Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys forms production company    ·    January 18th, 2006

After conquering the world of music, Alicia Keys is expanding into movie and television production.

Keys, 24, and her longtime manager, Jeff Robinson, said last week they have formed a company whose first project will be a UPN TV series inspired by Keys’ experiences as a biracial youngster growing up in New York.

“A lot of times I watch TV and I watch film and there’s so many things I’d love to talk about that I feel don’t get the opportunity to be shown,” Keys said. “Sometimes things become very stereotypical and one-sided, and I feel like it’s such a colorful world.”

Their company, New York-based Big Pita, Lil’ Pita, will provide “the opportunity to expose that array,” Keys said.

She’s also intent on developing projects that give women their due, she added.

“I was mostly raised by very strong women, and I consider myself one as well. So I’d like to see things explore that and see that strength shine through,” she said.

Keys, a singer, songwriter and musician, was born to a white mother and black father. Her parents split when she was 2, and she was raised in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York by her mom, Terri Augello.

The new company’s eye-catching name has a special meaning for Keys and Robinson, who have worked together for more than a decade: “Pita stands for pain in the ass,” Keys said. “That’s what he and I both are — so watch out.”

The two will serve as executive producers for their untitled TV drama, which has a script commitment from UPN and which Robinson said may be on the air by next fall. The pilot, not yet cast, will be written by Felicia Henderson (”Soul Food,” “Moesha”).

Keys is making her film acting debut in the upcoming “Smokin’ Aces,” which stars Ben Affleck and Andy Garcia.

Asked about movies their company will produce, Robinson and Keys declined to provide details.

“I couldn’t give away all my secrets,” Keys said in her trademark husky tones. But she said the films will be “the most thrilling” aspect of the company’s work.

The goal is to create projects she’s proud of, Keys said — and some with juicy roles for her.

“One of the great parts of being able to produce your own movie is to come up with a story that you find interesting. … You don’t have to wait for someone to tell you what they think” you should do, she said.

She labeled herself a “very independent person. People do tend to call me a control freak, and I will gladly say that I am, in a good way. I’m totally involved in what I do.”

Keys began playing piano when she was 7, with dance and voice lessons following. She studied at the Professional Performance Arts School in New York, graduating at 16 and studying at Columbia University briefly before deciding to devote herself full-time to music.

Her first album, “Songs in A Minor,” debuted atop the Billboard chart in 2001 when she was 20.

With nine Grammy Awards to her name, Keys is nominated for five more at next month’s ceremony, including best R&B album for “Unplugged.”

She vowed that her music won’t suffer as she expands into new areas.

“I’m a juggler by nature, that’s how I’ve always been. My dream is to be part of a multitude of things. … These activities feed back into my music, my music feeds back into these activities.”

Asked about her next album, she said: “It’s bubbling. I’m very excited about it.”

Robinson, president of MBK Entertainment, attests to Keys’ ability to handle a heavy load.

“Alicia is a very energetic workaholic. She’s always thinking. We’re always feeding ideas off each other — which generates huge cellphone bills, by the way,” Robinson said.

“I’m constantly telling her to slow down, let’s not conquer the world in one day. But she wants to do it all.”



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13 Responses to “Alicia Keys forms production company”

  1. edgar m (chino) Says:

    i got an idea for a movie i got a character perfect for you (lead character)im just trying to get my foot in the biz you wont be disappointed if you give me a chance

  2. Amber Says:

    Congratulations on the new production company - you’re a real inspiration to young African-American women. I myself will be moving to New York to pursue my dreams of modeling/acting. I am a young, professional African-American woman with an eagerness to get into the business. If you’re looking for a fresh face and lots of talent please send me an e-mail and I will most definitely respond with the quickness! I can offer that “array” you’re looking for.

    Congrats again and I wish you the best!

    Sincerely,
    Amber

  3. Michelle Lollie Says:

    I am so excited about your eagerness to establish a production company! I am a screenwriter with big ideas and the motivation to make these ideas reality. I look forward to possibly being able to submit some of my works to your company. I have written two screenplays and two episodes of a comedy/drama series I am trying to have produced. I really pray your company seeks new writers as well as the more experienced ones!! Once again, congrats!!
    Sincerely,
    Michelle

  4. Paula McCoy-Pinderhughes Says:

    Please inform me of the procedure for screenplay or manuscript submission.

