It's finally here: Just as promised, Kesha's first song in three years was released Friday, and trust me when I say it's a jaw-dropping masterpiece of a track. The song, which was recorded in collaboration with Zedd, is called "True Colors" — and if that sounds familiar to you Zedd fans out there, that's because it's actually a cover of his 2015 track of the same name. However, that doesn't mean it's identical: Kesha's version bears some subtle differences (she, for instance, changes the usage of "we" to "my" and "I," so lines like the one that originally read "We’ve escaped our capture/ Yet we have our masters" turn into lines like "I've escaped my capture/ and I have no master"), and the emotion she bears while singing the track is absolutely unparalleled.
The track was first confirmed by Kesha in a cryptic post on her Instagram in late April: "it's a miracle when someone gives you a chance at finding your voice again with no reason other than that he is a f*cking beautiful person with a heart of gold @zedd #truecolors," she captioned the post, which showed her back in the recording studio. Shortly after, a single cover for the track was released, as well as an anticipated drop date: April 29.
Of course, the track's release is a monumental victory for Kesha for more reason than just it's her first song in three years — it comes not long after her highly publicized legal battle with Sony producer Dr. Luke (real name, Lukasz Gottwald), the man whom she filed a lawsuit against in October 2014 accusing him of sexually assaulting and emotionally abusing her for a period of 10 years beginning when she was 18 years old. Dr. Luke filed a countersuit against Kesha shortly thereafter, and also denied the accusations on his Twitter account in February 2016, saying, "I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her. Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister," then, "It’s sad that she would turn a contract negotiation into something so horrendous and untrue."
In February, a New York City judge ruled that Kesha could not break her contract with Dr. Luke following her lawsuit against him, and in April stated that she would not rule Kesha's accusations against Dr. Luke a "hate crime," as Kesha was claiming in her lawsuit against him:
Although [Dr. Luke’s] alleged actions were directed to Kesha, who is female, [Kesha did] not allege that [Dr. Luke] harbored animus toward women or was motivated by gender animus when he allegedly behaved violently toward Kesha. Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime.
Sony has made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever, but Sony is not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha. Sony is doing everything it can to support the artist in these circumstances, but is legally unable to terminate the contract to which it is not a party.
In October 2014, Kesha's lawyer released a statement to Billboard when she filed her lawsuit:
This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for ten years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke. The facts presented in our lawsuit paint a picture of a man who is controlling and willing to commit horrible acts of abuse in an attempt to intimidate an impressionable, talented, young female artist into submission for his personal gain. Kesha is focused on moving her life and her career beyond this terrible time.
Then, on April 3, Dr. Luke's spokesperson released a statement to Rolling Stone.
The Court repeatedly stated Kesha is already free to record without Dr. Luke, and that she had not presented any facts supporting her claims. That's because all the evidence — including Kesha's own videotaped sworn testimony — show her allegations are false. The only thing Kesha is not free to do is to continue to lie about Dr. Luke through publicity stunts and outrageous smears, ignoring the fact that by her own free will she went to work and entered into new contracts with Dr. Luke years after this "incident" supposedly happened. Her goal all along has been solely personal enrichment by seeking to break contracts that brought her success and millions so she can enter into more lucrative ones. We look forward to our day in court holding Kesha accountable for her lies.