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Ildi
Ildi

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Musicians on Musicians: Alicia Keys & Kehlani

Kehlani can’t remember the first time she heard Alicia Keys — just that Keys was there, in her childhood, as both legend and blueprint. In her head, she can see the CDs and the music videos; she can hear the young girls at school belting Keys’ 2003 hit “If I Ain’t Got You” to prove their vocal bona fides. She wouldn’t have even been 10 at the time of its release. So to hear Keys explain, in a West L.A. studio this past August, the first time she heard Kehlani’s own music feels a little surreal. “It was definitely the first album for sure,” Keys recalls, referring to 2017’s SweetSexySavage, “but it was something more than that. It was almost like you have a certain energy that you carry with you.”

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