Ke$ha covers V Magazine’s upcoming Americana Issue, on newsstands May 10, and opens up about everything from breaking in to the music business to her aversion to the Internet and television. “I don’t watch television at all,” she tells the mag. “I’m not really on the Internet because it scares me.”
Talking about where she fits in the spectrum of pop music, the singer, who was styled for her V shoot by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele and photographed by Inez van lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, says, “I do feel like there are the pop stars of the world and then I’m like their dirty little sister, running around with s**t on my face in combat boots because I can’t walk in heels.”
The magazine also talked to some of Ke$ha’s high-profile collaborators for its profile on the star. Britney Spears, who landed one of her biggest hits in years with the Ke$ha co-penned “Till the World Ends,” said she loves the “Tik Tok” singer’s “carefree, fun-loving spirit” and works out to her beat-driven tracks. “They help me power through my workout,” the pop diva tells V.
Read on for an exclusive first look at the spread, including Ke$ha’s thoughts on her new record, her working-class background and who she wants to work with (hint: she’s after a very popular young male poster).
About who she’d love to work with:
“The range of artists I want to work with is so vast it’s bizarre. I would love to have Keith Richards on the record. I would sure as hell like to do a collaboration with Bieber and at the same time do a song with the Flaming Lips. If someone is a real artist, you can’t confine them to a particular genre. It’s my mission to make it all make sense somehow.”
About trying to find work without a record deal in place:
“I met with this one big writer and he thought he was hot s**t. He had me driving all over town—and I didn’t have gas money. The last time I met up with him, he said, ‘I have a great song title, but you can’t have it because you’re not signed.’ Then he asked me to leave his house. It was such a weird, twisted thing for a grown man to do to a young, desperate artist! It made me want to get successful to show that whether or not people recognize the power that is in you yet, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It’s not even about signing with a big label. With the Internet, the entire music business is changing. If anyone tries to tell you that you can’t do what you want to, I think you should give them the finger and do it anyway.”
About her origins:
“I try to include my fans in my message. I do feel like there is an element of what I’m doing that is about where I come from, which is working-class. I was never the cool kid, I was never hot in high school. I was never popular. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to be rich and you can still be successful.”
About avoiding paparazzi:
“When paparazzi showed up at my house, it was really mind-boggling. I’ve found ways to do exactly what I want, but in the privacy of my own sanctuaries. … I have wild, wild nights there, but my friends and I are all really private. We get f**king crazy, but you’re not going to see me stumbling out of nightclubs.”
About her new record:
“Everything I sing, I write. Love it or hate it, it all comes from me. The first record was all me living in L.A., trying to pay my rent, have a really good time, and look good on nothing. But ever since then I’ve seen how many people my music can reach, and I’ve realized that I have somewhat of a social responsibility to make sure everything I say is positive. The underlying theme of this next record is warrior, with the positive message being that everyone has a warrior inside.”
Of the album’s sound, she says:
“Some people will be shocked. Some will also be excited to know that I don’t just do silly white-girl rap. I’m from the South, I have a lot of soul. But trust me – it’s not going to be some avant-garde jazz record. I innately write pop songs. That’s just what I do.”