2016 was a helluva year for Kesha. After she came forward with abuse allegations against Sony music producer Dr. Luke. in 2014, everything seemed to reach a fever pitch last year. The pop star was heavily scrutinised and placed under a microscope. Though many of her peers came through with love and support.
This year, just on the heels of leaving her 20s behind — she turned 30 on March 1 — Kesha’s back. She’s focused on releasing new music and will be making the rounds with upcoming performances in Illinois, New Jersey, and Arkansas.
Refinery29’s very own Amy Emmerich hosted a live discussion with Kesha at the South By Southwest conference. In a rare speaking-only engagement, the “Love Into Light” singer had a lot to say.
“I’ve never done a talking thing,” she said. “If this were me singing, and I had my dancers and my band, and everyone was kind of boogieing and drunk, that’d be different.”
“It's empowering to sit with my imperfections and be real and vulnerable. In truth, there's real power,” she said. “I used to nitpick everything and it was fucking exhausting. Now I'm feelin' myself. I look good naked!”
On being human: "It's really easy to be a bitch and when you see a beautiful girl you can be jealous. But take a moment and realise that we're all humans, we're all the same, we're all dealing with things. Find empathy in your heart for someone else."
Kesha on her music and losing the $: “It [losing the $] happened after I went to rehab for my eating disorder. I let go of my facade about being a girl who didn't care. My facade was to be strong, andI realised it was total bullshit. I took out the $ because I realised that was part of the facade. It was a journey and I'm happy — that was me in that part of my life. But then I turned a corner — but I still have a fucking tattoo of it on my hand. I'll have to figure that out!”
Kesha on dealing with online criticism: “Criticism online used to tear me up. Then I realised you can't make people you don't know your higher power,” she said. “The internet shouldn’t be a place that makes us feel unsafe."