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.
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 by 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 by 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.
Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music About What She’s Learned From Working With Her Husband Swizz Beatz…
I mean, he’s taught me so much about magic. He knows how to access the magic in a way that’s so free. I know how to access the magic. Don’t get it twisted. But my access to the magic is from a more cerebral place. He teaches me about this openness to try whatever, whereas I’m quite mental. I’m like, “I’m want to make sure this sounds great. Let me make sure this is the right hook. Let me make sure my vocals are strong.” He’s just like, “Who cares, who cares, who cares? This is what I feel. This is what I think. I don’t care. No apology. Bang.” So, that’s what I think. That’s why I think you feel that rawness, and there is that difference. I feel safer, somehow, to just fail, to be off, to be wrong.
Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music About ‘Here’ Being Her Favorite Album of Hers and How It Opened Doors For Her…
‘Here’ is maybe my favorite album. It’s so special to me. It carries with it such a magic, such a portal. It was the first time that I did something without compromise. None. I didn’t give a sh-t. Don’t come in here talking to me about what’s the radio single. I don’t want to hear it. This is my whole everything poured out from me, no holds barred, completely free. The way that the songs came, it was like it came down from a divine thing, and it was like, boom, and they would get written in 20 minutes. And I never wrote like that before, I told you. So it was my opening. It was definitely my opening. And it lead me to here, Alicia, because I started to understand, “Wow, look at all these feelings that you have. Look at all these thoughts that you have. Look at all these opinions you have. Look at all these ways that you’re experiencing the world, look how you can verbalize, and look how you can put them into, something that means something.” And it was just the right combination of people, and the timing, and the space. And it really did open something in me that I never accessed before.
Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music About Collaboration…
It’s always been tricky for me, collaboration. At the very beginning I hated it so much. I was so uncomfortable. I just didn’t know how to even sit in a room with another being. I felt completely exposed. It was just too much. But over time, I’ve definitely learned to enjoy that process, and I do enjoy it because there’s something so crazy about what I bring, and then what you bring is going to be completely different, and there’s something about the merging of energy that’s fascinating to me. And now, I feel like that’s another alchemy that’s created that I love the process of. So yes, and that process of being open and receiving and what’s meant to come from each person and creating something out of nothing is always incredible.
Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music About Verzuz and Working With Jill Scott…
First of all, what the hell with my baby and Tim in this Verzuz situation? It’s our survival tool. It has been our survival, and I live with him and I know what’s coming. I know what’s coming. So I was saying he did the daggone Jill Scott/ Erykah Badu Verzuz, which was my personal favorite. I’m bugging like crazy. I’m driving home from wherever and I’m listening to the thing through the car. And I mean I’m fan-girling out all the way. I’m singing every word, I’m bugging. I get to the crib, get out, continue, it’s like a whole thing, and I’m watching these two queens and Jill and that daggone smile. What is that? That smile is the most beautiful thing I ever saw. She is illuminating everything. And after the thing was over… he’s like, “Babe, Jill is on the phone.” And I get on the phone with her and I’m like, “You’re just… This is crazy. You’re so…” And she’s like, “Hi, how are you? This was so great.” And we have a moment. And I’m like, “Why haven’t we worked together? Why haven’t we? This is crazy.” And so she’s like, “I know, and I hope to come, and let’s connect.” And I said, “Yes, let’s connect.” Boom, left it alone. Go to that end part of the album where I went away by myself and I was like, “Wait, what do we need? And what are we doing?” Went to this super desolate area and was just totally alone. And Swizzy, he’s like, “Babe, what about this vibe?” And I’m like, “Ooh.” And we start talking about this idea of celebrating putting love on display and being that confident and that much of… You have to put this love on display. And we’re vibing, we’re vibing, I’m like, “Ooh, what if it was like this, like some Jill Scott sh-t.” And I start pretending to be Jill Scott. I’m just totally pretending to be Jill Scott. And I put it down, and he’s like, “Ooh. Send it to her. Send it to her right now.” And so, my engineer, Ann Mincieli been with me forever and is such a boss. She’s like, “Wait, what are we calling the song?” And I was like, “Call it Joe Scott. Because I don’t want to forget. Don’t forget, because I know I’m going to send it to Jill. Call it Joe Scott.” Boom. Called it Joe Scott, talked to Jill, we have an amazing thing. She’s so unbelievable. She’s like, “Okay. You want me to do it?” She did it. Went out of her way, sorted it out, sent it back, called me like, “What you did was so cool. I was thinking, maybe I’ll just do a few backgrounds.” I said, “No, no, no, no, no. No. What I did was pretended to be you. I need you to be you.” And she was like, “Okay.” Came back, killed it, as per normal. And Ann did these sick background vocals, it was so outrageous. If you could hear the difference you could hear her mind, which is just ridiculous. And so then, we’re at the remastering, and we’re calling in this Joe Scott, featuring Joe Scott. I was like, “Definitely.”
