Kesha got emotional as she recalled her ongoing legal battle with Dr. Luke in a rare on-camera interview.
Speaking to Viceland's music show NOISEY last May, the singer called the ordeal, which has been going on for more than two years and has stalled her music career, a "mind f--k."
"When you work really hard at something, then to have it taken away from you is pretty devastating," she said. "I worked my ass off for a lot of years to be able to do it. Like, I'd sing backup vocals and like, the first couple of songs I was on, I didn't get credit but I didn't give a f--k 'cause I just like had this like, one vision. So once you earn that and like, make that happen, then to have it taken away from you is pretty devastating. It is like definitely a mind f--k."
She then teared up and paused, saying, "I'm going to cry, hold on, I was just thinking about it. Sorry, I just think about it and makes me upset."
In 2014, Kesha sued Dr. Luke for alleged rape and emotional abuse and also sought to invalidate her recording contracts with him. He said he "didn't rape Kesha" and "never had sex with her" and also filed a countersuit for defamation.
Her on-camera interview with NOISEY was posted Tuesday and recorded two months before Kesha dropped her sexual abuse lawsuit against Dr. Luke in California. At the time, her lawyer said the singer is "focused on getting back to work and has delivered 28 new songs to the record label" and that they "have conveyed to Sony and the label Kesha's strong desire to release her next album and single as soon as possible."
While she did drop her California lawsuit, her legal fight continues in New York, where she continues to pursue other claims against Dr. Luke.
Ethan Miller/Michael Kovac/Getty Images for City of Hope
Last year, a New York judge denied Kesha's bid to extricate herself from her recording contract, which spurred her fans to launch a #FreeKesha campaign. The singer appealed the ruling and continued to pursue her music career.
Amid her legal battle, Kesha has remained bound to Dr. Luke's Kemosabe label, which is owned by Sony Music. The company has said it "made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever." But Kesha's camp told The New York Times Magazine that "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." The producer has not commented.
In April, Kesha released her first new track in three years, "True Colors." It reached No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. Kesha said in October that over the summer, she submitted 22 previously unheard songs to Sony. The company said it hopes "to share exciting new music with Kesha's fans soon."
Speaking while preparing for a Bob Dylan tribute concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, Kesha talked to NOISEY about the new direction she is taking with her career.
"I've always loved country music and listened to it a lot growing up, so now I'm like kind of allowing myself to just tap into like my music roots a little more recently," she said. "Here, it really is the utmost importance to tell the story, and that's really what Nashville songwriting is about—the song is the most important thing."
"I think I'm just like, finding my voice in the world," she added. "And so like, the past three years has been, like, me taking my center and like, myself back and my voice."
"Sure, but you've got pipes," The interview said.
"That's the thing that really makes me mad, is I know!" Kesha replied. "I do! I just want people to be able to see that side of me."