the singer talks sneakers and new short cut.

by ray siegel

There should be a new Grammy category called "Best Speaking Voice" and Alicia Keys should it's first recipient. When she spoke to me I nearly teared up and t wasn't because there was a possibility that the two of us would break out into an impromptu "Empire" singalong—it was her voice.

I'm obsessed with Alicia Keys' voice and here are the things that Alicia Keys is obsessed with.

REEBOK 5411s

They're also called "freestyles," but they got their other nickname back in the '80s because of their price: $54.11.

I was obsessed with these when I was growing up. I think the most important thing about them was that they were affordable and came in massive amounts of colors. As a girl from Harlem, it was always about matching. You had something that matched with something else. So the shoe matched with your jacket, or your shoe matched with your vest, or the shoe matched with your shirt—the shoe matched with something.


I'm now obsessed with the moon and it's all my son Egypt's fault. He is always searching for the moon, and I think that he made me realize how spectacular the sky is. The clouds, the stars, and the moon—it's actually really magical.


To get your hair this straight, you have to take a flat iron and burn your head off…just kidding! I just love my new short hair. I'm very into it. I feel liberated, free, and super comfortable in my own skin. It takes me five seconds to wash my hair now and never knew it could be that fast. It's a new me and it feels really good.


I'm definitely obsessed with leather jackets. I love all kinds of leather jackets. I can't help it. I just love a motorcycle jacket.


Dior makes a good one. It's super black kohl; Egyptian style.


I'm obsessed with them. I love this girl's voice. She's only 22 and she sounds like she's lived it felt it, and did it. Her songs have this real bluesy-like, southern style. I just love that it almost sounds like a band rocking out in a garage. If you didn't already know, you wouldn't be able to tell if it was a girl or a boy singing. It sounds incredible.


The Artist's Way. It's a series by a woman named Julia Cameron and it's these beautiful, guided journals that prompt you to do something different. I love it because it gets me to thinking, it gets me writing, and going back to things I forgot about. It makes you take time for yourself—even if it's just an extra five minutes in the morning or at night to write in a journal. It gives you something to think about. I find that it opens me right up, which helps me write music.

Alicia designed her own line of Reeboks and she made sure to add studs to those 5411s, (I have yet to take mine off). You can get them now at

It won't be too long before we hear Alicia's voice sing something new, because her next album Girl on Fire drops next month.