Alicia Keys has one of the most-recognized and celebrated voices of our generation.
Since the release of her 2009 album, The Element of Freedom, Keys has produced a Broadway play, directed a short film, designed shoes for Reebok, married hip hop artist and producer Swizz Beatz, and given birth to their now two-year-old son.
All of these experiences have shaped her as an artist and while recording her newly-released album Girl On Fire, Keys stepped out of her comfort zone by collaborating with new producers and experimenting with new beats.
“I’m in a new space of my life and I think that because of that, I was more open to just doing things I never did before.” she told 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles. “I needed to do things I never did before. I couldn’t go in and do it in maybe the comfortable way that I’ve been used to doing it. I needed to break all the rules and break all the walls down and because of that, I think the songs have come together in the best way I’ve ever written.”
The fresh perspective seems to be working as her album debuted at No. 1 on the charts.
“There’s no filler on this album,” Keys explained. “There’s nothing on this album that you’re not going to be able to play or not going to be able to love in a different space in your mind and that’s actually what I wanted to do from the beginning. I wanted to make songs that were going to be like really special, so I feel proud. I feel like I achieved that.”
From the moment Alicia first wrote the lead single “Girl On Fire” she knew it would be the overarching theme of her fifth studio album.
“There was an aggression to it. There was a simplicity to it. There was a loudness to it. There was a quietness to it,” she said. “There’s everything that felt right and I knew at that moment I was going to call this record Girl On Fire because that’s who I am and it’s more than just a great phrase. It’s more about where I am in my life and claiming myself and saying, ‘You are who you are and love who you are, wherever you are.’”
-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles