Alicia Keys

Pop Quiz: Alicia Keys    ·    May 22nd, 2005

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/05/22/PKG27BCB8G1.DTL&type=music

Alicia Keys has been on tour forever — or at least since she released her last album, the wildly successful “Diary of Alicia Keys,” way back in 2003. The R&B singer-songwriter-pianist swept up four Grammy Awards earlier this year, to add to the five she won with her breakthrough 2001 debut, “Songs in A Minor,” and has been through the Bay Area several times since hitting the road. But she’s coming back again — to the Paramount Theatre in Oakland for a pair of shows on Tuesday and Wednesday — just before the tour finally wraps up at the end of the month in Las Vegas. We spoke to her by phone from Atlantic City..

Q: How long have you been on tour?

A: A hundred thousand years. And I still love it.

Q: No way.

A: I do. I really, really do.

Q: That’s impossible. You must be miserable.

A: There’s just always something that’s helping take it to the next place, so that’s why it’s still exciting.

Q: Assuming you remember anything from the past two years, what was the best part?

A: I have to say I’m fortunate that a lot of good things happened. One of them was definitely being able to perform with Stevie Wonder and Lenny Kravitz. I just looked to my left and my right and couldn’t believe who was there.

Q: I should probably ask you that question again in six months.

A: Yeah. I don’t think I’ve had a chance to really process everything.

Q: How many awards shows did you attend?

A: A very large amount. But it’s all been very good, and I’m totally not cynical about it like you are.

Q: People just aren’t getting tired of “The Diary of Alicia Keys.” Don’t you kind of wish they would?

A: No. I mean, it’s pretty amazing, especially in regards to the climate of the industry. Things happen so fast. People have singles out, and there’s not any type of longevity in regards to an album or that kind of thing. So for people to enjoy my album and really connect with it to the point where I’m still able to tour a year and a half after its release is just crazy.

Q: So the first three singles ate up the last year and a half. There are 11 more songs on the album. You could very well be on the road until 2012.

A: We’re definitely not doing that. Definitely not.

Q: OK. On June 1, where are you going to be and what are you going to be doing?

A: Well, May 28 is going to be my last show. I’m going to wake up the next morning and be on a dreaded airplane — I hate airplanes — but I’ll be excited because I’m heading home. I’m going directly to my house, chill out a little bit, take out a book, sit outside and just really breathe.

Q: Breathing is necessary.

A: Exactly. It’s the first time I’m going to enjoy and have a whole summer in years.

Q: Admit it. You’re going to hit the kiddie pool.

A: Exactly.

Q: Are you going to try to not write so many good songs next time?

A: Oh, hell no. Next time I’m going to try to write even more good songs.



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