Alicia Keys talks hope and life in lockdown: ‘We are what we’re waiting for’

It’s not always easy being a celebrity. No matter what they do, they’re often criticised for it and sometimes they just can’t win. So, at Uspire we’ve decided to shine a light on some of our fave VIPs and remind you that many of them are down-to-earth and real, just like us.

In the third offering of our #PositivePeeps series, we want to give a massive shout out to the one and only Alicia Keys – a 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and New York Times best-selling author.

In a recent interview with InStyle magazine, the 39-year-old spoke via Zoom and revealed how she’s managing to stay positive during lockdown and these strange times.

The mother-of-two’s latest album, ALICIA, and accompanying tour have been postponed due to Covid-19, but Alicia is focusing on the pros of the global pandemic and told the publication she hopes we’ll see the value of “stripping away all the unnecessary things and really recognising how much we need each other”.

The interview took place before George Floyd’s death and the protests, but just as the world was learning more about the murder of Ahmaud Arbery – the unarmed African American man who was shot by white residents in Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23.

“You know, we do a really good job of judging each other and assuming who people are when we don’t even know them,” she said. “To me, the most important thing we can do right now is take a second to see and appreciate each other as we are.

“I really believe that we are it – we are what we’re waiting for, what we’re looking for,” the Fallin’ singer continued. “The way we raise our kids, the way we choose to be with each other, the way we face the world, that is how things will start to shift.

“We’re only as good as our ability to connect with each other. Everything else is irrelevant,” she added.

InStyle goes on to describe Alicia as the “music world’s reigning queen of good vibes and good deeds”, and we certainly don’t disagree. Since finding fame 20 years ago, Alicia has done an impressive amount of charitable work.

She is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit organisation that provides medicine, orphan care, and social support to families with HIV and AIDS in Africa and India, as well as another venture called She Is the Music – which advocates for women in the music business.

And when it comes to helping others, Alicia’s dedication doesn’t stop there. More recently, she made the brave step of tweeting out her mobile phone number so that people could text her directly with their thoughts and questions.

She told InStyle that she’s been responding to random people with “birthday wishes, random musings, and spontaneous jam sessions”, before adding that with age, she has learnt the importance between being kind to others and being kind to herself.

“I’m coming to the place now where I’m able to live more fully in my skin, my imperfections, my feelings, which are so hard to access,” she explained.

“Because we want to protect our heart, right? That’s what we’re all doing in some way. And I think my ability to access that place has brought a deeper connection to other people.”

We couldn’t agree more, Alicia!