Kesha Was Pressured To Play Up Wild-Child Persona In Her 20’s
Kesha is opening up about the pressures she faced when she first burst onto the music scene to play up a wild, party-girl image. In the June cover story for Self, the singer-songwriter reflected on her self-image 14 years later. Looking back at her career in the 2010s, Kesha, whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert, had mainstream success at the time with hits such as “TiK ToK,” “Blah Blah Blah,” and “We R Who We R.”
On playing up her wild-child image, Kesha tells the publication, “My fans came to me for joy, and I didn’t want to disappoint them.” She encouraged her fans to be free to get “hot and dangerous.” She adds, “I was really tapping into enjoying myself, and…just doing a bunch of silly, fun s—, and inviting people to join me in that.” Creating a safe space at her shows for people to be “exactly who they want to be” is something she stands by.
“I’ve lived in the public eye since I was 22,” she points out. Reflecting on the effects of all that attention, Kesha says, “I’ve had people dissect every part of me. And it can be embarrassing. It can be crazy-making.” Now, at 36, the “Die Young” singer finds herself “just really searching for who I am.” On her recently released album, Gag Order, she says, “It’s a really exciting time to feel like…people can look at the art I’ve made and really see my different phases of life, and a complete look at who I am.”
With her new album, Kesha used it as an outlet to get rid of the anxiety she felt about being put under a microscope for so long. On top of that, to create a new image of herself that she wants people to acknowledge. “With this album, it was the first time I shed real light on subjects that, previously, I was too nervous to.” She says though she likes making fans dance and be happy with her music, she was doing herself “a disservice as an artist to just placate what I felt like people wanted from me. I had to shed light on the darker sides of what happens in my mind.”
Kesha talks about feeling pressured to play up her wild-child persona back in the 2010s:— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) June 20, 2023
“My fans came to me for joy, and I didn’t want to disappoint them. I was really tapping into enjoying myself, and…just doing a bunch of silly, fun shit, and inviting people to join me in… pic.twitter.com/fEdvn1SYQw