Swizz Beatz & Alicia Keys’ Home Opens The Door To Black Excellence

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz have constructed some of the most enduring songs of the last 20 years. The power couple also has an eye for art, fashion, and design. The husband-and-wife welcomed Architectural Digest into their Wallace E. Cunningham-designed open-layout La Jolla, California estate. The sprawling residence, which was the inspiration for “Tony Stark’s” lair in Iron Man, is a shining example of style, wealth, and Black excellence.

Alicia Keys opens the 10-minute video package by telling AD that they use all of their space, especially a circular reception room. “You want something that feels warm, feels like places we’ve traveled around the world,” Swizz notes of the stylish accents. “With this view and these colors, it just locks us into the universe.” Alicia points out that the space encourages dreaming and thinking. “That’s something that we do a lot of here.”

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Both husband and wife reference their home’s ties to Iron Man. “I don’t blame ‘Tony Starks’ [sic] and them for using this as an example to fight the world.” Alicia interjects, “To save the world. We’re saving the world from here, too.”

The couple showcases their dining room table and kitchen counter eating space while discussing their love of board games, card games, and dice games. “We love to cook; we love to just have our friends and family over,” Keys says. Swizz says that music is a crucial part of their home and has special sound design by Bang & Olufsen. “They might should pay us now; we spent a lot of money with you guys.” Art is a highlight, too, with a wall-length Derick Adams painting. The Ruff Ryders likens the piece to a family portrait, given its aquatic theme in a room overlooking the water. He points out that it’s rare to depict Black people swimming, which attracted him to the piece even more. “We love that our kids are able to grow up seeing such dynamic art around them,” Alicia notes. African art is just one of the globally-minded motifs in the collection and honors various ancient cultures.

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The couple has the most extensive collection of Gordon Parks’ portraits, something that Alicia Keys says they’re especially proud of. They have a Nick Cave figure designed by the Black performance artist, sculptor, and dancer. The pair highlight other items from their art collection while discussing the color theme behind their home.

The music room includes Alicia’s first-ever piano. “So my son gets to play on my first piano. When I first was signed to Columbia Records, this was the piano that they gave me [when I was 16 years old. At the time, it might as well have been $20 million; I felt so excited. I didn’t have anything that looked like this before. I’ve always kept it; it’s always been with us. Now that Egypt plays on this piano, it’s pretty amazing. So this is special,” says the 15-time Grammy winner and past host. The piano still features the teaching stickers to help her son learn the notes.

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#BonusBeat: A 2021 episode of the What’s The Headline podcast where the Ambrosia For Heads team discusses Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s Verzuz deal with Triller, and providing equity to past participants, including DJ Premier, RZA, Snoop Dogg, DMX, E-40, Too Short, and others: