By Tarryn-Leigh Swartbooi
Alicia Augello Cook, more commonly known by her stage name, Alicia Keys, has been lighting up stages all around the world, our hearts and our homes for many years now with her unique and distinctive voice as well as her catchy and powerful songs. More than eleven years later, she is about to shine even brighter with her fifth studio album “Girl on fire”.
Keys started playing the piano when she was only seven years old. When she was twelve years old, she enrolled in the Professional Performing Art School. After four years at the school, she graduated as valedictorian at age sixteen.
Alicia released her debut album “Songs in a minor” back in 2002 with JRecords and has been unstoppable ever since. Her album was an instant hit and landed her five Grammy award and multiple nominations for various categories. Since then, she has accumulated fifteen Grammys and has sold more than 40 million albums world-wide.
As the years progressed, it was not only Alicia?s Grammy collection and album sales that grew, her creative skills and abilities as an artist grew too. Five albums later one can see very clear just how magnificently Alicia grew. She went from a young girl who?s braids was her signature look, to a beautiful woman with beautiful long hair and who is now amongst other things a record producer , business woman, wife and mother.
Just as she matured, her music matured with her. Over the years, Alicias songs were mainly about love and relationships. But ever since her fourth studio album “Element of freedom”, her songs have a clear message about wanting to inspire and empower people, but especially women. One specific song from The element of freedom “Superwoman” can be a testimony to that. She has taken this empowering theme to a whole new level with her new album “Girl on fire”.
This new album is formally being released on the 29th of November 2012. However, four songs on the album amongst which the title track “Girl on fire” have already been released. Alicia debut with the cover song “Girl on fire” at the 2012 MTV music awards, which took place on the 6th of September 2012. At an interview about the album Alicia said: “With my new album, I want to empower and liberate my fans”.
On her new album, Keys vocal performance is magnificent! Her very unique and distinctive voice blows life into her songs and makes you get chills and feel empowered by just listening to them. What is also very striking is that instead of the piano which has been the dominating sound in her music all these years, drums have become the more dominating sound in her songs.
I think that by moving away from the soft and elegant sound of the piano to the louder and dramatic sound of the drums, she just wants to show her fans that even though she is still the elegant woman they know and fell in love with, she is now more mature, fiercer, and stronger than ever. If the four songs that have just been released from Alicias new album is anything to judge the entire album “Girl on fire” on, this album is promising to properly set Keys fans on fire!