Alicia Keys on New Album and Her Evolution, 'I Really Have Changed Mentally'

Alicia Keys
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Keep a Child Alive 

Alicia Keys speaks onstage during Keep A Child Alive's Black Ball 2016 at Hammerstein Ballroom on Oct. 19, 2016 in New York City.  

The multi-talented Keys spoke on the carpet for Keep A Child Alive's annual Black Ball.

As Alicia Keys stepped on the carpet for the 13th annual Keep A Child Alive Black Ball in New York's Garment District on Wednesday night (Oct. 19), she radiated vibrant enthusiasm and pure happiness. She sauntered down the carpet as if she had all the time in the world. On the contrary, her event started in 10 minutes.

The multi Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, philanthropist and more has recently debuted a new look with her natural hair and beautifully bare face, as well as a new sound, which will be weaved throughout her upcoming album Here, out Nov. 4. Even with those changes, the artist says her mentality is what has evolved the most. 

"I really have changed mentally so much," she tells Billboard. "We’re all just works in progress, right? We’re all just evolving as we go. Tomorrow’s going to be a little different, and the next day’s going to be a little different, and you go back and you go forward."

She adds that the way in which she has changed the most is in her choice "to be more quiet, and to learn how to take the time to listen to my own self, as opposed to getting drowned out by all the noise that’s around us every second." Keys, who lives in New York, is all too familiar with both literal street noise and metaphorical noise, in the sense of social media and the overwhelming influx of everyone's thoughts on various subjects.

"I don’t even know how we can breathe half the time," she wonders. "Everyone’s opinion is forced on us everywhere we look, and so it gets confusing to [offer an opinion] that hasn’t been given to you by a hundred different places. So that is the biggest change in me, and that’s really given me a sense of who I am, what I want to say, how I want to look, and what is important to me."


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