“Ke$ha, young and naive at the age of 18, was signed to [blockbuster hit producer Dr.] Luke’s 8 album contract,” a recent fan petition asserts of the star, now 26. “She wants the world to hear her music and not the pop factory’s unauthentic, soulless babble she is forced to call hers.”
The fan movement is a response to Kesha’s frustration with Dr. Luke, executive producer of both of the pop star’s albums. Kesha has alluded to disagreements with Luke over the direction of her career in numerous interviews and on her MTV reality series My Crazy Beautiful Life. Fans are discouraged that her album’s track list decisions and single choices are allegedly out of her control, and that she is obliged to give Luke co-writing credit. In making the case that “Dr. Luke is controlling Ke$ha like a puppet,” the petition quotes Wayne Coyne’s April 3, 2013 interview with Billboard: “She struggles with the idea, ‘why can’t I make the music that I want to make.’”
Among the fans to have signed a petition are Hot Chelle Rae and Chris Crocker. Then there’s signee #230, legendary producer Bob Ezrin – whose long list of credits include Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, KISS and Alice Cooper, including the latter’s collaboration with Ke$ha, “What Baby Wants.” Ezrin writes, “Ke$ha is one of the most talented singers I have ever worked with – and she is more than that: she’s a real artist. In our business, this is rare and must always be celebrated and allowed to flourish…every real artist needs to be the author of their own destiny to be fulfilled.”
Read and sign the full petition to free Kesha here.
UPDATE – November 7th
In light of the recent news that Lipsha has been shelved, it’s worth noting fans with connections have been leaked a full albums worth of unreleased out-takes in the effort to bring attention to the above mentioned petition. Kesha collaborated with Coyne on at least six tracks during last year, all cut her album Warrior by Dr. Luke (“Past Life” was issued as a deluxe edition bonus track; no others have been released or leaked). Wayne has teased he’s recorded with Kesha this year as well for Lip$ha. The more signatures, the more likely additional songs – including collabs with Coyne – will leak. Below is a recap of leaks from the past few weeks:
“Pretty Lady” and “Meet Me In Space” surfaced first, then older demos – including Kesha fooling around with a Stones classic:
Kesha is appreciative of the song leaks, though understandably is not in a position to publicly comment on her situation with Dr. Luke. “I have songs leak all the time, because I’ve written like, hundreds and hundreds of songs, and my fans somehow find them on the Internet, somewhere — I don’t even have them — and they put them around,” Kesha told MTV. “I love them for that; I’m excited the world gets to hear things that didn’t make the record.” Neither Ke$ha or Dr. Luke have publicly commented on the tracks or the petition – despite MTV reaching out to both camps.
The newest leaks are “First Love” (from the Cannibal sessions), “Dirty Liar” and “Goodbye.” MTV praises Kesha’s “[soulful] singing… complete with sassy backup singers, dramatic strings, a harmonica line and a loping backbeat reminiscent of early-’90s Trip Hop” on “Dirty Liar.” The petition group has also created their own bootleg album, What Ke$ha Wants – The Creative Freedom Movement:
“Those are so old. ‘Dirty Liar’ is from when I was, like, 17,” Kesha explained to MTV. “It’s so weird; I don’t even know where they get this shit! I don’t even have a computer that has that on it. ‘First Love,’ I don’t think I even finished that one...”
The fans behind the mix designed it to “raise awareness that Ke$ha actually has talent, and to prove that she isn’t just a one trick pony.” MTV calls the album the petitioners “most compelling argument to date. . . demos that not only find Ke$ha flying her freak flag, but showcase her voice rather than the Good Doctor’s studio polish. . . as she sings about her first flame [in “First Love”], you can’t help but notice the fragility in her voice … a trait that, more often than not, is flattened out of her finished songs.”