[UPDATE 10/25/16, 5:35 p.m.: Christine Lepera, Dr. Luke's lawyer, contacted PAPER with a statement regarding The New York Times Magazine story on Kesha. She claims that the profile 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."]
The New York Times Magazine released their profile on Kesha. Written by contributor Taffy Brodesser-Akner, it's the first time Kesha has spoken about her career and struggles following her legal proceedings against former collaborator Dr. Luke. Below are five things we learned from the story.
She's sitting on a nearly-complete 22-song album.
Early this summer, Kesha submitted 22 songs to Sony. However, Sony is apparently dragging their heels with the release. Kesha's representatives say that the company didn't provide any substantial feedback until a judge intervention at the end of August, whereas the recording of her second album,
Warrior, only took eight months from start-to-finish.
What she's written for this new record is also a far cry from her "TiK ToK" pop party days.
She's apparently been pursuing a more stripped-down, acoustic sound with the help of Ben Folds. Brodesser-Akner notes that she heard a few songs off of the new record that have a distinctly, down-home country vibe and explore the depths of her underutilized vocal prowess.
Kesha's career has bore the brunt of double-standards from day one.
According to Brodesser-Akner, Kesha says she was surprised at the public's critical reception of her party-hardy subject material, saying she was just singing about the same things that the Beastie Boys and Iggy Pop were always celebrated for -- but with an ironic, self-aware touch (i.e. the dollar sign in her name). "When I first came out, I was saying I want to even the playing field," she said. "I'm a superfeminist. I am an ultra-till-the-day-I-die feminist, and I am allowed to do, and say, and participate in all the activities that men can do, and they get celebrated for it. And women get chastised for it."
This inherent industry sexism also fed into her old lawyer's argument that she was less valuable to Sony than Dr.Luke.
Following the dismissal of Kesha's civil complaints, the judge apparently assumed that Sony would make good on their word and provide Kesha with a new producer, saying in a court transcript that there's no reason why they wouldn't "promote her work when they've already invested millions." Kesha's then-lawyer's answer? "Their business interest is in promoting Dr. Luke, because he's their hit maker, not Kesha. Kesha's been on ice for two years."
The first thing she did out of rehab was take the dollar sign out of her name. The second was file her lawsuit.
"I was taking back my strength, and I was taking back my voice, and taking back my power, taking back my body," Kesha said about the period following her exit from rehab. "I'm just taking back my [fucking] life."