Ke$ha has always fancied herself not-your-typical conventional pop star. After all, half the time she looks like she just crawled out of a glitter-lined gutter. But in a new interview with V magazine, she reveals her dream collaborations and shockingly one of them is the world's most famous, most mainstream pop singer: Justin Bieber. "The range of artists I want to work with is so vast it's bizarre," she tells the mag for its May "Americana" issue. "I would love to have [Rolling Stones guitarist] Keith Richards on the record. I would sure as hell like to do a collaboration with Bieber and at the same time do a song with [experimental rock band] the Flaming Lips. If someone is a real artist, you can't confine them to a particular genre. It's my mission to make it all make sense somehow."
Although neither Bieber nor Richards appear on her next album (at least, not yet), Ke$ha, 25, promises a track list that will be just as surprising. Not only will the songs be more "positive" and about people's "inner warrior," but their sound will be unlike anything the "Tik Tok" singer has done before. "Some people will be shocked," she tells V. "Some will also be excited to know that I don't just do silly white-girl rap. I'm from the South, I have a lot of soul. But trust me — it's not going to be some avant-garde jazz record. I innately write pop songs. That's just what I do. I want to bring the edge and the rawness and the visceral energy of '70s and '80s punk rock."
She may have millions of fans now, but growing up in Tennessee, Ke$ha (born Kesha Sebert) was the farthest person from the cool crowd, and that's something she tries to relay to those who look up to her: it's ok to be yourself, whatever that is. "I do feel like there is an element of what I'm doing that is about where I come from, which is working-class," she explains. "I was never the cool kid, I was never hot in high school. I was never popular. You don't have to be perfect and you don't have to be rich and you can still be successful." One of Ke$ha's producers, Dr. Luke (who has also worked with Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson), believes it's her down-to-earth demeanor that makes her stand out against the Katy Perrys and Britneys of the world. "It's tough for kids to emulate someone with 20 fashion people on staff," he tells V. "Ke$ha comes out in an AC/DC T-shirt that she found in a dumpster, literally, and she rocks it. It's sort of a metaphor for who she is. Anyone can be Ke$ha in their own way."
Ke$ha may want to distance herself from pop stars like Spears, but the "Till the World Ends" singer is apparently a big fan. "Ke$ha brings an incredibly carefree, fun-loving spirit to American pop music," she tells the magazine. "I love listening to her songs when I'm on the treadmill. They help me power through my workout." Still, Ke$ha feels like more of an annoyance to her contemporaries than just one of the girls. "I do feel like there are the pop stars of the world and then I'm like their dirty little sister, running around with s--t on my face in combat boots because I can't walk in heels."
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