Kesha Reveals She's 'Healthier Than Ever' After 'I Went Through the S—' with Legal Battle
"There was a time where it was really dark, and now I really am so happy, and that's why I want to make happy songs," Kesha says of her new album, due in December
For the new cover of Billboard, the pop star, 32, opened up about the highs and lows she’s faced since breaking out a decade ago.
“It feels really good to feel good. I went through the s—, you know?” Kesha told the music magazine.
Over the years, Kesha has been open about her struggles with disordered eating and mental illness. And in 2014, she sued her former mentor, Dr. Luke (real name: Lukasz Gottwald), alleging he had drugged and raped her and verbally and emotionally abused her for a decade. Luke has vehemently denied the allegations and countersued Kesha for breach of contract and defamation. In 2016, Kesha’s abuse claims were dismissed; Luke’s suit will go to trial.
The singer said her attorneys have told her not to talk about the legal battle (“They’re just like, ‘Focus on the music, focus on your happiness and mental health, and we’ll deal with this.’ Doing that has been greatly helpful”). And so Kesha has directed her attention to her creative pursuits.
“There was a time where it was really dark, and now I really am so happy, and that’s why I want to make happy songs — and as a distraction from the bulls— that’s going on, either in someone’s personal life or in the world,” Kesha says. “I want to inspire joy.”
Per Billboard, the "Praying" singer is planning to release her fourth album in December; the still-untitled project will serve as a follow-up to her smash 2017 LP Rainbow, which earned Kesha her first two Grammy nominations.
While Rainbow played with rock and country sounds, the singer said her next project will return to her pop roots that catapulted her to fame on her 2010 breakthrough Animal, which featured her first hit “TiK ToK.” Kesha said the new music encompasses “the happiness that I began my career with. … But it feels more earned and healthier than ever.”
“I, of course, stand for so many things,” she said. “But sometimes you just want to escape into a happy motherf—ing song. It’s like a three-minute vacation, and I want to give that to people because I know I need that sometimes. Every time I’m sad, I put on [Carly Rae Jepsen’s] ‘Call Me Maybe.’ Every single time.”
To put the album together, Kesha said she focused on “writing the f— out of some pop songs” — but teased that her future may not always lie in the genre.
“I dug through the emotional wreckage, and now … I can go back to talking a little bit of s—,” she added. “I really wanted to put a solid footprint back into pop music, like, ‘I can do this, and I can do this on my own.’ I don’t know if this is my last pop record, but I want to have one where I go out with a bang.”