One question I get asked a lot is, "Who is the nicest celebrity you've ever interviewed?" It's a tough question to answer, but the very talented Alicia Keys is definitely up there.
I remember "falling" hard for Ms. Keys when I first saw her perform a small showcase in London back in 2001. She was all smiles then, and I remember thinking she might be one of the nicest girls I'd ever met. Eight years on, it seems nothing has changed.
There was an air of confidence surrounding Keys when she walked into the newsroom last week following her appearance on "It's On with Alexa Chung." She's graceful and elegant, but you'd be a fool to forget that Alicia Keys is a real New Yorker.
I'm not so up on female fashion, but it must be said she was wearing some very impressive boots — half black and half metallic. She looked, as they say, fierce.
We talked about her upcoming album The Element of Freedom, her next single "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart," her favourite songs from the album (including "Love is Blind"), her obvious musical evolution (there are lots of synths on The Element of Freedom), the hotly-anticipated video for the Jay-Z track "Empire State of Mind" (a real New York video for the new New York anthem) and working with Whitney Houston and Swizz Beatz.
Alicia spoke on what it's like working with uber-producer Swizz (a personal favourite of mine) and the admiration she has for him as a "musical genius" and a "mad scientist" behind the mixing desk. For the rest, you'll have to check out the interview.