Alicia Keys Tells Apple Music About Being Held On a Pedestal…
I remember that there was a very specific time. Maybe it was about “Girl on Fire” maybe, that I actually understood that somehow I was put up on this pedestal. And I didn’t know the I got up there. So who put me on that pedestal? Who put me up there? I don’t want to be up there. I don’t even belong up there. That’s not even natural to my – It’s horrible. It’s like this unrealistic expectation. You can imagine you’re supposed to be there and you’re supposed to be stone. You’re supposed to be unflawed like stone. You’re suppose to be perfectly crafted, and shaped, and sculpted into a thing that can’t even move, or evolve, or change, or grow, or anything. And I did not understand how I got up there, because I never wanted to be up there.
THE REAL: Kim Coles On A ‘Living Single’ Reboot + More from the Ladies!
*On Thursday, October 22, the ladies discuss the proper way to let a friend know you don’t care for her significant other.
Co-host Garcelle Beauvais wants to be told if her friends don’t like her boo. Co-host Loni Love claims that she would keep her opinion to herself and let her friend find out on her own if he isn’t all that! She also reveals that her friends actually like her boyfriend James more than they like her! Co-host Adrienne Houghton confesses that her husband Israel is much better at maintaining friendships than she is.
And, during these difficult times of living during a pandemic, Loni encourages people to keep a journal about their lives while in quarantine. She suggests that future generations could learn from our experiences, especially from people of color.
Later, funny lady Kim Coles pops in to chat about her series In the Cut, the possibility of a Living Single reboot, and the text chain that she still shares with her former costars even after the show went off the air over 20 years ago.
Which Of the Ladies Would Confess If They Don’t Like Their Co-Hosts’ Significant Others?
Adrienne’s Husband Israel is Better at Maintaining Friendships Than She Is!
Loni Thinks It’s Important That We Write Our Stories, Especially During COVID.
Will Living Single Get A Reboot? Kim Coles Has The Scoop!
Which Of the Ladies Would Confess If They Don’t Like Their Co-Hosts’ Significant Others?
Garcelle Beauvais: My last relationship, I found out after I broke up with him, that nobody liked him for me. And, I wish, personally, that they had said it to me. I wish they had said it to me earlier. So, I don’t know if I would listen to that.
Loni Love: You gotta find out for yourself. Huh-uh.
Garcelle: Really? You wouldn’t tell me, Loni?
Loni: Huh-uh. (Wags her finger) There’s some things that I don’t get into.
Jeannie Mai: See? I’m the opposite, Garcelle. I would have to say something. But, I would have to say it like this. I would say, “Garcelle, what I’m about to tell you, I’m telling you as your du– as your friend, it is my responsibility to keep it trill with you and also always look out for you as I want you to do for me. I’m doing what I want you to do for me. This should not change our relationship. I’m not gonna change the way I am. I’m just always gonna have my eyes here.” (Points at her eyes and then at the camera.) “But, this is what I’m about to tell you. Your man sucks.”
Garcelle: I’d rather hear that. I’d rather hear that.
(Loni & Jeannie laugh)
Jeannie: See? I would tell you.
Garcelle: I’d rather hear that.
Loni: No, I’m gonna let you find out ‘cause I’m gonna be like– I’m gonna be like, “Is it good, girl? Okay. I know you’ll get out of it when you need to get out of it.” That’s it.
Garcelle: (Laughs) There’s that.
About THE REAL
THE REAL is a live daily, one-hour, two-time NAACP Image Award-winning and Emmy®-nominated talk show now in its seventh season on Fox Television Stations and in national syndication (check local listings), with a rebroadcast on cable network Bounce. The bold, diverse and outspoken hosts, Garcelle Beauvais and Emmy® Award-winners Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai, all frankly say what women are actually thinking. Their unique perspectives are brought to life through candid conversations about their personal lives, current events, beauty, fashion and relationships (nothing is off limits). Unlike other talk shows, THE REAL hosts are admittedly a “work in progress,” and fearlessly invite viewers to reflect on their own lives and opinions. Fresh points of view, youthful energy and passion have made THE REAL a platform for multicultural women. Produced by Telepictures Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, THE REAL is led by Executive Producer, Rachel Miskowiec (Good Morning America, Katie, The Tyra Banks Show, Judge Hatchett, The Ricki Lake Show) and Co-Executive Producer Tenia Watson (Judge Mathis, Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court, WGN-TV Morning News, Just Keke, The Test) and shot in Los Angeles, California.
Audible Joins Forces with LeBron James for Multi-Project Deal
*LeBron James‘ SpringHill Company has inked a multi-project deal with Audible, focused on producing culturally influential audio content.
