AOL: The new album is called 'The Element of Freedom.' What is this is new freedom that you discovered and are referring to?
Alicia: I'm calling it that because there is freedom in every song that you hear, and every song just has a different place it's going to take you. I really wanted to approach this album with nothing holding it back, nothing holding me back, nothing holding the music back. There were no rules, there was no boxes we had to fit into, and so 'The Element of Freedom' is all about being [uninhibited] and that's what you are going to hear when you hear the music.
AOL: I read an interview where they call you "R&B's Steeliest Diva." It said "R&B's Steeliest Diva Learns to Let Go." How so? How would you say you've become less steely or "softer"?
Alicia: Wow, "steeliest," that is serious. That's a serious word. I've definitely learned how to let go though. I would say the last album, 'As I Am,' was kinda the process of me learning how to do that. Learning how to understand my needs and just be able to require what I needed for myself and being able to be comfortable with that, so that definitely started me on the journey of learning how to do what's good for me and to have a good time while doing it. And definitely, to take different approaches to things. I think when I first started it was really about trying to do as much as you could possibly do in as little time as possible. Now I've learned that there's a flow to that, and there's a way to definitely accomplish what you want to accomplish by also taking your time with it a little bit more ... Have some space to breathe, have some space to have a good time, have some space to live, have some space to see your family and the people that you love. That created a whole other energy, which is the energy that this album is based off of. I definitely think that it's just a process you know, it's just becoming more mature, becoming more experienced. You understand what works and you don't need to overdo it. It's definitely made me a happier person.