A Conversation with Alicia Keys

«I really wanted to explore kind of these stereotypes and these boxes and these constraints, these like self-placed confinements that we put on each other, self-placed confinements we put on ourselves, stereotypes that people naturally, just when they see another person, they judge them.

You know, like these kind of things that we do as human beings that we are like taught to do without even realizing it. I really wanted to talk about that a lot, and so it was really about breaking that down because I realized like somehow, as a culture, we just have become so judgemental and we have become so… like we have had to describe orselves in like very short texts.

I am also concerned about the stories of police violence which are becoming a permanent feature of the news.

The police violence that has been happening has just been super unacceptable and it’s just like escalating. Not that it hasn’t always hapenned. I mean, take it back to slavery. I mean, take it back however far you want to go! But the way that we are now, face to face with it, in a way that it’s been able to be hidden before, and now it’s very, very obvious and clear that it’s an issue. I mean, racism is a really, really big issue, and it’s a really big issue all over the world.

Just the way that we stereotype each other to the point where a man would kill another man or woman, just because they think that they might be dangerous to them because of the colour of their skin. And that’s like really deeply ingrained and sad and so to the point of breaking these boxes down, breaking these barriers down, these stereotypes and these self-inflicted constraints that we put on each other, and we put on ourselves, is a lot about like where this text started and a lot about the dialogue and the conversation that I was like: “Why don’t we talk about stuff like that? Like why don’t we talk about what it feels (like) to be judged and misunderstood?

I don’t understand why anybody would not value how powerful it is, you know, what a country is meant to be, which is like coming together, this melting pot of all people, this place where you can come – and no matter where you were born – and have a possibility to reach the highest potencial of yourself. It’s such a beautiful dream. It really is. And it’s layered, but for that to be, you know, that’s definitely disappointing».


Video: A Conversation with Alicia Keys


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