It’s been a turbulent journey for popstar Ke$ha over the past few years. The singer has endured a long process of legal battles from 2014 but is now back, in charge of her own musical direction, and that long-awaited freedom is so evident in her new single ‘Praying’…
The well-documented battle with former producer Dr. Luke centred on sexual and emotional abuse. Meanwhile, the singer was locked into a deal with Dr. Luke’s label ‘Kemosabe Records’ and was unable to record music anywhere else. This left Ke$ha unable to do what she loved and having her whole life halted by one man.
Now, the singer is free again and her new single ‘Praying’, off the album Rainbow, is out. From the calm, opening piano chords, it’s clear Ke$ha is in a place to record music from her soul. Her previous work with hits such as ‘Tik Tok’, ‘Die Young’ and ‘We R Who We R’ are dancefloor-fillers but, after the last few years’ emotional rollercoaster, she has plenty to say now.
“Well you almost had me fooled, told me that I was nothing without you”, the 30-year-old opens with. From then on, every lyric and every strain in Ke$ha’s voice, which has matured into that of a beautiful songstress, grabs our hearts and gives an understanding of all that has happened. Finally, in the singer’s own voice.
However, it’s not just a heartbroken pouring out of the heart. There’s a fierce determination behind the emotional wounds Ke$ha is opening in the track. The sound may have grown up but she is still the same fierce girl that climbed out of that bathtub in the 2009 ‘TikTok’ music video. She thanks Dr. Luke for “how strong I have become” and acknowledges that “you said that I was done, well you were wrong and now the best is yet to come”. The pounding drum that kicks in during the bridge is like Ke$ha leading a stampede of all the oppressed, that she has and does represent with such grace, back to power.
Everything that the song encapsulates is perfectly captured in the music video for ‘Praying’ (below). It’s a work of art that sees Ke$ha battle off pig-headed men, likely representative of Dr. Luke and his lawyers, break free from a net and return from black and white to colour.
‘Praying’ is a powerful, moving ode to recovery and determination that makes it clear Ke$ha is back with a vengeance.
Ke$ha’s new album Rainbow, which features the likes of Eagles of Death Metal, The Dap-Kings Horns and Dolly Parton, drops on August 11th.