Since making the bold decision to go public with claims of abuse against her producer, Lukasz Gottwald (known professionally as Dr. Luke) Kesha has gained the support of the public and celebrities alike. Unfortunately for the singer/songwriter, rulings from California courts in both 2016 and 2017 prevented a break in contract with the producer and led to the rejection of a motion to file an amended complaint.
The 30-year-old pop artist is not seeking a settlement for the physical and emotional abuse, but rather a contract severance that would allow for the creation of music outside of Dr. Luke’s label, Kemosabe Records.
“Dr. Luke has aggressively sought to financially destroy Kesha by keeping her under his control while simultaneously waging a nuclear litigation campaign against her,” her attorneys claimed. “It is a vendetta against Kesh. She is not demanding more money. Kesha asks for something far more basic: the freedom to make music without being bound indefinitely to the very producer who subjected her to years of abuse and continues that abuse to this day.”
This ongoing legal battle has prevented Kesha from releasing any new music for nearly four years, a literal radio silence that has now been broken with the release of two new singles from her upcoming album, ‘Rainbow’. The album is produced under the Sony/RCA header, the parent company of Luke’s Kemosabe records (although he has since been stripped of his title).
‘Praying,’ the first track from the upcoming studio album is seemingly a direct response to her rise from the bleak bottom of the depression amidst her physical, emotional and legal crisis. Kesha penned to Lenny Letter regarding the single:
“Praying” was written about that moment when the sun starts peeking through the darkest storm clouds, creating the most beautiful rainbow. Once you realize that you will in fact be OK, you want to spread love and healing. If you feel like someone has wronged you, get rid of that hate, because it will just create more negativity.
With ‘Praying’ serving as a shout for release from toxic negativity, ‘Learn to Let Go’ is the audio and visual manifestation of Kesha’s new mantra. An ethereal journey through actual home video footage of Kesha’s childhood and an into-the-woods dreamlike set, the video for the single gleefully embraces any usual singing-into-the-microphone and dance sequence music video tropes. Instead, Kesha mimics her childhood dance moves and floats across the screen with loose, wind-swept hair and an aquamarine fitted suit.
Revealing what the track means to her in the Huffington Post, Kesha reveals:
“Learn to Let Go” is more than a song title… it’s become one of my mantras over the last few years. As much as our past creates who we are, we can’t let it define us or hold us back. And especially if you’ve been through something hard, and we all have, you can’t hold on to resentment because it’s like a poison. You have to learn to let go of those bad feelings and move forward.
Pick up Kesha’s new album Rainbow, dropping on August 11!