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Saturday, January 21, 2017 5:30am ET by  
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Alicia Keys: 'New York is a tough city, so you've gotta toughen up'

Songstress Alicia Keys has revealed that New York City means a lot to her because it gave her "a lot of open mindedness as an artist and as a musician and as a writer".

She spoke to Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, for his new TV show Landmarks Live in Concert, about the location and admitted that it has a huge place in her heart:

"New York gave me a lot of grit, a lot of rough, tough - because it's a fast-paced city. Everybody's kind of running somewhere, trying to find themselves, or find where they're going or find love. It's a tough city so you've gotta toughen up."

Keys also opened up about her anthem 'Empire State of Mind' and how that track came to be, adding: "It was kind of one of these magical quilts that each person put their piece onto and all of a sudden it just became this cohesive, gorgeous description of what New York is. Jay asked me, 'Do you think it's too New York?' I knew what he meant, like, 'Would the rest of the world be able to relate to it, because it was so New York-centric'. But somehow, by the alchemy of music, it ended up being this monster."

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Watch Keys performing 'Empire State of Mind' below:

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