Alicia Keys felt "directionless" when she first landed a record deal.

The 30-year-old singer was just 16 when she was given her first contract and admits people often forgot about her young age and she struggled at times to know where to turn.

She said: "I started in this business so young - I was just a girl. To keep your head together. I felt directionless, like a chicken with its head cut off.

"You feel like everyone wants a piece of you, everything is available to you, and it doesn't matter that you're only 16."

The 'Empire State of Mind' hitmaker also admits she couldn't understand why some reviews of her last album 'The Element of Freedom' criticised her lack of "passion", insisting she is always "truly primal" in her work.

She added: "That's just a reviewer's opinion. I find myself to be truly primal and passionate. Everything I do comes from a primal place."