Kesha-another “trashy” artist with a pretty face but no voice at all.. or so we thought until “Dr. Luke VS Kesha” drama bursted out in 2014, leaving the public with very mixed feelings about the pop artist. The producer was accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender violence, civil harassment, violation of unfair business laws, infliction of emotional distress (both intentional and negligent) and negligent retention and supervision. After the artist, as her fans like to say, “got free” from her contract that forbid her to release music with producers other than Dr. Luke she said “All I ever wanted was to be able to make music without being afraid, scared, or abused. This case has never been about a renegotiation of my record contract — it was never about getting a bigger, or a better, deal. This is about being free from my abuser”.
“New producer, old Kesha” we thought. Back then we didn't really know what she was actually capable of until her recent album release “Rainbow”. Fans are screaming “we knew she had it in her” with delight, non-fans are on one hand shocked and absolutely in love with her new music on the other, but that one song that gave goose bumps to each and every one of us was “Praying”, a song she wrote about Dr. Luke, the struggles she went through because of his abuse and the way she feels about the issue now that she's free. Surprisingly, it wasn't a “diss track” or a cheesy heartbreak song; it was a song about empathy and forgiveness. She forgave her abuser and learned to love herself.
Since her album is called “Rainbow”, every song in it represents a certain color; for “Praying” it's red. We can see so in the music video, which has a lot of red accents to it. The video starts with Kesha, lying down in a tomb with two pig-headed guards watching over her. The intro is a mini-speech consisting mostly of questions, showing how uncertain she is. She can't understand if she's dead or alive; then suddenly she is on what looks like a boat in the middle of the ocean. The water is very still, she is not moving. She's asking questions with a tone that makes it clear that she feels sorry for her self but it changes to something more philosophical perhaps and that's when she opens her eyes. That's when the questions start to receive a suicidal tone. Then the actual music starts.
At first we see Kesha in fancy clothes sitting in front of a mirror. She's putting make-up on but you can clearly see how depressed she is. That is a reference to Dr. Luke insulting her appearance, especially her weight. She sings how he made her believe that she is useless without him but she still thanks him because that made her stronger. Then she is walking through a hall of TVs; every TV (or a group of them) represents an idea that we're being brainwashed with through means of communication.
The chorus is about the abuser hurting her but she manages to get out of there and now she wishes he'd pray for forgiveness and reach inner peace. She also sings “And we both know all the truth I could tell”. Kesha showed us one part of the story that we know but there's another part of it, which she decided to keep to herself and her ex-producer. It's important to mention that in the video she is going to church and praying herself. She then wears colorful and bright clothes, making her stand out from the rather dull surroundings. This shows us that she herself had to pray to forgive and forget, move on and become truly happy within herself. Now she's just passing on the flag to him.
Finally Kesha stands up from the boat, gets out of the nets and finds a place that matches the colors of her inner world. She proved him, the world and most importantly herself that she can live on. The big whale symbolizes all the pain she experienced during this period of her life. She “wished it farewell”. She hopes he will find “the light” but she understands that she can't make it happen for him, he needs to achieve it on his own. The song ends with a rainbow that was formed by the storm she was in and the ray of sunlight that saved her.
Not only that the song has such a deep meaning (it's like reading a poem), Kesha managed to finally show off the strength of her voice and all of its shades and hidden corners and curves that we never got to see before. “The best is yet to come” she sings and we can't wait to hear what else she has to offer.