When I was 13 years old and entering the seventh grade my taste in music wasn’t really a taste at all – it was more of a direct copy of whatever pop songs were on the American Top 40 in 2010.
All my friends and I were obsessed with whatever pitchy upbeat single was at No. 1 on the list and pop star Kesha’s “Tik Tok” was no exception.
I mean, what middle school girl doesn’t love to “wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy” and “brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack.” Totally relatable.
Although her lyrics were clearly not appropriate for my age at the time, and her music isn’t exactly what I would now consider to be stellar, I was one of many pre-teen girls who idolized Kesha.
Flash forward six years later and I still look up to Kesha – not for her music or her talent, but for her bravery in making a statement against the corruption of the music industry and refusing to be one of the hundreds who never let their voice be heard.
In October of 2014, Kesha sued her producer, Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, also known as Dr. Luke, for alleged sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, emotional abuse and violation of California business practices.
Kesha claims that the violations occurred over the 10-year duration of time that the two had worked together.
Gottwald filed a countersuit against Kesha for breach of contract and defamation around the same time that Kesha came forward.
On Friday in the Manhattan Supreme Court, Kesha’s plea to get out of her exclusive contract with Gottwald was denied.
The singer’s year-and-a-half long legal battled ended with Kesha still frozen in a contractual obligation to make six more albums for Gottwald and Sony, although she does now have the option to work with another producer.
Even in a legal war against a powerful name like Sony, it’s still shocking to me that an artist who has been tormented by her producer is still denied the right to artistic freedom that she deserves.
Now, I’m not some crazy Kesha fan who is dying to hear her newest album, but in the midst of this legal mess, I think it’s unfair that she’s not able to release new music unless she agrees to work under Gottwald’s name.
I also think that her work itself will suffer under the name of Sony. Although she now has the option to work with another producer, the money she makes will still be sent to Gottwald and the company that still employees him.
I can’t imagine that the music she would produce under the label in those circumstances would be a direct representation of the music she would want to record, and it’s not really appropriate to stick her with a new producer and pretend like everything is OK.
With the attention that her case is receiving and the message she is sending, it is only my hope that the nation will support Kesha and other women like her in their fight for justice for sexual assault cases.
I just dream that within the next six years, when a new set of middle school teeny boppers are blasting their favorite pop hits, we’ll have found the solution to this serious issue.