Kesha is ready to get her career back on track.
In an emotional new interview with Noisey, the beleaguered pop star — who has been entangled in a contentious lawsuit with her longtime producer Dr. Luke for more than two years — opened up about her legal woes and what direction she’s taking her new music.
“When you work really hard at something, then to have it taken away from you is pretty devastating,” she told the Vice affiliate, breaking down in tears. “I worked my ass off for a lot of years to be able to do it: I sang backup vocals and the first couple songs I was on, I didn’t give a f— ’cause I just had this one vision. Once you earn that and make that happen, then to have it taken away from you is pretty devastating. It is definitely like a mind-f—.”
Kesha, 29, hasn’t released an album since 2012. In 2014, she sued her longtime producer and record label exec Dr. Luke, alleging he drugged, raped, and abused her for a decade. Luke (born Lukasz Gottwald) vehemently denies the accusations and countersued for defamation and breach of contract. “I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her,” the hitmaker, 43, tweeted last year.
The one-time collaborators’ lawsuit has played out publicly, coming to a boiling point last February when Kesha openly wept in a New York City courtroom after a judge denied her request for a preliminary injunction that would allow her to record and release new music outside of Luke’s purview until their case came to a close. In April, the same judge dismissed Kesha’s abuse claims against Luke, but her counsel is appealing the ruling.
As Kesha’s team continues to fight to get her released from her contract, the singer is working on new music and, as a source told PEOPLE in October, hopes to release new material in “early” 2017.
As for what her next album will sound like? The star said she’s been toying with her Nashville heritage.
“I’ve always loved country music and listened to it a lot growing up, so now I’m like kind of allowing myself to just tap into like my music roots a little more recently,” she told Noisey. “Here, it really is the utmost importance to tell the story, and that’s really what songwriting is about — the song is the most important thing.”
While Kesha says she’s lost ownership of her voice, Luke’s camp maintains it’s her fault she hasn’t yet released a fourth LP.
“The reality is that for well over two years, Kesha chose — and it was entirely her choice — not to provide her label with any music,” Luke’s attorney, Lepera, said in an October statement to PEOPLE. “Kesha was always free to move forward with her music, and an album could have been released long ago had she done so. She exiled herself. It was not until months after the denial of her injunction motion — for the first time in June and July 2016 — that Kesha started to provide the label with music.”