Kesha Wants to Come Back as a Cat — and Other Things We Learned From the Pop Star
If you ask Kesha something as simple as “How are you feeling?” she just might launch into a monologue about the meaning of life. I spent nearly an hour on Zoom with the pop star talking about her next album, Gag Order, and although I was able to include the majority of her best quotes in that story, some things slipped through the cracks. (Including her insisting that we introduce our cats to one another at the end of the interview. Hazel and Skeeter were star-struck.)
You can read all about Kesha’s fifth LP, out May 19, in our interview, but here are five things that ended up on the cutting-room floor.
Kesha is a big religion buff.
“I’ve always been a seeker,” she says. “I studied comparative religion in high school and went to every different kind of church just because I wanted to know what everyone was talking about, and what the answer was.”
Lately, she’s been reading The Bhagavad Gita. “In all recorded history of any society that has written it down, there’s always been this search for something else,” she adds. “God can be such a loaded word because, for a lot of people, it has different baggage or it’s connected to a particular religion. It’s not religious at all. It’s more just wanting to feel connected to your highest self and something outside of yourself, something bigger, and something that’s inside of all of us. I’m not the first one, apparently, that has really craved that connection.”
One of the songs on Gag Order interpolates the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated.”
It’s a pandemic-era favorite. “During quarantine, I would run around the house, vacuuming, singing to the Ramones,” she says. “I’d just be screaming to the Ramones when I’m vacuuming. It’s really quite a scene. To be able to use an interpolation of that song means a lot.”
She wants to come back as a house cat in her next life.
She mentions this aspiration at the end of the new song “The Drama,” and she isn’t kidding. “Please God, if I come back, I either want to be a mushroom — just, like, a fungus — or I want to be a house cat,” she says. “Because my cats, they just lay around and sleep. I pick up their shit, and then they just get treats and pets. They nap 20 hours a day. It’s a beautiful existence.”
She’s not used to being alone, so the pandemic was an eye-opening experience.
“Since I was 21 years old, there would always be someone around asking me questions,” she says. “I’d be in the shower, washing my hair, and there’d be someone yelling a question through the door. I’d be going to pee and someone would be yelling me questions through the door. There wasn’t a lot of solitary time in my life up until 2020. So to come to a very swift stop was arresting and probably the most mentally difficult and beautiful experience. I’ve had to really get to know myself in a way that I never have before as an adult woman.”
Her mom is her closest collaborator and confidante.
“She knows me better than anybody and there is no bullshit,” Kesha says of her mom and longtime co-writer, Pebe Sebert. “We know each other so well that she really knows how to get to the deepest parts of me, whether it’s the fun stuff or the more introspective, raw, vulnerable stuff. I feel like the songs we write together are especially me.”
For this album, they did some initial writing sessions over Zoom; later, Kesha says, “We would go on walks at the park and be looking at owls and baby deer, and be writing little lyrics. Sometimes, she would just text me something and I would text her back. Or, over Christmas, she’d be like, ‘Oh, I have a really good line for this one song. I’ll tell you later.’ I feel like we do write the best songs in the world together.”