Thursday morning marked the “beginning” of the rebirth for pop star Kesha with the unveiling of the music video for her new song “Praying,” and the subsequent official announcement of her long-awaited third studio album, Rainbow.
Writers for Entertainment Weekly note that the “Tik Tok” singer dropped the stunning Jonas Ackerlund-directed visual for the powerful song on July 6, which opens with an emotional message from the performer about dealing with certain hardships in her life and the feeling of being occasionally overpowered by them, to the point of wanting to give everything — including her life — up.
“If there’s a God or whatever, something, somewhere,” she asks, “[then] why have I been abandoned by everyone and everything I’ve ever known, I’ve ever loved? Stranded, what is the lesson? What is the point? God, give me a sign or I have to give up. I can’t do this anymore. Please just let me die. Being alive hurts too much.”
Rather than succumb to the sadness, however, Kesha soldiers on through “Praying,” instead channeling her pain into power and using it to fight back against someone who, by her own sung admission, put her “through Hell” and back.
“You said that I was done. Well, you were wrong, and now the best is yet to come,” Kesha boldly pronounces in “Praying,” as the song eventually swells toward a melodic roar that most will be stunned to hear coming from the singer-songwriter.
“‘Cause I can make it on my own [and] I don’t need you,” Kesha continues.
“I’ve found a strength I’ve never known.”
“This song is about coming to feel empathy for someone else even if they hurt you or scare you,” Kesha explained of the theme of “Praying” with Lenny Letter, adding, “[it’s also] about learning to be proud of the person you are even during low moments when you feel alone [and] hoping [that] everyone, even someone who hurt you, can heal.”
Music publication Vox goes on to detail that the proclamations made by Kesha in “Praying” can be easily taken as a response to the ongoing legal battle the performer is still engaged in with her former manager, music producer Dr. Luke, who Kesha says raped, drugged and manipulated her throughout the early days of her career.
In 2014, Kesha sued the producer (born Lukasz Gottwald) for sexual and emotional abuse, and demanded to released from her contract from Kemosabe Records, the label owned by Dr. Luke.
“[Dr. Luke] countersued for defamation and breach of contract,” Vox states, “[while] Kesha, locked into her contract with Kemosabe, was unable to produce her own music elsewhere.”
“But in April of this year, it was reported that Dr. Luke was out as CEO of Kemosabe, and that parent company Sony planned to end its relationship with him entirely.”
Luke has yet to comment on Kesha’s “Praying,” but he was vocal with the 2016 release of “True Colors,” a re-recorded take of the title track from fellow music producer Zedd’s 2015 album that originally featured singer Tim James (Rock Mafia) on the LP version, as Vivala writes.
Hear and see Kesha’s “Praying” for yourself, below. The full Rainbow album has been scheduled for release on August 11, according to iTunes.
[Featured Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]