Kesha has found light after the storm.
Ahead of the release of her third studio album, Rainbow, which drops Friday, the 30-year-old singer penned an emotional note to her 18-year-old self, opening up about her success and struggles as an artist.
In a video broadcasted on Thursday’s CBS This Morning, Kesha reads the note aloud as photos and videos of her when she was a child pop up on screen.
“Dear Kesha, at this very moment, you may be wondering if it was a really good idea to drop out of high school,” Kesha, who grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, reads. “I moved to L.A. with nothing but your grandfather’s Lincoln town car. I got good news and I got bad news. I know you’re a tad inpatient so I’ll start with good news…you made it. I thank God that this is the best plan B we ever came up with was to be a singer.”
“The bad news is you nearly killed yourself on the road to success fueled by fear of failure, anxiety and insecurity,” she adds. “You will become severely bulimic and anorexic. The worse your disease gets, the more you’ll get praised for it from people in your industry and this will really mess with your head. But when you’re trying to live up to an unrealistic expectation, it’s never going to be good enough, no matter what you do.”
Kesha continues on, advising her younger self to “beware” of the internet, saying that beyond MySpace, the web will get “way less innocent real fast.”
“Just save yourself some anxiety and a year’s worth of therapy and just skip the comments section, skip it all together,” she urges. “It’s a breeding ground for negativity and hate. Don’t let people scare and chain you into changing the things about yourself that make you unique and interesting — those are the qualities that will make your life so magical.”
As for that “bad girl, I don’t give a s**t” attitude?
“It will work for a while,” Kesha explains. “You will get a dollar tattoo on your hand that will last forever probably. But the truth is, you don’t need to put on an act. You can just be Kesha Rose Sebert. And guess what? Apparently that’s good enough. People will listen to your music and come to your shows as long as art is honest and good and you’re just being yourself.”
“You’re still in a society that worships Photoshop models. We all still feel the pressure to look like them because that’s a symptom of a society that emphasizes all the wrong things,” she continues. “And this will be an everyday struggle. And you must be strong, because over time, you will gain confidence and you will learn that words and art do matter. You will meet kids who tell you that they struggle with the many of the same things you struggled with or more. They’re going to tell you that your music helped save their life… and that will change you. You’re going to learn that art can heal people.”
After telling herself she’ll one day tear up while meeting her own idols, like Bob Dylan, Kesha concludes her letter on a happy note.
“One day, you’re going to write a song called ‘Rainbow’ and you’re going to be very proud of it,” she says. “Because there is light and beauty after the storm, no matter how hard things get. You are going to write this song so you remember to make it through. You are going to remind yourself to love yourself and if you have truth in your heart, there will always be a rainbow at the end of the storm.”
Watch the full video HERE.
After a lengthy legal battle with her former producer and a difficult emotional journey, Kesha debuted her first single in four years last month. Titled “Praying,” it’s the debut track off Rainbow, and if this song is any indication of what’s to come, the album is sure to be a hit.
Hear more in the video below.
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