You probably know Kesha by her dance-pop hits such as Tik Tok and Blow. If this is you, her new single might come as a surprise. It is a ballad diving into her personal life and showcasing her raspy rock star voice. While I am a Christian, I still do listen to "secular" artists, even ones as wild and rebellious as Kesha.
As a musician who has avidly followed Kesha throughout her career, I was elated to hear her new single entitled Praying. Kesha has been struggling with several things, including anxiety, an eating disorder (fluctuating weight, self-deprecation, etc.), and her producer Dr. Luke (who she sued claiming that he had sexually harassed her). She is still under contract with him for her next three albums, but she now has creative freedom with songwriting. This basically means that while Dr. Luke will profit from the (hopefully) upcoming three albums, she will have full creative control.
Praying strikes me in more ways than one. Although I am not in the same dark place as she is projecting in the beginning of her music video, I do know how it feels to be uncomfortable in your own skin and to suffer through anxiety. Her vulnerability about these things is part of why her new single struck me.
Another reason why I was struck by this song was its inherent religious word use. From the perspective of Christianity, Kesha's song might seem disrespectful at best, blasphemous at worst. But with an open heart, I think there is an important message for all those who believe in God: We should be praying for our enemies, that they will live a better life, especially those we would rather harbor hatred for.
In the bridge, Kesha sings: Oh, sometimes, I pray for you at night/Someday, maybe you'll see the light
Then in the chorus, she sings: I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin'/I hope your soul is changin', changin'/I hope you find your peace/Falling on your knees, prayin'
I believe there is enough negativity in this world and I have a feeling that Kesha agrees. Instead of creating a song of hate or resentment, like some other artists would *cough*taylorswift*cough* she chose to wish peace and soul-change to her enemy.
Kesha is a prime example of loving those who hate you. She is a beautifully creative human being who pushes boundaries when it comes to art. I stand behind her unique weirdness because through this song, her vulnerability and passion come through as clear as a church bell on a still afternoon, beautiful and sacred.