Rising star graces Seoul with visitSeoul has played host to one of the most serious and ambitious R&B musicians around. Hailed by critics as the next great R&B diva, Alicia Keys visited Korea on Thursday as part of her Asia-Pacific tour that kicked off at the Great Wall of China last month.
She entertained the audience for over an hour and a half in a show top-heavy with material from her latest album.
In Korea, the singer-songwriter introduced a recently released, repackaged version of her fourth album, “The Diary of Alicia Keys,” which contains a CD of bonus material.
The 22-year-old took the music world by surprise at the 2001 Grammys, winning five awards, including “Song of the Year,” “Best New Artist” and “Best R&B Song” with her debut album “Songs in A Minor.”
Before the concert, she attended a press conference at the Marriott Hotel in Gangnam, where she was staying. Korean female R&B singer Geomi was also invited to the conference to meet her and have photos taken. “I am honored to be here today with the person who has inspired me a lot,” Geomi said.
Reporters were interested in Ms. Keys’s first impression of Seoul. The singer said she arrived in Korea at about seven in the morning and mostly saw traffic on the way in from the airport. But she also mentioned the view from her hotel of a beautiful city surrounded by mountains.
She radiated enormous passion at the press conference, revealing her future goals. She said she will publish a collection of poetry on Nov. 8 and will debut on screen as legendary black pianist Philippa Schuyler in an as-yet-untitled movie produced by Hollywood actress Halle Berry. “It’s a beautiful challenge for me,” she added.
There was little time to linger and enjoy the sights in Korea; she had to leave right after the concert for Japan to continue the rest of her tour.
by Song Hee-jung