Alicia Keys gives fans sneak peak of her forthcoming double album
Alicia Keys gave fans a special treat during an intimate show in Florida on Wednesday, offering them a preview of her next album.
As part of a “secret” concert and experimental art show at Superblue Miami on the night before the annual international art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, Keys engaged the small audience with an immersive musical experience, as reported by NBC News 4.
The 15-time Grammy winner performed a new song, “Is it Insane,” with only her voice and her piano. Then, she played a pre-recorded, fully produced version of the same song and asked the crowd which version they preferred.
The results, according to Keys, were right down the middle. “I say that’s even,” Keys said. She repeated the same thing with two other songs, performing an acoustic version, then playing a fully produced version afterward. Both versions of all three songs are slated to be on her forthcoming album, Keys, due Dec. 10.
She announced on social media last month that Keys will be a double album. One half, titled “Originals,” features her singing with a piano, or as she posted, “laid back piano vibes.” The other half, titled “Unlocked,” will feature the same songs from the “Originals” half, but with “upbeat, drums, level up vibes.”
All the music on the “Unlocked” half she produced with Mike Will Made-It.
Prior to her appearance at the Art Basel event, Keys premiered one of the songs from the “Unlocked” half, “LaLa,” at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards in September.
She was joined by Swae Lee, who himself has collaborated with Mike Will Made-It, real name Mike Williams, on such hits as Rae Sremmurd’s “No Flex Zone” and “Black Beatles.”
Keys’ collaboration with Williams is a departure of sorts for the singer/songwriter. While Keys is known mostly for classy R&B songs like “Fallin’,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” “No One,” and “Unthinkable (I’m Ready),” Williams became a Grammy-winning producer due to his mastery of trap-based hip-hop beats, exemplified on hits such as Beyoncé’s “Formation,” Kanye West’s “Mercy,” Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.”
Following the MTV VMA performance and subsequent release of “LaLa,” Keys dropped the second single from the “Unlocked” half of the double, “Best of Me,” in October. The atmospheric drum and bass track that draws from a sample of Sade’s “Cherish The Day,” is accompanied by a video that features Keys with husband, producer Swizz Beatz, and their children.