“I just started leaning into it, I was like, ‘Well, it’s happening, so what am I going to do about it?'” the pop star told Zane Lowe
Anxiety can often feel like one’s brain is playing a trick on them, and Kesha‘s opening up about feeling that to the utmost degree.
In a new interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, the singer-songwriter revealed she once had such intense anxiety that she mistook it for a “psychotic break,” noting that she’s since turned to “spirituality” in order to heal.
“I went through this crazy psychedelic spiritual experience in the midst of the anxiety…it was pure anxiety,” said Kesha, 36. “My brain felt like… I thought maybe it was the process of having a psychotic break or something. But then once I just started leaning into it, I was like, ‘Well, it’s happening, so what am I going to do about it?'”
She explained that a song from her new album Gag Order was inspired by the experience: “I had this full psychedelic kind of trip sober, and that’s what ‘Eat the Acid’ is written about.”
“But after that I just really started leaning into… I’m a triple Pisces, I love weird, unexplainable, spiritual, supernatural stuff,” continued Kesha. “So after this happened to me, I went down a total — it’s my rabbit hole I’m currently in, is just the paranormal and also different spirituality, different things people believe in. I’m just trying to read about it because I feel like we’re all talking about a similar thing.”
Released last week, Gag Order finds the “Tik Tok” performer in an especially introspective space, as she sings about mental health and past romantic relationships. Throughout the record, she also seems to allude to her her ongoing legal battle with ex-collaborator Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald.
Kesha first sued the producer in 2014 for sexual, emotional and physical abuse, and he filed a countersuit the same year. Her claims were dismissed by a judge in 2016, but his defamation suit against her is set to go to trial this summer — despite multiple appeals.
Since late last year, the “Praying” musician has been spotted out and about with film producer Riccardo Maddalosso — but elsewhere in the Apple Music interview, she spoke about finding it difficult to trust romantic partners.
“I have people that I trust implicitly so much in my life, so I’m very lucky for that. But I have a harder time in romantic relationships fully trusting,” explained Kesha. “I’m going to be honest with you. And yeah, it’s something I work on. That’s why I’m constantly working on myself is because […] selfishly, I’d like to be happy.”
She then detailed another Gag Order track, an emotional ballad titled “Happy,” that discusses her search for peace in its lyrics: “It’s about just that I want to be happy, I want to let go. I want to be free. I want to trust the process, trust the universe, all of those things.”
“And I do feel like I cannot just remain in my childlike self. So there’s an element of having to grow up,” added the Grammy nominee. “And I feel like this album completely documents the time where I was like, ‘OK, I have to deal with some s— and I just need to walk through it, and it’s going to be really uncomfortable. And I feel like it’s really helped me grow into a woman, and you know, you hear it all on the album.”
Kesha explained how such topics on the new album illustrate how she’s grown and changed since writing the early hits that launched her career. “You kind of hear, start to finish going through these stages of emotions that I never let myself go through before,” she said. “I’m the girl that wrote, ‘We R Who We R,’ love yourself, OK, ‘Tik Tok,’ we’re having fun, ‘Warrior,’ I’m such a warrior. And at those moments in time, I did feel [like,] ‘F— me, youth is wasted on the young.”
Gag Order is out now, and the full interview is available Thursday on Apple Music.