I almost cried with joy when I saw Kesha’s tweet announcing that her new single was dropping today (6 July). That might seem like a bit of an over reaction, but when you consider everything she’s been through in the last four years it’s understandable how overcome with emotion her fans were.
It’s been quite heavily detailed in the press that for the the last four years Kesha has been embroiled in a legal battle with her record company Sony to be let out of her contract, they refused- blocking her from making music with anyone else. The reason behind this was that she bravely stood up and filed charges of abuse against her producer Dr Luke, these included rape, physical abuse, manipulation and emotional abuse–yet Sony still expected her to continue working with him.
As a result of the abuse, the court case and media scrutiny Kesha suffered from depression, anxiety, bulimia. She has faced so much and has poured her heart into songwriting, and finally today we got to be let inside. Via a heartfelt Lenny Letter she explains how she fought through it all to find what she thought was “unobtainable peace”.
Praying is a beautifully tragic insight into the mind of someone who is deep in the clutches of depression and uses their art to break through the dark clouds. It speaks about at times you hope you’re dead because the nightmares are too real and life doesn’t feel worth living anymore. It’s a raw look at rebuilding your life after abuse, the words “being alive hurts too much” resonated so deeply in me.
There’s a journey within the video that we almost saw fully played out in the media during her ordeal. She starts off hopeless, controlled and wanting to die- thinking it would all be easier that way. But she’s fuelled by adversity, the court cases being dismissed and refuses to wallow. She finds a way to break through the darkness and destroys the hatred within herself. She refuses to sink and creates something beautiful in the process.
Whilst the song is about her battle, she makes it very clear that the song isn’t about him. It doesn’t come across as a bitter immature jibe or rage filled mic drop, it’s almost the opposite. When she sings “we both know all the truths I could tell” it isn’t a threat, but a vow that she will not let him control her. She’s eloquent and doesn’t make it a song about trying to destroy him, her abuser doesn’t deserve the energy that would take. As a survivor, there were parts where I openly sobbed and others where I cheered for her.
On the surface this you think the song is about forgiveness, but it’s anything but that. Kesha found strength within herself and will not be beaten. He should be the one down on his hands and knees praying.
We are all so proud of you Kesha.
Image courtesy of RCA Records