For Humanity's ninth issue, activist-singer Alicia Keys pours her heart out. Following her We Are Here movement's collaboration with Mic, which featured many A-listers like Keys, Beyonce, Bono and more standing up for black lives, Keys goes in-depth about her forthcoming album, fighting for justice and helping children and families with AIDS. See some excerpts from the interview below and read the full feature here.
Alicia Keys on her new album:
"The music for this album was created so fast -- the fastest I’ve ever created music before. It was like raining down every night, like storms of music was just coming out. ... We did probably 30 songs in like 10 days."
Alicia on her recent hiatus:
"So I was like this album is going to come out real quick. And then I found out that I was having a baby—my youngest, Genesis—and that put a different time spin on things. And then it became kind of an exercise in patience, and that was really important for me because it allowed me to look at the album. ... So it wasn’t intentional and it wasn’t really meant to be a hiatus, but I guess it turned into that a little bit. I imagine a hiatus is when you’re on a beach, and I can’t recall a moment like that."
Alicia on how motherhood has changed her and how she keeps her kids grounded:
"How you view yourself [changes]. I think that was the biggest change for me when I had my first son. I really kind of respected myself for the first time … I respected my time for the first time, and I respected the value of what that meant and what I was giving up when I spent it incorrectly or when I used it correctly ... [My children have taught me] to not forget to be in wonder of all the things around you, as simple as they might be. Not taking them for granted. It’s so special."