Alicia Keys joins Zane Lowe on Apple Music ahead of her seventh studio album ‘ALICIA’
Alicia Keys joins Zane Lowe on Apple Music for a wide-ranging conversation ahead of the release of her seventh studio album ‘ALICIA’, out this Friday.
She tells Apple Music what she took for granted prior to the pandemic and reflects on struggles with early success, self worth, and her relationship with her parents growing up. She also runs through various tracks on the new album and shares what she’s learned from her husband Swizz Beatz, how her willingness to collaborate has evolved, why Verzuz is “our survival tool”, how she ended up collaborating with Jill Scott, and more.
Listen to Zane’s interviews with leading artists on Apple Music HERE and Apple Podcasts HERE.Video | Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music About Her Forthcoming Seventh Album ‘ALICIA’, Struggles With Early Success, Lessons Learned, Collaborations, The Significance of Verzuz, and More
Watch — https://youtu.be/tg4oDKl03nM
Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music What She Took For Granted Prior To The Pandemic…Prior to the last six months, I definitely took for granted stillness, just like how good it is to be in one place, to be able to really dig in, dive in, stay put. I don’t know if it’s a very American philosophy, or if it’s a very not New York mind state. I’m trying to figure out what it is, but there’s a certain mind state that the busier you are, the better you are. And that’s a lie. That’s a real live lie. And so, this time to just be still, because you can’t be busy if you tried.
I mean, you could Zoom all you want, and sure, you can still have a lot to do over Zoom, but the moving, why did we have to rush so much? How come we had to fill our gas tank that many times and fly that many times a year, and put that much gas in the sea? And all these things, definitely the stillness I took for granted.I took for granted what it means to actually have your hub and have your space with your people there, and that you’re always showing up for each other, no matter what. You’re figuring out the hard things, and you’re talking through. A lot of the times, moving so fast, I’m always concerned about, am I missing some of these conversations? Am I missing some of these moments with my family?
Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music About Early Success…
A lot of the times, you’re kind of pushed to blend in or do what’s expected, and you feel awkward if you even have a dissenting point of view. And for me, I fell right into that whole trap. Oh, I fell so good into that trap because I was so young. I was 14 years old the first time that I was ever even signed. And when the first record came out, I was 18 years old. It was like, whap. It was just, that was it. I had to pretend so much the majority of the time that I knew what I was doing. I pretended I knew what I was doing for so much of the time. I didn’t know what I was doing.
Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music About Pleasing People…
Whoo, and the craziest part is, at some point, you don’t even know if what you’re doing is for you, or is it for the person that is next to you. And you think it’s for you. But as you start to live, you start to discover, man, a lot of this was for you. Of course, there’s a flow there and there’s an ebb there, and it benefits both. And of course, there’s an energy exchange, which I really believe in energy is so powerful. But you can, and I did, turn around. And I was so concerned with pleasing everybody, so concerned with saying the right thing, so concerned with not kind of getting caught up or tripped up in the people trying to have these sensational headlines.
I was so cautious and so protected, and had such a wall that was perfect. Who are you underneath all that? What is your opinion? Do you even know what your opinion is? I found that, no, I didn’t. And that was not good. But it took me a long time to even know I didn’t have an opinion. Because I thought I was quite opinionated. I’m like, woman’s worth, right? I’m supposed to… But underneath it all, I was quite insecure.
Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music About Titling Her Album ‘ALICIA’…
So deep, so deep. This is so deep. I feel like I think about this a lot. I specifically think about this a lot with the Alicia album. And that’s why I feel so strongly about calling this work Alicia. Because I feel like I have, for the first time, been most fully myself now. In the beginning, I was very myself. I really was. Although I was unsure of this crazy world that I was in and I definitely didn’t know the rules or how to do it or exactly what I was doing, I was very sure of myself.
I knew that I was a young woman. I’m boyish. I’m not trying to be all pretty and girly. I got my piano. I got my songs. I got my braids. Don’t try to make me do this. Don’t talk to me about that. Don’t bring me no flower dresses and sh-t. This is me. Take me or leave me, I don’t care. And then success came. I had never been successful before and everybody was there, and I was going places I’d never been before, and I was meeting people I never met before. And they were telling me things I never heard before.
I was having experiences that I would never have experienced before. And people liked what I did. So then, when it came time to do it again, for the first time in my life, I had been exposed to what it feels like when people like what you do. And then you start to think, well, what if people don’t like what I do? Then what?
Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music About Self Worth and Her Relationship With Her Parents Growing Up…
I realized that I have deeply struggled with feelings of self-worth. That came from my mother and father. They… My father didn’t raise me, my mother raised me. I think I definitely was always looking for his love, to some degree, and feeling like I could never really access it, for many different reasons. And I think that started to give me insecurities. My mother was also a very, very strong-minded woman, mostly out of necessity, because to survive New York City streets as a single mother, it’s hard as hell with a daughter. So, out of necessity, she’s very emotions on her sleeve. And so then, I had to accommodate for her, and always kind of fix and dodge and make things right. Somehow, I lost my voice in there.
Because I always had to accommodate for the protection of that relationship, to allow that relationship to function. I had to accommodate her. Because her style was her own. And she took up a lot of space in the room, you know what I mean? So, I learned that behavior. And so, on top of, I think the fact that I felt maybe unloved my father, although I never admitted it. I didn’t feel like I did because I was like, “Well, I don’t really even know you, so how could I feel loved or unloved someone you don’t really know?” I did. And so, I felt I created and started to discover an insecurity that I carried with me my whole… I mean, literally, it has been maybe four years that I finally don’t hold that anymore.