While her past releases exhibit a sense of fierceness and confidence, the emotional rawness and vulnerability in Kesha’s new material is completely unmatched. Releasing her first single in four years, Kesha’s return marks a huge turning point in her music career, and she is with no doubt back, stronger than ever.
Taking it back to 2010, we knew Kesha as the pop sensation who woke up in the morning “feeling like P-Diddy.” Her earlier songs definitely had a more playful and blunt tone that went in hand with music videos that usually revolved around a party-type scene. However, after taking a break due to the unfortunate events that Kesha had to go through, she is back to fight with what she knows best, and that is music. Kesha’s latest single “Praying” is a much more mature and personal piece that is outstandingly different from her previous work.
This song and her album (Rainbow) as a whole symbolizes the strength and courage she has gained from the traumatic experiences from her ongoing legal battle with the abusive relationship between she and her former producer. “Praying” is an anthem of empowerment. This song takes the potential and quality of her voice to the next level, and it showcases her growing maturity as an artist. She went from, “I’ve got that glitter on my eyes, stockings ripped all up the side, looking sick and sexified,” in “We R Who We R,” to, “You brought the flames and you put me through hell. I had to learn how to fight for myself,” in her single “Praying.” Lyrically, the message is much more momentous and heartfelt than any of her previous work. Being a victim of sexual assault, Kesha chose to channel her feelings of hopelessness and depression into her art. This song is about finding peace in darkness and being proud of the person she is today.
I find it absolutely incredible that you can take a horrible situation you have gone through and channel it into art and not only can it bring healing to you, but it can also bring healing and awareness to others. What amazes me most about this single is the empathy she has for someone who was utterly cruel and selfish. Kesha could have easily wrote a diss-track where she explicitly tells off her former producer with more vulgar lyrics, but decided to write a heartfelt ballad that displays her maturity and growth as a human being and an artist. This is where we can all learn something from Kesha. When we are faced with a person who has wronged us, we should not create more negativity by fueling our energy with hate, because it will only destroy us more. We should instead find our peace by “praying” or hoping they change for the better, because realistically that is all we can really do.
Let’s not forget the amazing visual that paired with this song. The music video for “Praying” is a powerful and colorful celebration of overcoming a dark period. It is also a striking realisation that Kesha’s creative career is only beginning. The video transforms from a depressing black and white imagery to a burst of vivid color symbolizing the freedom Kesha has finally obtained. The first minute of the video hits hard with her questioning the meaning of life: "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…” as she is stranded in the middle of the ocean lifeless with no hope in her eyes. This album marks a whole new start for Kesha, and “Praying” is a powerful statement of resilience.
Finding the strength to come forward about things like this is not always easy. I commend her for turning a tragedy into something beautiful and something she is proud of. I am SO here for you Kesha.