Alicia Keys is sporting an au natural look on the cover of her lateslt single ‘In Common’ off her upcoming album, and says she was inspired by her albums theme of the pressure to be perfect.
The Grammy-winning songstress penned an essay for Lena Dunham’s feminist newsletter, Lenny, titled ‘Time to Uncover’.
“Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of,” she wrote. “And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect.”
The stunning cover work was shot by photographer Paola Kudacki, who was inspired by Keys’ natural beauty when she arrived at the shoot.
“I’d just come from the gym, had a scarf under my baseball cap, and the beautiful photographer Paola (never met a Paola I didn’t like) said, ‘I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!’”
"Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt!" Keys writes, but once Kudacki began the shoot, "a bunch of invisible magic" was in the air.
"I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt," Keys says. "I felt powerful because my initial intentions realized themselves. My desire to listen to myself, to tear down the walls I built over all those years, to be full of purpose, and to be myself!"
She continues: "I hope to God it's a revolution. 'Cause I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing."