Back in February — when the world was only focused on a global pandemic and not a global pandemic and nationwide protests — Alicia Keys swung by the NPR offices for a Tiny Desk performance. Not that an Alicia Keys show needs anything extra to make it special, but she spiced up her set by performing a new song for the first time, “Gramercy Park.”
The song, which is set to appear on Keys’ upcoming album Alicia, is about changing to meet people’s expectations and losing yourself along the way. Keys sings on the hook, “I’ve been trying to fulfill you with your every need / Now you’re falling for a person that’s not even me.” She said while introducing the track:
“I love this song so much. It’s called ‘Gramercy Park.’ It’s on the Alicia album, and I love what this songs means. […] A lot of what I’ve been thinking about on my own personal journey is how much we contort and conform and adjust ourselves all the time… with the best of intentions, by the way! It’s from the most beautiful place. We want people to feel us and we want people to know how much we care about them. Somewhere along the line, we kind of lose ourselves in that and maybe can’t find our way back to ourselves, because we’re so concerned about how everybody else feels and we’re so concerned with making other people happy. It’s been definitely something that I’ve personally experienced, and I have a feeling a lot of you might have felt the same way. So this song, ‘Gramercy Park,’ really talks about how that happens.”
Elsewhere in her set, Keys performed “Show Me Love,” “Underdog,” and “Fallin’,” so watch Keys’ full Tiny Desk performance above.