Alicia Keys looks stunning on the cover of Complex Magazine where inside she debuts a brand new her. In the cover story, Alicia explains why her new track "Brand New Me" means so much to her, keeping certain aspects of her life private, and letting go of a lot of people she knew for years.
She also express her feeling towards Frank Ocean and his "coming out" to the public situation and the decision on naming her son Egypt.
On Her Song ‘Brand New Me'
Don't be mad that I’m different, Alicia explains about the song. “Don’t be mad that I’m changed. Don’t be mad that I’m grown. You can’t affect me the way you once did. You can’t be mad. Like, how could you be mad?
My favorite part of that song is the bridge. The bridge says, ‘If you were a friend, you’d want to get to know me again/If you were worth the while, you’d be happy to see me smile/I’m not expectin’ sorry. I’m too busy finding myself.’ All of us have had that type of realization: ‘You don’t control me. You might have at one time, but you don’t anymore.’ I love that song so much. It’s so freaking real.
On Being Guarded
I mean, what the hell? The whole freaking world is looking at your s–t. It’s scary. I didn’t want to say every single thing because you don’t want people to know that. There’s personal and there’s public, and I deserve the right to have a personal space.
On Feeling Caged vs. Feeling In Charge
Becoming my new self, some people didn’t understand me anymore. Some people who I knew for years—we couldn’t be on the same page anymore. That’s OK because that’s part of growing, too. The hardest thing is to trust yourself, to know that what you’re feeling is valid. A lot of times we dismiss our feelings. I realized that I can trust myself and say, ‘No, I’m not comfortable with that.’ That was the toughest part. When I finally had the bravery to do that, that’s when I started to feel on fire.
On Frank Ocean Coming Out
That was super brave and I’m so glad that he wrote it,” she says. “He is the voice for so many people. We’re all boxed in to these stupid things that we’re taught is the way we’re supposed to be and it’s so ridiculous. There are so many people that need a champion to assure them that no matter who you are, you are a beautiful person. That doesn't change the fact that you’re talented or intelligent. Thank God that we have come to this place where we can actually know and be more open to the fact that people come in all different ways. And that’s great because it’s a very boring world otherwise.
On Staying Out of the Doghouse In A Relationship
It's real easy,” she says. “You stay outta the doghouse by not being a dog. You know what to do. That’s it. Life is real easy. You know what the key is? Honesty. OK, honesty isn’t easy. Honesty can be hurtful. It can be painful. It can be difficult. But honesty makes things easier. ’Cause then you don’t have to go back and do all types of other bulls–t. It’s just better. Trust me.
On Naming Her Son Egypt
I took an important trip for myself to Egypt. There were a lot of things that needed to change. I was not as experienced then, so I felt close to a breakdown. I went to Egypt, and I went alone. I sailed down the Nile and I saw the temples, the tombs, and the pyramids. It was powerful.” She adds with a laugh, “It was very Cleopatra.”
When we found out I was pregnant, my husband said, ‘Egypt was such an important time for you. That really changed your life.’ Wouldn’t that be amazing as a name?’ Once he said that, I was like, ‘Yes.’