In honor of the 10th anniversary of her third album As I Am, Alicia Keys opens the vault. The R&B songstress celebrates the milestone with the release of the previously-unheard “When You Were Gone.”
The song was inspired by her previous trip to Egypt and kicked off the creative process of the album.
“When you were gone, did you think of me?” she sings. “Now you’re back putting on this act / That I was always in your heart.”
Taking to her website, Keys reflected on the recording session. “This is one of the very first songs I came back from Egypt and wrote. Maybe it was the second song, the first one had a whole Egyptian vibe, I’ll play that for you one day too,” she wrote. “But this one really started to create the sound that ‘As I Am’ has. We were experimenting with a lot of keyboards and sounds and styles of recording, and we were all about breaking boundaries and writing things in new ways.”
“When You Were Gone” is available for a limited time on Alicia’s website. However, fans who sign up for “The Vault” will get unlimited access to a variety of items, including photos, videos, diaries, and other archives.
As I Am debuted at No. 1 and was certified 3x platinum, spawning hit singles including “No One,” “Superwoman,” and “Like You’ll Never See Me Again.”
Listen to the previously-unheard “When You Were Gone” below.