Alicia Keys said “no thank you” to dramatic makeup for her new music video, “In Common,” and that mentality continues on her Instagram. During the photo shoot for the single’s cover art, Keys felt “the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that [she has] ever felt,” according to a personal essay for Lenny Letter’s May 31 edition.
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) May 4, 2016
“I’d just come from the gym, had a scarf under my baseball cap, and the beautiful photographer [Paola Kudacki] said, ’I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!’” she revealed.
“My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt! As far as I was concerned, this was my quick run-to-the-shoot-so-I-can-get-ready look, not the actual photo-shoot look. So I asked her, ’Now?! Like right now? I want to be real, but this might be too real!!’” she explained. “It was just a plain white background, me and the photographer intimately relating, me and that baseball hat and scarf and a bunch of invisible magic circulating.”
“I don’t want to cover up anymore,” Keys wrote at the end of her essay. “Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”
See more beautifully bare-faced photos of Keys on Instagram.