Alicia Keys Gives Advice To Her Younger Self & Talks Activism In Glamour's March Issue

Photo credit: Glamour / Carter Smith
Since dropping her first album, Songs in A Minor, 16 years ago, Alicia Keys has remained pretty badass. Between starting a no-makeup movement and passionately fronting a revolution — all in less than a year — the woman really is...on fire. (Sorry, couldn't resist).

The singer and Voice judge graces the cover for Glamour's March 2017 activist-themed issue. In the interview with writer Kimberly Drew, the 36-year-old artist delivered some choice bits of wisdom, here are a few highlights.

What does Keys wish she could tell her younger self?
“There is this fallacy about how women are catty, that we’re all in competition with each other. I’d say: As opposed to getting swept up in jealousy, use that pang to give you an indication of what you are looking for. Actually, there is this awesome performer Lilly Singh [IISuperwomanII on YouTube], who always does this thing: ‘Shout out another girl and tell her what you love about her.’ Even doing that is such a good practice. I don’t know if we tell women great news about themselves enough. You’d be surprised how often a young woman doesn’t hear positive things about herself—not in her home, not at school. It’s hard to create a beautiful image for yourself when you’ve never seen it or heard it.”
Photo credit: Glamour / Carter Smith
How does she feel her art and activism relate to one another?
"They totally go together. You see it in the way Bob Marley spoke, how he chose his words through music. Nina Simone was so blatantly courageous. Even John Lennon wrote these songs about love that were so simple, timeless, and powerful. For a while, I thought the two things were separate because people told me they should be separate. But I think conveying the emotion of the collective ‘we,’ something those artists were able to do, is pretty incredible. Especially in tumultuous times like we are in now.”

How does she feel about motherhood?
“I love being a mom. And I think what I love the most is the way it makes me think about what’s important and what’s not important. What to fight for and what to just be cool with. What it is that I’m teaching through example and what it is that I was taught that I don’t want to teach. You can be very fulfilled as a mother, but that can’t be the only way you are fulfilled. What about being a woman? What about being yourself? Your awareness of what’s happening in the world? It lives altogether in a way that makes a whole. I guess I’d say I’m the wholest I’ve ever been.”

And check out her adorable interview with the young girls of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, below.
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