Author (urbannation). Submitted on Wed, 30 May 2012
With an unprecedented singing style and an extraordinary amount of talent, Alicia Keys is one super star who has created a career that has lasted 20 years in the industry. And she is still going strong. A master pianist and an exceptional song writer, Keys has won many accolades for her talent. In 2010, she was included in the VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and Billboard Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years.
You might be wondering what is it about Alicia Keys that has made her what she is now- a diva like no other. Keys herself she has taken inspiration from musical greats like Prince, Barbra Streisand, Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder. Her musical journey began very early in her life. At the tender age of seven, she became friends with the piano and that relationship has been part of her life ever since. She even learned classical music by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. Later on Keys enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School. And by the time she was 14, she was writing her own songs as well.
But these early yet humble beginnings paved the way to a career that outshone everyone else in the industry. Her musical style is like no other. The piano is of course a major part of almost all Alicia Keys songs. She heavily incorporates classical piano with R&B, soul and jazz into her songs while the roots of her style can be found gospel and vintage soul music. But it is her experimenting that has carved a special niche for her.
After her second studio album, she began experimenting with other genres, including pop and rock. The result was a very different yet highly appealing style of music- R&B with a sultry dose of neo-soul. Her next studio albums that incorporated this genre were breakout successes. Industry greats described her style as consisting of "crawling blues coupled with a hip-hop backbeat" and she was referred to as “the first new pop artist of the millennium who was capable of changing music.” But even with her newly developed signature style of music, classical piano riffs continued to be the hero of every song of hers.
But this is not all she can do. Alicia Keys pictures to be the complete musical package with song writing too as part of her arsenal. She often writes about love, heartbreak and female empowerment and her lyrics are known to touch the hearts of people. Alicia Keys music videos are also some of the most awaited television spectacles of the year. They have even won various awards like the MTV Video Music Award for best in the R&B category for the Alicia Keys music video of her songs “Karma” and “If I ain’t got you”.
An all pervasive super star, Alicia Keys has truly shown the world what a singing super star should really be like. No one can match up to her standards.
James Griffith is a freelance writer from London specialising in writing hiphop r&b music and uk grime music articles. Over the years he has developed an extensive knowledge of urban music and urban music artists and is considered one of the leading authorities on this subject. With a passion for Hip hop and R&B music since childhood, James Griffith brings great knowledge and a great understanding of this exciting music genre and his articles are both informative and entertaining too.