We chat to the diva as she prepares to take on Yas Island
The UAE will see Sasha Fierce for the first time at the Abu Dhabi gig. Who is she? Sasha Fierce is my more extroverted, aggressive and glamorous self. I usually throw myself into her headspace when I’m nervous on stage and have to do up-tempo songs – or when I have to be really sexy in my dance videos. But what’s interesting is that the older I get, the more Sasha Fierce comes out all the time. So I’m kind of merging. The name of my album is I Am... Sasha Fierce, because it’s the same person. It’s just my alter ego and the stronger version of myself.
Does this mean you secretly want to live a quiet life? In a way. I’m a pretty quiet person away from the lights and the cameras. When I’m at home, I basically sit on the couch and read or watch TV, and just turn off from the kind of life and frantic pace you lead when you’re on the road touring. I also try to spend a lot of time with my family and friends, getting back to the good feeling that comes from the kind of love and caring you get from the people who are close to you. It brings me back to a more comfortable place.
What do you worry about most when you’re on stage? Is it tough up there? That’s what you’re being paid to do, so I make sure I’m giving everything I have every time I go up on stage. The only thing I really worry about is falling down! [Laughs.] I always perform in high heels and sometimes the choreography and dance is pretty intense and complicated. So I worry about falling – but it’s going to happen anyway. You just get up, laugh and carry on!
You’ve been married to Jay-Z for more than a year now. What have you learnt about yourself? I guess I learnt that as happy as I am, I still need to keep it private. Some people just make things up and make up rumours and try to get you to speak and defend things. You just have to be really secure in your relationship. I was always a private person. It’s difficult, but I know, in the end, the amount of time we’ve been together is longer than, you know, most people in this industry. It’s very rare so it must be working.
Are children in your future? Definitely. I definitely want a child, but I’m not ready for all that. I don’t think a person should do that before their time and I’m not in a rush. But when that time comes, and I have a girl, I pray my relationship with her will be like the one I have with my mother.
What have you learnt about trying to balance your private life with the pressures of performing? I have an inner sense of when to slow down and stop trying to do everything, working non-stop for months on end. I admit I’m a perfectionist, and I’ve learnt to rely on good people to help me get to where I want to be as an artist. Otherwise, if you try to look after everything yourself, you’ll burn out – and there are lots of casualties in this business.
How do you do this? I grew up around positive women. My mother owned a hair salon and I grew up around all these women. They were strong and some of them, a lot of them, were single mothers. So my life has been much easier. I grew up with a lot of advantages and I’ve had every opportunity and a lot of support. So I feel it’s my obligation to work hard and be focused on my work.