Alicia Keys is certainly helping Complex magazine to kick off 2013 on a good note as the 31-year-old siren covers the magazine’s December/January issue. Photographed by Gavin Bond, the “Girl On Fire” looks cool, calm and collected in her undeniable sexiness as she works her new cropped hairdo while posing in several skin-baring white tops. Below, read as Alicia shares her new state of mind, her favorite song on her upcoming album and just who came up with the idea to name her son Egypt.
On what drives her: “I’m competitive with myself in the sense that I want to get better. It’s not that I’m obsessively dissecting myself, but there’s a critique that happens…I’m not comparing myself to other people. I don’t wanna be like her or him. I want to be my best.”
On “Brand New Me”: ’ I love that song so much. It’s so freaking real.
On privacy: I didn’t want to say every single thing because you don’t want people to know that. There’s personal and there’s public, and I deserve the right to have a personal space.”
On her change in perspective: ”Because I started so young, so much of my life has been like catching up to myself—or trying to run underneath myself so I’m not falling. I finally stepped back and was able to look at it all and say ‘Wow.’”
On growing up: “Some people who I knew for years—we couldn’t be on the same page anymore…The hardest thing is to trust yourself, to know that what you’re feeling is valid…I realized that I can trust myself and say, ‘No, I’m not comfortable with that.’ That was the toughest part. When I finally had the bravery to do that, that’s when I started to feel on fire.”
On naming her son: “When we found out I was pregnant, my husband said, ‘Egypt was such an important time for you. That really changed your life. Wouldn’t that be amazing as a name?’ Once he said that, I was like, ‘Yes.’ ”
For more of Alicia’s Complex photos and interview head here.