Piano-playing siren Alicia Keys recently opened up to Blender magazine on everything from her conspiracy theories to her sexual side on her latest album, As I Am. Here are a few of the things we learned from Blender‘s cover story.
1. Alicia Keys almost lost her mind to make this record. “I’m the best wall builder that ever lived. These people were coming at me, asking me things, and they really didn’t care about me, but I had to give them everything. What did I have left for myself?” The result was that both Keys and her music got dark and weird. “I was hanging off the edge of a cliff. Something had to give, or I was gonna lose my mind.”
2. Gangsta Rap is a government tool. “Gangsta rap was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other,” says Keys.
3. Alicia’s discovered her sexual side. “I’m discovering my sexual side. I recorded this song – it’s supersimple: just piano, Rhodes keyboard and a kick drum. It’s so sensual. It moves you,” she says. Jeff Robinson, her manager, wasn’t exactly a fan: “he popped out of his seat halfway through. He said: ‘we do not record songs like this!'”