Kesha’s 2017 triumphant return to the charts was centred around the singer’s third and most personal album to date, Rainbow. Forced to step away from her career in 2014 in order to pursue legal action against her former producer Dr. Luke, Kesha’s battle against her alleged abuser is ongoing, but the artist has thankfully been able to return to the studio and do what she does best—inspire others with her music.
It’s been an a long and arduous journey back to the recording studio and stage for Kesha, one that was wrought with emotional highs and lows. Throughout it all, the singer has maintained a close relationship with her fans, crediting her legion of Warriors and her new album Rainbow with literally saving her life.
Now Kesha is giving her fans an in-depth look at the recording of Rainbow, what it took for her to get back to the mic, and why she continues to use her voice to self-heal and inspire others.
Here are the five most powerful moments from Kesha’s new Apple Music documentary Rainbow.
Many artists pay lip service to their fans, but Kesha is a musician that truly connects to the people who buy her albums and attend her shows. “I may have been ready to give up on myself, but I wasn’t ready to give up on my fans because they had never given up on me. They wrote me letters and they stood up for me when I couldn’t stand up for myself.”
After finishing her time at a treatment facility for her eating disorder, Kesha said that the best way for her to cope with the world was by creating art, regardless of what it looked and sounded like. “Some of the art is not beautiful, some of it’s painful, or some of it’s gnarly, and that’s when you come up with this stuff that like, gives you goosebumps.”
When explaining why she named her album Rainbow, Kesha said that she was inspired by making it through the metaphorical storms to see the rainbow at the end. “I wrote it as a message to myself, that I could make it through it,” said Kesha. “Rainbow was my first album that I had complete creative control over. Everything was me. This was so liberating and it was terrifying. Everything was on me. Its success was so overwhelming. This was myself, Kesha Rose Sebert, being myself publicly for the first time ever.”
I executive produced Rainbow which was the first album I’ve ever had complete creative control over and I chose to work with some dear friends like Ben Folds, Drew Pearson, Ricky Reed, and Stuart Crichton among many other amazing and kind humans. I’m excited to share my story with you, animals. Thank you for always being there for me, I love you all You can watch #RainbowTheFilm on @applemusic at link in bio
Kesha’s decision to bet on herself paid off, with the singer receiving her first Grammy nomination ever for Rainbow. Invited to perform her comeback single “Praying” at the award show, the new documentary shows the high level of anxiety and stress that came with the performance, from the emotional baggage of the show to the complex and intricate arrangement of the vocals. Working with her vocal coach and mother Pebe Sebert, also a musician, watching Kesha find support from those closest to her in order to deliver one of the greatest performances of her career is truly inspiring.
The Rainbow documentary concludes with Kesha’s Grammy performance, which was the highlight of 2018 award show. Joined by Bebe Rexha, Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, Andra Day, and the Resistance Revival Chorus, Kesha’s powerful performance resonates even more after watching the new documentary, with a reminder that the song that started with so much pain and violence is now a beacon of hope not only to Kesha, but her fans.