Alicia Keys, a native New Yorker, speaks with Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers about how the city has shaped her life and why it is a landmark. Landmarks Live in Concert rebroadcasts on Friday, June 23 at 10PM (check local listings) with Grammy Award-winning artist, Alicia Keys. A native New Yorker, Keys performs in notable NYC locations, including the world famous Circle Line harbor tour and Harlem’s Apollo Theater.
CHAD SMITH: This is Landmarks Live in Concert.
We're here with Alicia Keys and we're going to talk about her favorite place - New York City!
ALICIA KEYS: Woo!
ALICIA KEYS (SINGING): New York! Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of.
There's nothing you can't do. Now you're in New York.
CHAD SMITH: Why is New York a landmark?
ALICIA KEYS: I think the diversity is so incredible.
Different religious backgrounds and cultures that people come from and foods and smells and styles of dress. It's like everyone is from everywhere and that's something that is a bit of a struggle for the country, I think in a lot of ways.
You know - acceptance and how our differences are like kind of the coolest thing about us.
That provided me with a lot of open-mindedness as an artist and as a musician and as a writer.
ALICIA KEYS (SINGING): Couldn't blame me, I'm just giving the facts Tryna hit the top, the bottom ain't where it's at Everybody got a past but you can never go back - Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!
Sing - yeah, yeah, yeah yeah.
CHAD SMITH: Where did you grow up?
ALICIA KEYS: I was born in Hell's Kitchen.
We lived in a studio apartment - no bedrooms.
And my mother, you know she was a single mother and an incredible powerful woman. And she knew I had to stay busy in order to not get in trouble.
CHAD SMITH: Downtime is the devil's playground!
ALICIA KEYS: Yes is is!
I already was was in the devil's playground and I was busy!
I had just gotten signed to Columbia Records And I had also graduated high school early.
CHAD SMITH: At 16?
ALICIA KEYS: My first boyfriend was who I created that first record with.
ALICIA KEYS (SINGING): I keep on fallin, in and out, of love with you.
ALICIA KEYS: I mean, it's like, it's my whole heart.
It's my whole life. You know, it's my whole world really - New York.
ALICIA KEYS (SINGING): Cause what you do, what you do, what you do for love.
There ain't nothing, there ain't nothing, there ain't nothing I won't do for us.