Alicia Keys: Swizz was ostentatious
Alicia Keys has admitted that it wasn't love at first sight when she met her husband Swizz Beatz.
The singer and rapper have known each other since they were teenagers, after being introduced through a mutual friend.
Alicia recalls finding Swizz's flashy behaviour vulgar at the time.
"That's When I Knew [song] is definitely an ode to my husband... Honestly I didn't really like him that much. I thought he was too ostentatious," Alicia told the UK edition of Marie Claire magazine. "Swizz will have the fastest car, the biggest jewellery, the loudest jacket; everything with him is really over the top. I used to see him and think, 'He is so annoying'".
Alicia's management had been suggesting that she work with Swizz for years.
It was only after a 2006 trip to Egypt that she even considered this.
"I fought it tooth and nail. Why should I work with him? Finally though, we did it, and had a ball because guess what? We made music in ten minutes," she laughed.
Alicia admitted that prior to the visit she was more narrow-minded.
The trip changed her attitude to work as well as teaching her how to fight for her beliefs.
"You have to speak up. To say, 'I don't like that, it's not cool, don't do that to me', but it's not easy, especially with people you love. I think getting older has made me evolve in a lot of ways and made me more relaxed about saying how I feel, no matter what'," Alicia explained.
"[Now] I realise you have to have a balance - you can live life and have more experiences as well as working."
In 2010 Alicia and Swizz married and they announced the arrival of their son Egypt in October of the same year.
Their union works because they constantly learn from each other.
"I think we've taught each other a lot," she reflected. "He's taught me to live more fully and I think I've taught him to live more deeply."
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