Ahead of her new supernatural reality series, Conjuring Kesha, the Grammy-nominated singer talks about equal rights, mental health, and the supernatural in a new interview.
Kesha, 35, told Yahoo! Entertainment that her new show, in which she travels the US with famous friends (comedian Whitney Cummings, pop star Betty Who, bounce rapper Big Freedia, former Bachelorette Jojo Fletcher and supermodel Karen Elson) visits haunted sites and make contact with the other side.
Kesha recalled going to Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum with Big Freedia, a place where “a lot of women and a lot of gay people ended up in here for things like premenstrual ‘psychosis,’ adding that the place had over 10,000 lobotomies to treat such cases. “Oh, God. Me and Big Freedia both kind of realized that had [the asylum] still been open and had we lived in that town, we for sure would’ve been in this place,” she said. “I know myself, I probably would’ve had like 10 lobotomies at this point. Because if you’re a ‘hysterical’ woman, I mean – guilty!”
The “We R Who We R” singer added, “It made us both really sit and think about how people were treating mental illness. Instead of having any sort of compassion or help, it was like, ‘Just give them a lobotomy against their will.’ It was really heartbreaking, and a good wake-up call that we need to pay attention to what we’re doing.”
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Learning of the overturning of Roe v. Wade while performing for the first time in two years at Stonewall for New York City Pride, Kesha said, “I was so excited. I love Pride. Then I woke up to the news about Roe v. Wade and I felt crushed. And I felt really scared. I feel scared. I feel really scared that it’s predominantly rich, white, straight men who feel like they have the right to tell other people how to live and are taking away the autonomy for me to have control over my own body. And that doesn’t seem like that should be up for debate, whether or not I should have the rights to my own bodily autonomy. So, it was conflicting, because that happened in the middle of celebrating Pride and Stonewall.”
She added, “So, on stage that day, it was a really confusing day. I [still] wanted to celebrate how far we have come… and you know, Stonewall started as a protest, as a riot. And I’m feeling that kind of energy inside of me now — that stirring of ‘we will not rest until we all feel safe and protected and equal.’ And that goes for everybody.”
Kesha feels really good about her forthcoming album, saying, “The new record, I’m not going to give away too much as it’s not done, but there is definitely an existential, spiritual side of this record. And I’ll say it: I’ve never been more excited to put out this TV show and this record. These are my two favorite things I’ve ever done in my entire career.”