Alicia Keys is returning to the music scene, just a year after the release of her seventh studio album, Alicia.
Her upcoming double album, KEYS, will feature two types of songs: “original versions [which are] laidback piano vibes,” produced by herself and “unlocked versions [which are] upbeat, drums, level up vibes,” produced by herself and co-produced by Mike Will Made-It. The album is slated for release on Dec. 10.
She explained, “The Originals come from that classic side of me! It’s that AK that we WANT!! A homecoming. The Unlocked side, I wanted to sample The Originals to create a whole other sonic experience. So, @MikeWiLLMadeIt and I connected and made magic. Together, they are a fusion of the worlds within me with the #KEYS as the main ingredient.”
Taking to social media, the “Diary” singer teased fans with the piano chords from her next single. “See how it feels? It’s moody. It’s a vibe. It’s raw. It’s piano. It’s everything we want!” she shared. Keys then switches to the “unlocked” version. “…Because you know there’s two sides to every story and it’s two sides to every song on KEYS, so you get to vibe with two sides of me,” she continued.
Welcome to my new album #KEYS!!!
I’ve been waiting to tell you this for so long!!
A DOUBLE ALBUM. DEC. 10th.
Original ? AND Unlocked ?
Welcome to the #KEYS experience.
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) October 27, 2021
As seen in her docuseries, NOTED: Alicia Keys The Untold Stories, the New York native speaks on her artistry 20 years since her debut. “I definitely spent a long time holding back and now when I say ‘I know my lane and I wanna live in it,’ I wanna live in it in a way that I never did before.”
During episode 4 of NOTED, the Songs In A Minor singer is seen in the studio with Raphael Saadiq, J. Cole, and shows behind-the-scenes insight from the making of her song with Swae Lee, “LALA.” The episode is described as “Keys [finding] fulfillment in collaborating with new talent who push her own musical boundaries.”
Keys also expressed, “People never think that I’m the producer. They always think the guy in the room is the producer. I create the beats. I arrange the vocals. I arrange the music. I’m the last one to leave and the first to come and even though I’ve been at this for a minute, people are still surprised at what I can do.”
Though she did not namedrop the new project specifically, she stated, “This music is really about being a woman and being clear in what I want and what I deserve and how I want to express in a way that’s just completely in my badassery.”
A tracklist for KEYS has yet to be announced, but check out the cover art below.
KEYS is coming December 10th!!!
I wanted to officially share the cover with you!
One album. 2 versions. Originals & Unlocked. pic.twitter.com/P0iTsZgiS3
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) October 28, 2021