Alicia Keys on honoring her African roots: ‘I feel like royalty’
Alicia Keys has reclaimed her sense of beauty in “the Blackness of” her African heritage and believes this “gorgeous expression of individuality deserves to be respected.”
The signer shared her candid thoughts with Glamour UK and told the publication how, “I’ve always been proud of wearing braids and I love learning about the power of hair.”
The award-winning singer also added how it was only after reclaiming her own power to honor her roots did she begin to feel like a “royal”. Keys finds there to be “something so beautiful about the Blackness of it, about my African ancestry that I just feel truly connected to.”
She went on to explain, “I read a book once that was our story through hair and through braids, and I learnt how in each tribe, your position was actually told through the style in which you wore your hair; and we should accept the uniqueness of it. There’s definitely a lot of [expletive] messed-up hair culture that exists.”
At the heart of her all, Keys’s personal style is a concoction of her New York upbringing, “A lot of my fashion and beauty sense comes from being so exposed to the streets at a young age. I always had to be conscious about my toughness, about my boundaries and my clothes, so I was always very pared down in what I wore.”
The singer later wore her heart on her sleeve during the course of the interview and admitted, “I’ve always had a challenging time with my skin and having to figure out how to manage it, and be in the spotlight. Having to constantly be in this crazy cycle of putting on makeup to cover the bumps and scars and then because I had makeup on under the hot lights, there were more bumps and scars. I felt like I had to hide everything and I felt really self-conscious.”
But now, “For me beauty is about the soul and the heart and the spirit and what comes through you, comes out of you. And so it’s more than just the surface. It’s a deep conversation about who we are and who we want to be and where we’re going. It’s a passion of mine, a deep passion of mine that has been years in the making.