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Alicia Keys Blogs On Finding Herself During The Making of ‘The Element of Freedom’ Album


Alicia Keys recently celebrated the 10th anniversary since the release of her debut album ‘Songs In A Minor’ with its re-release and deluxe album. And she is now sharing with her fans a very valuable lesson she learned during the making of her last album, ‘Elements of Freedom’ . Taking to twitter the singer tweeted,

Making that album, she says, was “the culmination of everything I’d learned up until that point”. What does she mean exactly? Here’s what she had to say,

2009: Discovering the Element of Freedom

By Alicia Keys

The Element of Freedom album was really the culmination of everything I’d learned up until that point. I had finally become a grown woman unafraid to be herself—unafraid to claim her own destiny. I started to create these different songs and I took a whole new approach to the recording process. Instead of tying myself down with the music, I started to lighten up about it. I started to work about five days and then take two days off. Or work four days and take three off. Where I was before, I was almost a prisoner to creating music and if I would take a day off, I’d feel guilty about it. This time around, I felt better about going with the flow and taking it a little easier. In fact, this new approach really made the music flow so much quicker. The time away from it made me so excited to get back to it and it created a whole other dynamic that I had never experienced before. I loved that process and I was starting to set myself free. I found balance by learning how to have more fun during the recording process. I learned that taking breaks and going away from it actually brought me closer to it.

It’s definitely hard to create albums and tour and have any time left over for a life that gives you inspiration. But new inspiration comes in the craziest ways. Most of the time, it comes when you least expect it. It can come from conversations, or things that I’m personally going through, or it can come from a great line in a movie, or even a dream. It comes from everywhere and it’s the most beautiful thing when you do get inspired. I also find that when I do something totally new, like take guitar lessons or a writing class, then it opens up a whole new world.

I was honored at how my collaboration with Jay Z on “Empire State of Mind” really resonated with the whole world, and made me feel so connected to my city, New York. It was such a beautiful experience. I’d always wanted to collaborate with Jay. He was one of my favorite artists growing up and because we are both from New York, this was the perfect song. The minute that I heard the rough idea I just felt it immediately. Then to see how the world responded to it was such an unbelievable thing to witness. Here we were, singing a song about New York, but the whole world related to it. I think everyone who hears it feels exactly the way that I did the first time I heard it. It just strikes a chord in you that speaks somewhere very deep. I think what I witnessed is that “Empire State of Mind” is talking to people about having a dream and making it come true. And there isn’t anyone in the world that doesn’t want that. I’m so proud of this song. I love that Jay and I are a part of the fabric of New York in almost every way now!
It doesn’t hurt that 2009 was also the year she fell in love with now husband Swizz Beatz. The couple, who wed nearly a year ago, now have a 9 month old son together, Egypt Daoud Ibarr Dean.

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