    Regards,

    Paula

  5. Big Roy Says:

    I represent a very prominent writer who has published four books. We have been approached by various parties regarding movie development but it is our hope to work with someone closer to the streets. Please advise regarding how to submit material for consideration.

  6. Jessica Says:

    Congrats on your new production company. I am also a screenwriter/actress/model/musician and I would like to know how I could submit my material.

  7. Maureen Cosgrove Says:

    Maureen Cosgrove
    Blue Star Jets
    805 Third Ave
    New York NY 10022

  8. I. D. Smith Says:

    Please inform me of the procedure for screenplay or manuscript submission.

    I am very proud of you.

    I. D.

  9. David McCoy Says:

    I just desided to write this so excuse me if I offend and ramble on..
    What does America stand for?

    A-
    M-
    E-
    R-
    I-
    C-
    A-

    What does America mean to you? Tell the TRUTH.. Or humor me with the watered down version.

    Am I suppose to be proud of a country that doesn’t recognize me, Calling me Colored, Negro, Black, and (even bluntly) African American . Am I suppose to be part “African & American”? ,In race or nationallity?……. Are they doing that to single me out and keep track of my black ass. But of course we accept it because we don’t know who we are (but do we?) ,racially.
    Can I claim a country that doesn’t claim me?
    Should I pic a race on an application and Census? Or should I leave it blank?
    If I do (leave it blank) ..
    Would I be eligable for Affirmitive Action?
    Which is one way for them to get me to fill out that part of the application.. And then classify me as a minority instead of one of one of the names they picked out for me (Colored, Negro, Black) . Three of those names are owed reparations.
    Am I a minority? “No”
    If you said yes , They just put you in a cargo ship with, Mexican-American, Japinese-American, Indian(Native American),Women(Oh,yes I mean white women too.), and other…
    Oh yea the ones that wasn’t born here get a tax break..
    Hows that for Affirmative Action…
    Are all of those nationalities under one classification,a MINORITY?
    “NO”
    Someone being “tricked”.
    Who is the joke on?

    America is one of the only countries that bites the hand they feed , and doen’t even feed the mouth it has.
    Are these questions politically correct? ”
    Are the answers?
    After the discription I gave America, am I American? “Yes” If i choose to be ..Or should I let them do that for me? It’s alot better than America choosing it for me , or did She?
    lol lol “I will stop now ”
    But one more question ………

    Do you want the Red or Blue pill?

    If you do answer my questions or wanna give feed back
    E-mail me at

  10. Vilincia Says:

    Vilincia Patrick
    3364 Tobacco Road
    Apt. #15
    Greenville, NC 27834

    Dear Alicia Keyes,
    I’ve written a screenplay called Dreams in Paradise. The title is flexible and it is an African American script, but deals with everyone.

    The script deals with the truth as well as fantasy. It is truly a dramatic by gone, artful seduction. Therefore, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Also keeps you in suspense.

    I have the copyrights and will be glad to sign a release form if you are interested in looking at my script.

    Thanks for considering my query letter.

    Sincerely,

    Vilincia Patrick

  11. howad Says:

    hey what it do

  12. PRODUCER (SON OF SOUL) Says:

    Hello there.. how are you doing? I am Ceo/producer/artist son of soul..
    And I have just finished up another hiphop & rnb instrumental cd…
    I am looking to have my music placed or sold, in movies commercials or television.. we specialized in underground hiphop & rnb with a dirty south appeal to it…. All tracks written and produced by sonofsoul for eastcoast records… you can hear music samples at:

    http://WWW.EASTCOASTRECORDS.NET

  13. richard bryant Says:

    Dear Alicia Keyes The name of my screenplay is
    Black Diamond and the girl, the birth of two new super heros.
    My name is Richard Bryant
    I have written a $200 million sci-fi blockbuster screenplay with two new super heros. I am looking for someone to produce it. This screenplay came to me in the middle of the night. I awoke with this great idea. I do not want to direct this movie or have any involvement with the production. The story is about how these two super heros got their powers in used it to save the world. I have already written two follow-up movies, where are super heros save the universe. I’d just want to be paid for my screenplay and a percentage of gross profit from the movie and products that will be developed from this new sci-fi

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