There’s something about the word “new” that both excites and scares the hell out of us at the same time. We love change; as long as it doesn’t interrupt too much of our current life-right?
The latest song by Alicia Keys, “New Day” has both excited and frightened some of the millions of fans that fell in love with the soul tress over the past decade.
The artist released the song over the weekend and it has garnered some mixed reviews by her fans. Excitement of a new project was turned into fear by some as they listened to the song. What they heard was not the expectant soulful sound accompanied by brilliant piano strokes, but a playful upbeat song with a mix of house techno and African drum beats that don’t exactly scream Alicia Keys. Is this song a representation of the album that we have been waiting 3 years for?
Normally, I wouldn’t rate an entire project by a single song that was released, but in this case, I felt the need to put my two cents in. Not because I am a fan, ( actually, I am a bigger fan of her work with HIV/AIDS than I am of her music) but because there is something bigger here that we need to take a look at-the power of “new”.
I like new…new means change, growth, movement and limitlessness. An elder once told me that if you find yourself in a slump and in need of a change, listen to a new sound that you have never heard before because new songs break old cycles. (You know what? They do! Try it…)
And we’ve all heard the old saying that there is nothing new under the sun. I honestly disagree with this. Anytime one of us releases a new sound-the sound of a new love, a new life, a new accomplishment, a new joy or a new freedom-the entire global atmosphere shifts. Sound creates movement; thus a new sound from a different voice creates an atmospheric wind that shakes everything up. Right now would be a good time for a shift, don’t you think?
The reason why we don’t have many atmospheric shifts is because too many people are afraid to release their new sound. Things happen to us everyday that cause us to change as individuals. Most of us are just afraid to embrace it. It’s uncomfortable. What if no one understands the new me? What if no one likes the new me? Why should I share the new me if the old me was good enough for everybody else?
“New Day” is more than a new song release; it is an expression of a new life. As Ms. Keys stated in a video message to her fans prior to releasing the song, “It’s like I’m a new person.” Marriage and motherhood will do that to you.
This new album (the name of which has not been released) is the first project released from the artist since she became a mother and a wife. For those of you who are not parents, let me say that once you become part of a whole-in marriage, family, parenthood, etc.- your individual self will change. You are no longer the same individual you were previously. Your perception of the love changes, your perception of life changes, and your perception of the world changes. All of these changes in perception demand that you connect with the world in a new way. You can no longer stay in your individual box because the world no longer fits in it.
The success of her previous projects, Songs in A Minor, The Diary of Alicia Keys As I Am, and Elements of Freedom, would have been a great excuse for Ms. Keys to stay within her neo soul, jazz, R&B, and hip hop box. After all-if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! But, Ms. Keys doesn’t strike me as a person who makes excuses. Instead of giving in to her old self, she decided to reach out to her new self- listen to it-and release that new sound into the atmosphere. A very brave move if you ask me. It’s not easy sharing a new you with the world. And it’s not easy releasing a new and unfamiliar sound when the old one was so powerful.
Many of us don’t like when something familiar changes. Mainly because we realize that we too will have to change eventually. That’s when fear sits down next to doubt and they both tell you that change will mess everything up. Just remember, a life worth living is a life full of change. No life worth living can stay the same.
If “New Day” is a representation of the entire up coming album, I’m excited about it. As I said, I love new. Especially new journeys and this album seems to be the beginning of a new one for Alicia Keys. It could even be the beginning of a new journey for you…if you are ready to embrace it. “New” that is:)
If you haven’t heard the song, don’t worry it is already blazing the air waves. But if you don’t have the patience to wait to hear it on your favorite radio station, you can also check it out on YouTube. It’s a good upbeat song for the summer and a great representation of a New Day!
Until next time…..
Love to you!