“Alicia’s in the house!”
On Monday evening, Alicia Keys sat down with Gayle King, editor at large of O, The Oprah Magazine, for the latest installment in Hearst’s Master Class, to discuss her career, her family life, and how she balances it all.
“You sit here, in 2016, and really, this girl is on fire,” King said of the Grammy winner.
King started off by asking Keys, who recently celebrated her 35th birthday on January 25th, to explain the assortment of green fruits and vegetables she had backstage prior to the talk. “I’m doing 40 days of eating greens — does that sound disastrous?” Keys asked the audience. Her motivation for the program is “a mixture of cleansing, of focus, of dedication to really being healthy, and it’s also spirituality,” she said. Her recent birthday proved a bit of a challenge, however. “They brought me a red velvet cake,” she said, “and I was like, ‘Ya’ll you know I’m eating green, right?’”
The musician will be traveling to the Bay Area this weekend, where she’ll perform the day before the Super Bowl as part of the pre-game festivities.
Keys most recently was seen on-screen when she joined the cast of Fox’s epic hit ‘Empire’ for an arc with the character Jamal Lyon. “That was really fun,” she said of her role. “I love to act, it’s one of my greatest passions. I would love to do it more, but the time management of it all gets tricky. But I enjoyed it.” And will she be back for the second half of the season, which returns on March 30? “Well, not so far!” she said.
King and Keys discussed the balancing act of motherhood and a career, with King saying, “I always think if you drop a ball, pick it up and keep going.” “Yeah, and if you drop a ball, maybe just kick the ball over to the left,” Keys added.
She was candid with the audience about navigating her busy schedule and her home life, which includes her two children with husband Swizz Beatz and his three children from previous relationships. “The only way to navigate that beautiful, wonderful responsibility, is a massive calendar and schedule,” she said. “You have to really put the time into anything you love.”
She discussed the charity Keep A Child Alive, which she cofounded, and which works with people suffering from HIV and AIDS. “We are also of a generation now where we want broad change, we want to see how it all works together for the betterment of all,” Keys said.
She also teased her upcoming album, her sixth. “I love what I do, I love music, it’s so powerful,” she said. “What’s becoming more evident is that I’m becoming more powerful. I’m getting more clarity and more wisdom of what’s happening in the world and how to talk about it, how to access my feelings more.”
And the new record? “You should be out of your mind with excitement for this music,” she said. “You’re going to basically lose your mind.”