Alicia Keys and Jay Z discuss KEYS album, Verzuz and recording with their kids

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The two music icons spoke with Genius on the Twitter Spaces platform.

When Alicia Keys released her eighth solo album Keys on December 10, she presents a new artistic concept on the double LP. On the A side (Originals), she offers a range of stripped-down, piano-focused and soul-carrying tracks, which she then serves to producer Mike Will Made-It on the B (Unlocked) side, so that together , they can remix, reinvent, and represent the album on a single project.

It’s the kind of repulsive frontier Keys has exhibited his entire career, starting with his Songs in A Minor debut in 2001. So when it came time to promote his latest, Keys teamed up with Genius on Tuesday, December 21. to present one. single conversation on Twitter Spaces, the social media giant’s new audio forum. The room opened at 7 p.m. ET and the event which was billed as a conversation with Alicia and “very special guests” quickly lived up to the hype, when Jay-Z entered the chat.

“I think she just widened the space of what can be done,” Hov said of the latest from Keys. “I think it’s super brave and a brilliant album.”

From there, the convo (hosted by Genius VP of Content Strategy Rob Markman) moved on to a discussion of how artists of Alicia and Hov’s stature managed to balance the art and commerce. There are hundreds of millions of records sold between the two artists, and their music has generated multi-million dollar earnings for themselves and the labels they’ve recorded with over the years. Yet Keys and Jay have remained champions of artistic integrity.

Alicia addressed the matter first. “The balance is that I have been fortunate to have had so much commercial success that I am able to be free and make music,” she said before throwing at Jay.

“I think it’s the music business, but music always comes first,” he said. “Music can exist without record companies, record companies cannot exist without artists. “

It was a serious meeting of the spirits, but there were also some fun and light moments. Like when Jay was asked if he would one day make a Verzuz, the platform created by Swizz Beatz, Alicia and Timbland’s husband, where artists compete against each other in a grand celebration of music.

“No disrespect. Everyone is amazing and [has] did what they did, ”Jay said, warming up for his chest pounding boast. “There’s no way in hell that anyone could stand on this stage with me.”

They also talked about collaborating musically with their children. Beyoncé and Hov’s daughter Blue Ivy appeared on Jay’s 4:44 album, and Alicia recently recorded a remake of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with her 11-Year-Old Egypt son.

“I was completely in my feelings, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a memory to never forget, ”Keys said of the session.

And it was an unforgettable evening, as the two spoke for over 90 minutes, sharing their opinions, a few laughs and their take on the state of the music business. How cool is that?


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