The singer tells PEOPLE all about her new beauty campaign

By Brittany Talarico
September 03, 2014 09:27 PM

Alicia Keys isn’t afraid of a fashion or beauty risk. How do we know? Well, we’ve been checking out her bold style on the red carpet for years — and she told us so during a one-on-one interview while promoting Givenchy’s new fragrance. The collaboration was a natural fit for Keys, who’s been friends with Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci for years, and who dressed her in a stunning golden gown for the ad shoot. Below, check out what the soon-to-be mom of two, 33, told us about her “Dahlia Divin” collaboration.

Courtesy Givenchy

Believe it or not, this is Keys’s first ever beauty campaign.
“I feel like it was the right people, the right moment, the right time. What Dahlia Divin really represents is the modern-day goddess. I love thinking of women as modern-day goddesses, because that’s what we are! I also love that it’s this balance between strength and delicate, raw and sensual. The nature of the clothing of Givenchy is like this beautiful mixture, and that’s who I am too. It all aligned at the right moment. Plus, I want to smell like the right balance of a good beautiful scent, but not too girly or floral-y. I don’t want something strong.”

She’s been collaborating with Tisci for years on the red carpet.
“We’ve worked together on so many special moments. He did some beautiful looks for me at previous Met Balls. He did a really special one-of-a-kind look for me that I had for the 10th anniversary of my first album. So there are special little monumental moments that we’ve had together. This year, Givenchy is also sponsoring my Black Ball, which happens on October 30. So there’s a real synergy happening there, and I think Riccardo is just a beautiful human being. I love how he is. He’s fun, very alive, but he’s also very soulful — he’s my style.”

Her husband Swizz Beatz is her No. 1 fan. (Cue the “awwws!”)
“He loved the Givenchy campaign. He was really happy with it. It almost has a purity to it — very simple, and the simplicity that’s just purely me. I think that’s what this is representing: being purely yourself.”

Swizz is also a mixologist when it comes to fragrances.
“He loves scents, and he wears some really beautiful Tom Ford colognes. He has a variety. He has a little bit of things from everywhere. He’ll mix things. He smells great.”

Her godmother introduced her to perfume for the first time.
“She was the first one to take me to get my nails painted and my first pedicure, and she would spray her perfumes on me. And my grandmother loved gardenias. That smell of that flower today just brings back beautiful memories for me. It’s so cool how perfume and scent relate you. Same thing with music. When you hear a song, you’re transported to a place. The same with a smell, you’re transported.”

When it comes to style inspiration, she looks to fellow female singers.
“I just love people who are boldly and bravely themselves. I think of Gwen Stefani a lot, because she’s always in her own zone. I even like certain things that Rihanna will wear because, again, she’s boldly in her own zone. I love Prince for that as a musician — he’s in his own stratosphere.”

Becoming a mom gave her the courage to cut her hair.
“You just feel empowered. You find there’s this whole empowered side to you and you’ll be like, ‘I’ll do whatever. Anything I want! I’ll do it!'”

And her buzzed style is here to stay.
“I totally love the shaved vibe. It’s so much fun and I love having short hair, period. It’s really easy. I’m just enjoying it. Again, it’s just my personality. I enjoy the simpleness, the ease, the freedom. Just being myself.”

–Brittany Talarico