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Alicia Keys reveals the inspiration behind her new album in ‘Essence’ cover story


EssenceAlicia Keys is completing the follow up to her 2016 album Here, and she tells Essence in the June cover story that her new music reflects how she learned to love herself, including her imperfections.

“I’m not so quick to be concerned about the fact that this part is a little bit jagged or rugged. Or this part might be a little bit, you know, super raw. Or this part might be a little bit down or sad. I don’t have to pretend like I’m not all those things,” the 15-time Grammy winner says.

“I’m just loving getting to know all of me and then being able to express that in these different musical facets,” she adds. “I would never have been able to do it before now, because I didn’t have my big-girl panties on the way that they are on, securely, now. I’m allowed to have cute panties and not-so-cute panties. Whatever! I’m just loving being good with that.”  

Alicia and her husband Swizz Beatz have two sons together, eight-year old Egypt, and four year oldGenesis. She says becoming a mother taught her to always seek out positiveness.

“I remember clearly wanting to remove the negative energy around me quickly, and prior to that, I didn’t feel so drawn to do that for myself. But doing it for this new soul made sense to me,” she says. 

In addition to a new album, the 38-year-old singer is also writing her memoir, titled More Myself: A Journey, for Oprah Winfrey’s publishing company.

The June issue of Essence with Keys on the cover hits newsstands Friday.

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