Alicia Keys is a busy mom and songwriter with an upcoming album and tour. Girl On Fire, set to debut November 27, is said to be one of Alicia’s ‘out the box’ projects inspired by her family. Although she has recorded albums in the past, this record is viewed by the artist to be her first ‘grown-up’ production. Check out what the singer had to say to Entertainment Weekly earlier this month.
About the album.
“This album represents a new me in every way. I mean, you’re still going to feel me and you’re still going to identify with what part of me you’ve identified with before. So that’s the cool part. But everything about it is different because my mind frame is different, the energy about it is different, the song lyrics are different. There was something that happened to me that I just really wanted to write these great songs. I sat there and was just really focused on writing songs. I wasn’t focused so much on creating some crazy beat. I wanted to write these insane songs that could live on their own and people couldn’t deny them. So I started a lot of the process like that and because of that a lot of the songs are actually very simple.
But because they’re so simple, there might be this big, huge beat in it. And maybe there’s the piano in it, and then maybe there’s like this kind of piano in it that sounds like a guitar in it. And then maybe there’s like a bass in my voice — and that’s it. Whereas I thought [before] that I had to put 300,000 different instruments in a track for it to sound big, I realized that the less I put in it, the bigger it sounded because it just occupied difference spaces. And that was it. So there’s kind of a rawness to it, I think — like a bigness from that.”
How much pregnancy has influenced her.
“Pretty much all of [the songs] were written after Egypt. [Child birth is] like you go through an immediate — you get an immediate perspective shift. There’s just nothing like it. And, all of a sudden, it’s like you’re a full-on grown up. It’s obviously because you’re a mom and you’re caring for another life. But it’s more than that: It’s like you have a sense of what feels right and what doesn’t feel right.
It’s so interesting how before I would literally debate and debate and debate, like, ‘Hmmm, should I or shouldn’t I?’ Or If I had a particular choice to make, it would be like ‘Maybe I should…’ And it’s like the debate is gone now. I know pretty instantly what it is. If I just listen to myself…you know, ‘Well this cuts in too much to that, and this takes away too much of that. And I just don’t feel comfortable with that, so I’m just going to let that go.’ It’s just easier. There’s definitely that growing up and more consciousness of what important to me at this time and why I’ll do anything to make sure that that stay’s true.”
Taking Egypt,1, on tour.
“I wouldn’t even go anywhere if he wasn’t coming! I’m actually really excited about it because he’s at the perfect age to come with me. He’s just at that great, beautiful age where he’s exploring so much and he’s learning so much. He’s taking everything in. I feel that 100% it’s going to make me look at the world in different eyes.”
A cameo for her little one?
“I don’t know; he might need a cameo, you know what I mean? He might. I don’t know what’s going to happen. You mean the song Jay[-Z] did? I don’t know; he may need to say a couple words. There’s one song in particular called “When It’s All Over” that he may need a little feature on. So we’ll see.”
Egypt and Blue Ivy doing a record together.
“I’m telling you, I think that they’re going to have a big future.”