There aren’t many mainstream music artists who have as many facets as Alicia Keys. The New York-born singer writes and produces all her music, and she’s also a talented musician. While she has some major hits as a collaborator with big names like Jay-Z, Keys was a solo show early in her career. She says it was intentional that she didn’t collaborate with many artists back then.
Alicia Keys says she was afraid to collaborate with other artists
Keys hit the music scene in 2001 with her multi-platinum debut album. Songs in A minor. The singer only had one feature on the album. She also wrote, arranged and produced the majority of the album. Additionally, she is a known talented pianist, playing her own instruments for her songs.
“It’s so interesting because I’ve never been a collaborator,” she said in an interview with the New York Post. “As a kid, I was just terrified of collaborating with different people. I was so lonely and, you know, to me, music is such a private space. And letting people into that space is terrifying. But once I got to a place where I felt more confident in my craft and more confident in who I am as a woman, I started to open up to collaborating.
Although he only collaborated with one other person for his first release, the album did well and was a hit with critics. With the help of singles like “Fallin'” and “How Come You Don’t Call Me”, the album debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200, selling 236,000 copies in its first week. She also won five Grammy Awards at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards and headlined her first tour named after the album.
She’s collaborated with big names like Beyoncé and says the singer is like a sister to her
Since his debut album, Keys has agreed to work with other artists. One of them is the Queen Bey. the two even toured together on Beyoncé’s first solo tour with Tamia and Missy Elliott. The tour celebrated women in hip hop and R&B and was titled Verizon’s First Ladies Tour.
Since then, Keys and Beyoncé joined forces on the 2010 single “Put It in a Love Song.” In a remix of Beyoncé’s latest No. 1 hit “Break My Soul,” Keys is one of the iconic black divas who gets a shoutout from the Carmen star. Keys considers Beyoncé a comrade in the business.
“We’ve known each other from the start,” Keys said of the dream girls star. “It’s such a beautiful thing for us to be sisters…to have that level of longevity and respect. Screaming all the different queens she wanted to scream – it just felt like such a beautiful sisterhood. That’s what being a queen is — embracing the queens around you. So I love it, I’m with it!
Alicia Keys is now working with her son on music
Keys is currently on a sold-out world tour. This time around, she has a special collaboration: her 11-year-old son, Egypt. He is the eldest of two children she shares with her producer husband Swizz Beatz.
“He got on stage with me and played the piano — his own little ensemble he started — in Mannheim, Germany,” Keys said. “I couldn’t believe it. I mean, it was mind-blowing, because he completely arranged it all on his own. And then he went out there and performed it with all types of personalities and connection with the crowd.
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