According to the press release, the multi-project slate kicks off with More Than A Vote: Our Voices. Our Vote. The first-of-its-kind special, produced in collaboration with Cadence 13, will launch in support of the More Than A Vote initiative, a new voting rights organization led by a coalition of Black athletes and artists including James aimed at combating voter suppression and misinformation that disproportionately disenfranchises communities of color. More Than A Vote is available for pre-order today at Audible.com/morethanavote, and will premiere on October 27th for free within the Audible Premium Plus catalog.
“Influential creators like LeBron, Maverick and the SpringHill team keep us motivated to continue creating storytelling experiences that spark critical conversations and cultivate change,” said Rachel Ghiazza, Executive Vice President, Head of US Content at Audible. “Joining forces with this fearless group, we strive to empower our millions of listeners and provide resources to elevate their voices, and what better way to start than with an inspiring Words + Music special to reinforce the mission of LeBron’s More Than A Vote initiative.”
— More Than A Vote (@morethanavote) October 15, 2020
Here’s more from the press release:
More Than A Vote: Our Voices. Our Vote., co-hosted by media and political analyst Tiffany D. Cross,offers an educational deep dive into the history and the truths of voting. Through storytelling, interviews, archival audio and song, the program will draw on the wisdom, humor, and talents of a remarkable group of entertainers, writers, public officials, athletes and artists including:
- Leon Bridges, Grammy-winning Artist
- LaTosha Brown, Co-Founder, Black Voters Matter
- Andra Day, Grammy-nominated Artist
- Addisu Demissie, Executive Director, More Than A Vote
- Rutha Mae Harris, Freedom Singer and Civil Rights Legend
- LeBron James, Co-Founder, More Than A Vote
- Martha S. Jones, Professor History, Johns Hopkins University
- Desmond Meade, President, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
- Jalen Rose, ESPN Analyst and More Than A Vote Member
- Amanda Seales, Actress and Comedian
- Tommie Smith, Olympic Athlete
- Octavia Spencer, Oscar-winning Actress
- Maria Taylor, ESPN Analyst and More Than A Vote Member
The exclusive audio special will also incorporate facts about the electoral process and education around the very real threat that voter suppression poses to American democracy – specifically in African-American communities.
The More Than A Vote special will be part of Audible’s Words + Music, a growing collection of original audio productions combining storytelling and music, designed exclusively for Audible listeners.
For more information on this title, please visit Audible.com/morethanavote.
Gospel Duo Juan and Lisa Winans Hit Billboard’s Top Ten Gospel Airplay Chart With ‘It Belongs To Me’ Featuring Marvin L. Winans
*“It Belongs To Me” by gospel duo Juan and Lisa Winans featuring Marvin L. Winans has landed at No. 9 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart this week.
The couple’s first non-holiday track, released on Dare Records, marks their first time charting together as recording artists. “It Belongs To Me” is a beautifully rendered and timely message of faith and assurance, needed during the world’s current time of social and political unrest.
“Having ‘It Belongs To Me’ reach the top ten means that people are hearing the song, and that makes me proud and grateful because I truly believe this message of hope is a much needed one,” says Juan.
“It’s incredible to know that this declaration of faith and hope is reaching so many people,” adds Lisa. “We’re so grateful, and our prayer is that the listener would internalize this message and begin to sing, speak, and shout ‘It Belongs To Me’ over every area of their lives. God is able.”
Grammy-nominated recording artists and songwriters Juan and Lisa Winans are today’s millennial Christian couple. Juan, a third-generation member of the legendary Winans family, began his career as a member of Winans Phase 2, along with his eldest brother, Carvin, and his cousins Marvin Winans, Jr., and Michael Winans, Jr. The group’s first recording, We Got Next, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Album charts. Juan’s father, Carvin Winans, is a member of the five-time Grammy Award-winning group The Winans, which includes his uncles Marvin, Michael, and the late Ronald Winans. Juan also starred in the theatrical production of Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story,” written by his uncle BeBe Winans and also starring his sister, Deborah Joy Winans of the hit drama series, Greenleaf.
Lisa, formerly Lisa Kimmey, is best known as a member and lead songwriter of the chart-topping Contemporary Christian music trio Out of Eden with her sisters Andrea Kimmey-Baca and Danielle Kimmey Torrez. The group released seven career albums from 1994-2006 including the critically-acclaimed No Turning Back, This Is Your Life and Hymns. During Lisa’s tenure, she made a special guest appearance on the ‘90s hit sitcom, “Moesha,” which streaming giant Netflix recently added to its lineup of African American classics from the 1990s and early 2000s. She also was a host of original programming for the Gospel Music Channel and hosted the Verizon Wireless “How Sweet the Sound” choir competition along with Donald Lawrence.
For more information on Juan and Lisa Winans, go to www.juanandlisawinans.com.
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