Although Alicia Keys had to place the release of her seventh studio album, ALICIA on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York City native is still giving fans original content in the form of a book. On Tuesday (March 31), Keys released her More Myself: A Journey book (An Oprah Book, via Flatiron Books) which tracks her upbringing in the Big Apple’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood all the way to becoming a world-renowned artist and humanitarian.
The book, which you can order here, features memories of meeting Prince, meeting her husband/famed producer Swizz Beatz, and signing record deals that each served as a learning lesson, including one with Clive Davis which she detailed in the excerpt below:
Jeff and I debated for days. I can still feel the below-freezing wind gusts cutting through my jacket and into my bones as I stood out on Fifty-seventh Street, arguing with him about why I wanted to remain with Clive. “Come on,” Jeff kept saying, “let’s just do the deal with Arista. Clive is great. L.A. is great. Both understand who you are as an artist, so either way, you win professionally. You might as well go with the best deal.” As much as I understood and appreciated that logic, and as eager as I was to carve out a Grand Canyon between me and an empty checking account, I didn’t feel good about walking away from Clive. He clearly cared about my career; I’d sensed that from our very first meeting. He’d also invested mightily in helping me untangle myself from Columbia. I also felt loyal to Peter, who’d wanted to sign me from the beginning, long before the universe brought us together at Arista. “I’m staying with Clive,” I finally told Jeff, who rolled his eyes and threw up his arms. My instincts had led me to sign with Clive, and now, that sixth sense urged me to remain loyal to our partnership. For one of the first times in my relationship with my manager, I refused to be swayed. In the coming years, he’d often say to me, “I will never doubt your instincts.”
On her Instagram account, Keys also read another excerpt which visualizes her NYC surroundings.
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Growing up in these Hell’s Kitchen streets taught me A LOT. I realize there’s a certain amount of armor u have to wear just to make it down the street. Mommy raised me on her own and she always taught me so much. The hard truths even when I was too young to understand. Mostly she taught me a lot about empathy. I always promised myself I would never be vunerable and exposed. I realize I carried that with me for so long. Now I’m ready to be more open. More vunerable. More Myself: A Journey 📚 is out TOMORROW!!!!! 😘 Thank you for your love! I Can’t wait to share with you.
The news arrives a day after Keys’ recent single “Underdog” reached the No. 1 spot on the iTunes chart. The melody also has a remix component featuring reggae’s innovators Chronixx and Protoje which you can spin below.