If Alicia Keys becomes less visible once her hit with Eve, "Gangsta Lovin'," dies down, it's because she's hard at work.
Keys is touring overseas until December and working on her second LP, and her manager Jeff Robinson said he's also developing a film for Disney with a co-starring role for the multiple Grammy winner.
"It's an untitled project," Robinson said last week. "It's a tearjerker. A little bit of 'Sparkle,' a little bit of 'Lady Sings the Blues.' She's a natural for the camera. A lot of people don't know that she's been [acting] longer than she's been doing music. Her mother is an actress.
"I'm going to be the producer," Robinson said. "I wrote the film. I think we'll be hearing about [the start date] in late summer. We're trying to close everything out with this new album."
One production Keys won't be taking part in is Joel Schumacher's remake of "A Star Is Born" (see "Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith Wanted For Schumacher's 'Star Is Born' Remake"). Some reports have said Keys was being wooed to play Will Smith's leading lady in the movie.
"She was asked to do it," Robinson said, "but her first movie shouldn't be a movie where she's basically playing herself. I don't think that's real acting, playing yourself. I think her first film should be a little more challenging, a little bit more dramatic. A smaller role, then she grows into a starring role. When you're the focal point of the movie and you're expected to carry a movie on your back, I think that's a mistake a lot of singers fall into."
Other missteps artists should avoid, Robinson said, is forgetting where they came from and saturating their albums with too many guests.
"I think the game plan right now [for Keys] is never forget what brought you to the party, and that's the streets," he said. "You've always gotta have your backbone and the basis for what made you where you at. A lot of people use the urban community, which has all the flava, and forget about it and fall off. I think it's always important to stay attached to the streets.
"I'm an old school cat â€” I feel artists have gotta stand on their own. Marvin Gaye and the Jackson 5 and the Spinners and the Four Tops, their albums weren't filled with a bunch of collaborations in order to make it. Not that we're running from any collaborations, if something is great, something is great."
Among the music Keys has crafted for her next album, Robinson said, is a big ballad reminiscent of "Fallin'."
While the first single from Keys' next album isn't expected before the end of spring, she's planning to keep her buzz going with a track on the upcoming DJ Clue album and â€” following some rappers' M.O.s â€” releasing tracks on underground mixtapes.
For more Hollywood happenings, check out MTV's Movie House.
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