You would think that after winning five Grammys and selling close to 5 million albums, Alicia Keys might find time for a summer vacation. On the contrary, the braided wonder is delving deeper into work mode, touring and recording an album.
“First I’m finishing up the second half of my tour, which starts July 3 in New Orleans at the Essence festival,” Keys said, outlining her plan of attack. “In the process, I’m always writing, recording, getting out ideas. After I finish this second half of the tour, I’m going to be in the studio hard, working on this next album. [I’m] really, really ready for it. It’s gonna be off the hook.”
For her sophomore LP, Keys, who has just finished a remix version of “How Come You Don’t Call Me,” said she already has a concept that will tie her two discs together “into one masterpiece.” She said she’ll write and produce most of it but that she isn’t averse to collaborating with others for part of the project.
“I’m not writing from a different place; I’m writing from my heart,” she said of her new songs. “No matter what circumstances you are in, there’s those things that always affect you, that always happen to you no matter who you are. You could be dead broke, you could be rich.
“Life always helps me write,” she continued. “No matter what I’m doing, it always helps me in a certain way. It helps me realize things as I’m going, so that sparks me to write. For me it’s all about growth. I’m not the same person I was three years ago, although a lot of characteristics in me are very much the same. You grow and you learn and you see and you want to try new things. It’s definitely going to be different, but it’s gonna have the same foundation, because that’s who I am, but it will definitely be the next step up.”
It’ll be tough to match the success Keys had with her debut, but working some of the kinks out of her album this summer might help. The singer is considering giving some of her new work a test run on tour.
“I may try new material. I also have learned so much from my last tour. I observed a lot and took in a lot. I definitely plan to change it up a bit, but the show is already a journey.”