Multi-Grammy winning songstress Alicia Keys joined HelloBeautiful for an intimate performance at Ginny’s Supper Club in Marcus Samuelson’s Red Rooster Restaurant in Harlem. Keys placed a 60 minute set for about 100 guests that will be debuted on HelloBeautiful as Interludes: LIVE. Keys enchanted the audience with her singing and storytelling, joking and confessing about the sentiments behind some of her favorite new songs.
She walked onto the stage as if she was already knee-deep in conversation with the attentive audience. With one hand on her piano, and her eyes locked on the audience, Keys was candid and personable. Before playing, “You Don’t Know My Name,” she opened with a story about being in the studio with Kanye West for the track (way before he was “Yeezy”) and the innovative music-maker told Alicia that a song isn’t good until you talk on it. He even told her to ask the man in song what he wanted from the diner–suggesting she get him some “hot chocolate.” So that’s where that infamous “you always order the special, with the hot chocolate and my manager be tripping and stuff talking bout we gotta use water, but I always use some milk and cream for you ’cause I think you’re kinda sweet,” speech came from!
Alicia moved seamlessly between some of her best tunes like “Unthinkable,” “Sleeping With A Broken Heart,” “No One” and more. The audience was completely interactive as they requested songs and gave Alicia affirmations of her solid performance.
Alicia has this soul-stirring way of pulling you into her songs in her live performances. She had the crowd eating our the palm of her hands; they even chanted, “Go Alicia!” as she danced to “Sleeping With A Broken Heart.” When she sang “Fire We Make” ft. Maxwell from her latest album, “Girl On Fire” (for the first time ever live), it felt like we were flies on the wall in her bedroom. The lyrics and the way she sang were so sensual, it was almost uncomfortable to enjoy because it was if we were seeing the most intimate parts of her life without her knowing.
Chatting with the audience as if we were all old high school buddies in Harlem, Keys pleaded with us to “Listen and trust your heart. It’s bigger than you.” This small morsel of inspiration led Keys into another hit from “Girl On Fire” and that’s “Listen To Your Heart.” It was Keys’ live version of “Brand New Me” that completely silenced the event-goers and Alicia’s emotions hung in the air, naked.
Several people in the audience admitted that after this tune, Keys made them believers of her undeniable talent. Co-written by Scottish songstress Emeli Sande, “Brand New Me” boasts potent lyrics that are absolutely freeing. Keys mentioned that while writing the song, she didn’t want people to be mad at her change, but instead allow her to find herself. This, friends, is the essence of who Alicia Keys is–always striving to be “Brand New.”
She closed out the conversation of a concert with these words, “I’m feeling new and fresh.” And we feel you Alicia!
Check Out This Breathtaking Gallery Of Alicia Keys Performing Exclusively For HelloBeautiful!
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