Arts & Entertainment, Music

Creative Collaboration

Alicia Keys

Lesson time 09:29 min

Alicia talks about the importance of collaboration and the role it can play in her creative process.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Crafting Your Own Sound


[MUSIC PLAYING] - All right, so I'm going to take you into the world of a new song of mine called "Love Looks Better." And this song-- I really want to talk about this song because it's the process of collaboration, and I think collaboration is a really incredible way to create. And I used to not like to collaborate as much because I guess I felt a little nervous or I felt-- you know, it's very intimate to be in a collaborative space with people and not only share what's on your spirit and your heart and your lyrics and everything, but just to have a shared space sometimes feels a little nerve racking. But now I enjoy it a lot. I really love it. And I wanted to talk about it specifically with this song because this is how this song actually came to life. So I want to bring you through the process and bring you through what-- the other part that I think is very important about production, as we've been talking about, is arranging because arranging is just as important. You know, kind of throw in a couple of loops up and put in a couple of different sounds on there is great, but where do you want to go? How do you want it to grow? What parts are the special parts? What are you featuring? When? Where? What gets too chaotic, too noisy? And that actually was the circumstance with this particular song. It has so many good parts, but it almost had too many parts. And you know my theory is like the more you can strip it down, the greater it's going to be. So I started to identify big love to 1500, big love to Jukebox, and big love to Ryan Tedder, all who have collaborated with me on this song. But in this last incarnation of this song, I feel like one of the things that made it come alive is the way that I started to break down what are the favorite parts? what are the most important parts? and how do we focus on those and create an energy? So the drums already existed, and I went through each one and I created the loop that I really love. So it's kind of almost like I sampled my own record. You know, I took the best parts of the song and I created the loop that I felt would be, you know, the best. So can we play the loop? [MUSIC PLAYING] So I love this loop. It has 808 in it. It has a voice in it. It has the drums. They feel like a vibe. It has this ha, ha, which my husband Swizzy made famous. Ha, ha, ha, right? So it has a whole zone. And then I wanted to break down the piano because the piano is a really important part of the song, but it was almost just feeling like it was always happening the same way. So I started to break it down more like this. [PIANO PLAYING] So it was the same chords, but the rawness of the one note felt stronger. So we rock there. And then there's another part that the piano does that feels really good. And it's pretty simple, the piano line. So it starts. So when the chorus comes, I bring that so that it lifts, you know? The other part of the song that I really love is actually ...

About the Instructor

With 15 Grammy Awards and more than 40 million albums sold so far, Alicia Keys is one of the world’s most beloved singer-songwriters. Now the legendary artist invites you into her studio to share her process for creating music built from authentic emotion. Breaking down anthems like “Fallin’,” Alicia shows you how she writes lyrics, crafts melodies, and explores sonics so you can discover the music you were born to make.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Alicia Keys

The legendary singer-songwriter and producer shares her approach to making music that resonates and helps you find the power of your unique voice.

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