Hear Alicia Keys' Brooding Ballad 'Back to Life' - Rolling Stone
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Hear Alicia Keys’ Brooding Ballad ‘Back to Life’

Singer-songwriter’s new track features in upcoming film ‘Queen of Katwe,’ about Ugandan chess prodigy

“I wanna be somebody/ I wanna go somewhere,” Alicia Keys belts on her dynamic new single, “Back to Life.” The cathartic track morphs from a minimalist piano ballad to an uptempo electro-pop jam, with Keys tossing out confessional lyrics through melismatic vocal swoops. “I’m just trying to hold onto a dream/ Out there lost, and nothing’s what it seems,” she sings. “I’m just trying to find where I belong/ This must be the dark before the dawn.”

Keys wrote “Back to Life” for upcoming biopic Queen of Katwe, which hits theaters September 30th. The Disney film, which stars David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o, chronicles the life of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi.

The singer-songwriter issued another new single, the Latin-tinged “In Common,” in May. She performed that track and premiered the gospel-influenced “Hallelujah” during her guest spot that month on SNL. Both tracks are expected to feature on her upcoming sixth LP, which follows 2012’s Girl on Fire.

In July, Keys helped close out night two of the DNC with performances of “In Common” and her 2007 track “Superwoman.” “We can’t let politics divide us,” she told the crowd. “We have to show that bigotry and fear will never win, because we have so much in common.”

Both Keys and Miley Cyrus have signed on as coaches for Season 11 of The Voice, which premieres September 19th on NBC.

In This Article: Alicia Keys


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