15-time GRAMMY® Award-winning artist and worldwide-celebrated music icon Alicia Keys has been unveiled as Marie Claire’s November cover star. The singer, producer and entrepreneur speaks about sexism in the music industry, the joy of setting boundaries and how she finally found her true voice. Alicia Keys will release the album ‘Keys’ on December 10th – you can pre-save it here.
On finding her voice and setting boundaries:
‘One of the things I’ve learned with age is that there’s so much to who we are. It’s easy to default to the woman you usually are, but we can actually be our most magnificent… most fancy, smart, beautiful [selves] – all those things so many of us hold back. Keys is all about losing that reservation. I don’t have that reservation any more.’
‘Boundaries are my favourite thing in the whole world. Here is my space, stay out of it! You’re crossing the line. I think there’s something about being able to verbalise it.’
‘It was very hard for me to express times I’ve felt weak,’ she says. ‘If I felt scared, or like I wasn’t gonna be good at something. I never wanted to give people the opportunity to prey on my emotions, so I always hid them. I never felt comfortable crying in front of people. I would [say] I’m fine when I’m not fine.’
On being a woman within the music industry:
‘I think it’s actually what saved me from this super-dirty industry, which sometimes makes women feel like they don’t have a choice about how to express themselves or portray their womanhood or their sensuality or their sexuality – or any of it. Growing up, I was very much around pimps, prostitutes and dealers. I had to conduct myself in a certain way in order to not attract that type of attention. It gave me perspective. As a kid, everyone wants to tell you what to do and how to look and how they want to market you… they literally try to mould you like clay.’
‘Compromise has been my middle name – Alicia Compromise Keys. I definitely came to a place where I was recognising that my desire to compromise sometimes overcame my desire to honour my original vision. You know, I’m just finished with giving my power away.’
Read the full feature here.