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Q&A with Alicia Keys

Splash News

This potty-training pro is back with new album Girl on Fire, her first since becoming mom to son Egypt, 2.

Girl on Fire (in stores November 27) is your first album since 2009. How was recording different this time around, as a mom?

I was much more regimented while recording this album. Before, I would stay in the studio until 5 a.m., but now, at a certain time, I'd have to tell myself, it's time to go home to my family.

What's your go-to family/kid app?

My app! The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee ($4; is inspired by my childhood growing up with my grandmother. It encourages kids to read and journal, which is something I did a lot of growing up, and it's why I'm the songwriter I am today. There's also music, of course. I wrote original songs for the app, and there's a piano where kids can compose their own.

What does Egypt think of the app?

He really enjoys pressing the music box, which launches the MP3 player. He'll play a song for like 30 seconds and then stop it and start it over again. He's like a little DJ.

When it comes to my parenting skills, I'm really, really good at...

Potty training. We did it in ten days! He was just ready for it. I figured that out when I had to chase him around the house to get the diaper on him.

Who's the disciplinarian in your house?

For a while Egypt's favorite word was “no,” and his dad does not like that word at all. They worked on it and now everything is an enthusiastic yes! There's a different energy between fathers and sons.

Your signature dish for family dinner?

Maple-soy salmon—it's sweet and a little salty. I also make a hot quinoa cereal in the morning that Egypt loves. I'm really proud that he likes to eat healthy foods. I gave him a bran muffin once and told him it was a cupcake. He ate the whole thing!

The one food my kid can't live without is...

Gummy bears. At least I've found the kind made with real fruit.

Key life lesson your son has taught you?

He shows me how wondrous life is, and how even the simplest things are amazing.