Alicia Keys reflected on her vulnerabilities when she was writing music for her new album.
The Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter released her first single in four years entitled In Common in May (16), which was recorded for her upcoming untitled sixth studio album.
And the star relished taking her time to write as it gave her the opportunity to reflect on her past. She also felt that the time had come for her to be less inhibited in her lyrics.
"What I write about is definitely what I feel, what I see, or what I'm going through," she told Britain's Heat magazine.
"I don't mean to imply that I (wasn't real before) - I just feel so much more comfortable now. I was always afraid of being too vulnerable," she smiled. "I was too strong, too tough, or too cool to (say), 'Feel whatever it is you feel.' You (are allowed to) be a little down or confused. That is what I've found more comforting."
The 35-year-old adds she wrote down a list of things she doesn't like about society before she embarked on writing new music, mainly issues to do with sexism and ageism. And she found the process to be cathartic as it forced her to speak her mind.
"I hated that I was always trying to find the most perfectly, politically correct way that wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings at all. Who can live like that?" she explained.
Such concepts were explored in her song In Common, and the mother of two happily admits the lyrics refer to her belief that humans are all a "bit messed up".
Despite the serious themes, Alicia is confident her new outlook will be well received by her fans.
"I'm so excited about this record. Y'all gonna go crazy. There's so much to it," she smiled.