Is Kesha’s new song going to be the fresh start she’s been praying for?
Time will tell. But the singer is certainly hoping that’s the case.
“I haven’t slept in, like, I don’t know how many days because I’m so excited and nervous,” she said in an interview with The Zack Sang Show on Friday. “I just feel like I’m on another planet.”
Kesha released ballad “Praying” on Thursday, her first new song in almost four years.
“Basically, there was a point where I didn’t know if I was ever going to get to put out music again,” she said, saying she’s been crying “happy tears” for days. “And here we are.”
The singer has been tied up in a long back-and-forth legal battle with producer Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald), stemming from 2014 allegations that he drugged, emotionally abused and sexually assaulted her.
Gottwald has long denied those claims.
The legal proceedings for some time kept Kesha’s career in a holding pattern.
Kesha’s last album was 2012’s “Warrior.”
In fall 2015, Kesha and her attorney, Mark Geragos, attempted to secure a judge’s permission to allow the singer to record with other labels and producers, stating in their petition that Kesha’s career threatened to “suffer irreparable harm” due to her lack of new material. The move prompted the #FreeKesha movement on social media, with fans and advocates calling for the singer’s release from her existing contract with Dr. Luke and his Kemosabe Records.
The effort failed, and Gottwald’s lawyers asserted that the courts had already “found that Kesha is already ‘free’ to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn’t want to,” according to a statement at the time.
“Praying” and the album from which it comes, “Rainbow,” are the first pieces of new material from Kesha since the legal dispute began.
“Rainbow” is being released on Kemosabe Records/RCA Records.
Gottwald, who is no longer CEO of Kemosabe, is said to have had approval on the album, according to Gottwald’s lawyer.
“There was no change in Kesha’s contractual recording obligations – she has not succeeded on any legal claim or motion to avoid them,” attorney Christine Lepera told CNN in a statement Friday. “Instead, she was always free to record and refused to. Now, as legally required all along, the album was released with Dr. Luke’s approval by Kemosabe, which is a joint venture label of Dr. Luke and Sony.”
Dr. Luke has an ongoing defamation and breach of contract claim against Kesha in New York that Lepera said “will be prosecuted fully.”
“Praying” was produced and co-written by Ryan Lewis, of hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Kesha, meanwhile, maintains that her single is a song into which she has “channeled my feelings of severe hopelessness and depression.”
“It’s from our darkest moments that we gain the most strength,” she wrote in a published essay. “There were so many days, months even, when I didn’t want to get out of bed….I was never at peace, night or day. But I dragged myself out of bed and took my emotions to the studio and made art out of them.”
“Rainbow” will be released on August 11.