After four long years, Kesha released her new album “Rainbow” on Friday, along with a music video for the album’s title song.
For the last four years, Kesha had been trying to free herself from her contract with Dr. Luke, her former producer and mentor whom she alleges drugged, and sexually and verbally assaulted her while she recorded with him at Sony. Sony removed Dr. Luke from the company in April, and now Kesha’s new album “Rainbow” has been released under his former label Kemosabe — a bittersweet triumph.
In an emotional personal essay penned by Kesha for Refinery29, Kesha describes another part of her onerous journey that the public is a little less privy to: her time in rehab.
Kesha explains that while in rehab for her eating disorder, “that had gotten wildly out of control,” she had no access to her phone or computer, and as a result was completely unable to work. Kesha begged for a keyboard of any kind so she could write and process her emotions. Eventually Kesha was allowed one hour a day to play on a keyboard, and thus the song and album “Rainbow” was born:
“Every day I sat there on the floor and played. This is how the song ‘Rainbow’ came to be. The whole album idea and tour and everything, came from me crying and singing and playing and dreaming until my hour was up and they took the keyboard away again. Every day I would just cry and play that song because I knew I had to get through that incredibly hard time. I knew I had to change and learn to take care of and love myself, and I had no idea how to even begin.”
The moving essay explains that the idea of turning “Rainbow” into a full album had become Kesha’s main goal while in rehab:
“I just held onto that idea because it was all I had. I just kept saying, ‘I’m gonna put out Rainbow, I’m gonna put out Rainbow. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna put it out. I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it.'”
The singer’s reminders of the goals she had for herself, and the album she wanted to produce, became mantra-like.
Once Kesha left rehab she got to work. The singer enlisted the help of Ben Folds to help her produce the song “Rainbow,” and together they created one of Kesha’s most un-Kesha-like and moving songs to date. “Rainbow” at its core is an ode to self love and overcoming obstacles.
In her essay, Kesha describes a line in “Rainbow” that probably best encapsulates its meaning, and her message: “There’s a line in ‘Rainbow’ that I really love: ‘What’s left of my heart is still made of gold.’ I truly believe that.”
Kesha’s album “Rainbow” is out now, and you can watch the music video for “Rainbow” here: