Finding the Element of Freedom

Alicia Keys in concert
Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

I have always wanted to see Michael Jackson live, in one of his genius, mind-blowing performances. I wasn’t so fortunate. But I did have the privilege of seeing Alicia Keys perform live twice in 3 years, and I can proudly say that she is just as amazing – as a singer, performer, advocate and humanitarian. Leaving both Miami and Frankfurt concert halls, I had the delightful feeling that it was the best spent money in a long, long time.

Alicia doesn’t just offer musical entertainment; she takes you to another world. A world most of us forget it exists, an essential way of life. A universe of love, humanity, generosity and hope. All put into the words of her songs. Just listen, carefully…

Alicia Keys concert in Frankfurt, Germany in 2010.
     Alicia Keys concert in Frankfurt, Germany in 2010.

Alicia’s concerts are manifestos. She gets up (or comes down) on the stage and shows you herself – whether it’s madly in love persona, superwoman ready to fight injustice or angel playing the piano. She doesn’t just give us popular songs with lyrics that anyone knows, regardless of their mother tongue; she gives you, and me, a chance to rediscover and get back to ourselves.

Whether you realize you’re a “superwoman” or “keep on falling – in and out – of love”, especially if you feel in an “empire state of mind”, you are forced, in the most divine way, to find your personal freedom.

Her warm, kind voice always gets to me.

She becomes so intimate with each spectator, when she talks, between songs. She doesn’t shout, cheer, giggle or whisper temptingly. The sound of her voice talking, so simply and so genuinely, asking you to look into yourself and to reach higher, or to live the moment, since that’s all that matters – this is the voice of an angel. I will never forget her words – and her tone of voice – when she spoke to me, two years ago in Miami:

“I just wanna sit down and play my piano.”

Yes, it’s undeniable that music preference is subjective and all the key notes and words that touch me may leave another insensitive. But when a divine piano player adds meaning to the songs and uses her fame for greater-than-life humanitarian causes, then you have to stop and listen. Because it’s all about us, Humans being there for one another.

When Alicia Keys plays her piano, there is nothing else.

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