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Think back: you’re in the 7th, 8th or even 9th grade, running through your playlist on shuffle, and your favorite Kesha song comes on (“Tik Tok,” “Crazy Kids”, “Blow”, take your pick). Back then, we all knew this party-girl-meets-pop princess as that one super cool artist to watch. With an – admittedly – questionable amount of autotune, undeniably catchy lyrics, and a lot of glitter, Kesha (aka Kesha Sebert) surely took the world by storm.
Still, as with many cases in the music industry, we failed to acknowledge just how she rose to fame, and what she – like many artists – had to give up in order to achieve her success. Of course, it has come to light that she had to renounce much more than her hometown, and her family. The flamboyant, fun “glitter queen” appears to have lost things much more important to any human being, on a more personal level.
Sebert let the world know that her dignity, self-confidence, and sense of security were forfeited to one of the people who should have actually had her best interest in mind, Dr. Luke (aka Lukasz Gottwald), her producer.
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We all know that there have been things circulating in the media. In case you missed it, here are some key details about the history behind the current case:
Note: we have collected the stand-out facts, but it is so important that anyone reading this does more research.
The ongoing legal battle that should have freed Ms. Sebert from her contract – which notably calls for six more albums from her, to be produced by Gottwald – ended, instead, with a ruling in favor of the producer and Sony, the music label which houses both parties.
As we don’t pretend to be fortune tellers, the future remains very unclear for this issue; regardless of this, we can note that this very unfair standard is, sadly, a trend.
We love the music of artists like Chris Brown, and Dr. Dre (and his group, N.W.A.), but the poor treatment of women – whether they be other artists, in the case of Brown, or simply fans and romantic interests, in the case of Dr. Dre – cannot go unnoticed, or continue without punishment. Punishment can be dealt socially, financially, or legally, but the fact is that repercussions should follow. While artists like Lady Gaga, have spoken out about mistreatment at the hands of higher-ups, and called for change, there is a general silence and avoidance of this issue.
Whether it be male producers, artists, or even event promoters (yes, it’s that deep), it should be a given that women are able to feel safe working within any area of the music industry, and it should also be a given that there is a fair process, for any artist, to rightfully exit contracts when dealing with such dangerous, terrifying situations.