Kesha on Her Dr. Luke Lawsuit: 'I'm Just Taking Back My Life'

In her first interview since filing a lawsuit against Dr. Luke, Kesha opens up about the legal case and reveals more about the status of her new music.

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Complex Original

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In her first interview since filing her lawsuit against producer, Dr. Luke, back in 2014, Kesha is opening up about her legal case and her future in the music industry.

Describing the moment she left rehab and filed her suit "I was taking back my strength, and I was taking back my voice, and taking back my power, taking back my body. I'm just taking back my [expletive] life," she told the New York Times. From there, Kesha recalls her come up in the industry as the article summarizes the process of releasing her first album with Dr. Luke, claiming that the producer pressured her to make her first album only reflect fun. "I was like, 'I am fun, but I’m a lot of other things.' But Luke's like: 'No, you’re fun. That's all you are for your first record.'"

This idea of fun, she says, came into play on writing her songs like "Tik Tok." "I remember specifically him saying, 'Make it more dumb. Make it more stupid. Make it more simple, just dumb'...I was like, O.K., 'Boys try to touch my junk. Going to get crunk. Everybody getting drunk,' or whatever, and he was like, 'Perfect.'"

The conversation shifts to new music, with Kesha revealing she she has written and recorded 22 new songs, at her own expense, and that they had been submitted to Sony, the parent label of Luke's Kemosabe Records, early summer. According to her representatives, Sony didn't give feedback on the tracks until after a judge intervened in late August. In comparison, recording and releasing her sophomore album, Warrior, had only taken eight months to complete until it was released. 

In an interesting moment in the article, the reporter notes that she "was given information that you are given when you work at a major magazine whose story stands to influence the situation" and that Sony told her days before the article went to press that Kesha was provided with outside producers. "Sony said it 'has made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever.' But a day later, representatives for Kesha told me that wasn't the case, saying, 'Dr. Luke has insisted Sony's participation is just an 'accommodation' and has not denied that all decisions regarding the album are still being made by Dr. Luke."

It offers a shred of insight into the complications Kesha has been up against since a New York judge denied Kesha's request for an injunction on her recording contract back in February. Soon after that ruling, Kesha filed an appeal but it was reportedly thrown out, leaving Kesha contracted to work with Kemosabe and Sony. 

Earlier this week, Sony music released a statement confirming Kesha was working on a new album. "Creating a new album takes time, and everyone’s goal is to deliver a high quality album consistent with Kesha’s past releases.We hope to share exciting new music with Kesha's fans soon."

Shortly after the interview was published, Dr. Luke's attorney, Christine Lepera, released a statement in which she criticized the article's tone and alleged misinformation.

"The New York Times Magazine profile piece that ran today unfortunately has many inaccuracies," the statement read. "This article is part of a continuing coordinated press campaign by Kesha to mislead the public, mischaracterize what has transpired over the last two years, and gain unwarranted sympathy."

According to Billboard, Lepera insists it was entirely Kesha's choice not to release new music during the last several years. She also goes on to say that the aforementioned 22 recordings were "created without any label consultation," and were submitted in June and July of this year, months after a judge denied her injunction motion.

You can and should read Kesha's full interview with the New York Times right here.

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