Interview: Alicia Keys on Pregnant Nudes and Says New Album Is ‘Aggressive’

Alicia Keys

Over South African rooibos tea (with a splash of coconut milk), VIBE sat down with Alicia Keys in a back room at Jungle City to discuss the superstar singer’s new We Are Here organization, being covered on the upcoming Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, working with Pharrell on her new album and her hopes for New York City hip-hop. —John Kennedy

VIBE: First and foremost, congrats on your second pregnancy. What has it been like your second time around?
Alicia Keys: It’s so beautiful, so exciting. A miracle. It’s my second time but it still feels like wonderment, like, whoa, how does this happen? Of course my son asked me that question the other day, which I was not quite ready for—Mommy, how did the baby get inside of your belly?

Has the experience been any different the second time around?
I’ve heard every pregnancy is different. This one was definitely different from Egypt. I felt more tired, more kind of sick than I was the first time, but overall I feel more confident and comfortable. The first time I’d be freaking out like, The music’s too loud, it’s going to hurt the baby, stuff like that. You’re like extra overthinking everything. This time it’s much more calm.

Have you been putting headphones on your stomach? 
I didn’t do that yet. But I’ll be at the piano singing, like, Aight baby, you ready? We gonna do it like this! So the baby definitely hears a lot of music.