Alicia Keys: Motherhood changed the way I think

Alicia Keys says motherhood changed her way of thinking about a woman’s place in the world.

The 39-year-old singer has sons Egypt, nine, and Genesis, five, with husband Swizz Beatz, and has said welcoming her brood into the world helped her “value” the important things in life, and changed her way of thinking when it came to being a woman.

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She said: “You literally have a tiny being who could not even survive without you and something about that … I remember waking up to habits that I had. I tied a lot of my value to the number of things I could get done in a day. I think that’s a very womanly thing to do, this idea of ‘how many people can I make happy?’ “

“I think it’s obvious that there’s such an imbalance of how many women are at the table.”

— Alicia Keys

In 2018, the ‘Fallin’ hitmaker co-founded She Is the Music, a non-profit initiative to help more women find their footing in the industry, which she set up after noticing the “imbalance” of genders in the business.

She added: “I think it’s obvious that there’s such an imbalance of how many women are at the table.”

Alicia also spoke about her own ability to “navigate the nasty music industry”, and said her “street experience” helped her fend off advice to lose weight and succumb to over-sexualized imagery.

Speaking to The Sunday Times newspaper’s Style magazine, she said: “I think what enabled me to navigate the disgusting, nasty, treacherous world [of the music industry] was that I had enough street knowledge and street experience to really have a certain wisdom and awareness.

“My instinct is really strong. I’m a really hard worker. But it took time to figure out how not to fall on my face half the time. It was all literally a prayer. I was so focused on what there was to do that I didn’t have a lot of time to f**k around.”