New Keys Songs Due in Fall - Rolling Stone
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New Keys Songs Due in Fall

Chart-topping singer gets global on “A Minor” follow-up

Alicia Keys has been laying down tracks for the follow-up to 2001’s
multi-platinum Songs in A Minor. She wrote most of the
album, due in November, on her recent European tour. “I would be
down in my little bus,” she says, “banging out beats, putting down
thoughts on things that happened on the road.”

And many of those beats and thoughts were inspired by Keys’
international surroundings, including exposure to African singer
Oumou Sungare and the traditional flamenco singers she saw in
Madrid. “It’s like hip-hop freestyle, real raw,” she says.
“Everybody’s in a room, and they’re banging on a guitar for a beat.
And people just speak about the pain they feel in their life. I was
really touched.”

The five-time Grammy winner’s album will also feature familiar
sounds. “Some of the tracks are me on piano,” she says, “where I
belong.”

Among the new songs are “Dragon Days” and “Nobody Not Really,”
inspired by a boy who sold Keys candy in an airport. “I just got
off a plane and gave him the five dollars and went about my
business,” she explains. “Then I said, ‘Wait. What’s this for?’ And
he said, ‘A community center. We’re trying to do a music program
and raise money.’ So this song is about how nobody really cares
about those simple little things that can make such a big
difference, and how I realize I can slip into that thought process
too.”

In This Article: Alicia Keys

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