she would be so proud of it.”
You Let Me Breathe is taken from Zalon’s EP, due for release later this year.
The song is accompanied by a collection of behind the scenes footage of Amy and Zalon on tour sharing moments with others, from Jay-Z, Beyoncé & Jack White (White Stripes) to Chaka Khan and Pattie Labelle.
To buy the single in the UK, click here: