Kesha isn’t redefining herself, she’s just embracing every part.
In a candid new interview with WSJ. Magazine, the 32-year-old artist opened up about her latest album, High Road — an emotional record that blends themes from her early pop days (Animal and Warrior) with more somber tones from her 2017 comeback album Rainbow.
“I think it’s about reclaiming my happiness and my voice and all aspects of my life, and not living in the tragedy of what everyone knows I’ve been through,” Kesha told the outlet, adding, “Kind of a defiance against being stuck and pigeonholed in one place forever, because of one situation.”
In 2014, the artist had disappeared from the music world after she entered rehab for an eating disorder and sued her producer and record label executive, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, 46, claiming he raped and abused her.
Dr. Luke has vehemently denied the allegations and countersued for defamation and breach of contract. In 2016, a New York judge dismissed Kesha’s claims, and she remains contractually tied to the producer, whose lawsuit is ongoing.
Kesha made her triumphant return from the break in 2017 — most notably with her emotional ballad “Praying.” She now hopes to show the world that she can still channel her iconic party-girl persona while being equally vulnerable about what she’s been through.
“I want High Road to be my defiant statement that I can still make happy music, I can still make pop music, and I can still be happy, and at the same time have the juxtaposition of the really emotional and intense — it’s not that the vulnerability isn’t there, but I really believe that High Road is the first record I’ve put out where I feel like I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone,” she said.
“I’m not trying to be anything that I’m not,” Kesha added. “I feel like everyone should be allowed to showcase all sides of their personalities, especially artists, and not just get stuck in one pigeonhole.”
Speaking to PEOPLE last week, the “Tik Tok” singer said she wants her fans, and anyone who listens to the album, to know that they don’t have to be defined by their tragedies.
“With this record, I’m kind of returning to the fact that I like feeling good, I like having fun — I am a fun person. I think being full of love and happiness and joy is the point of life,” she said.
“I haven’t figured out what the other point would be. So I’m just addressing the fact that you can go through things in life, and you don’t have to be defined by them.”
High Road is out now, and Kesha will soon be embarking on a 26-date North American tour for the album, according to Rolling Stone. The tour will begin in Texas and hit the West Coast before moving eastward, where she will finish off with a stop in Canada.