Kesha's new single, "Woman," is an immediate banger thanks to its soulful backbone and instantly stuck-in-your-head mantra of a chorus. She's so excited about it that she not only released a killer video (directed by her brother, Lagan) to accompany it, but an essay that dives deep into the genesis of the track, and why this song, in particular, gets to the root of why she started writing music and performing in the first place.
For Rolling Stone, Kesha really opened up about "Woman" and everything that went into it — the improvisational, organic recording process; working with the Dap-Kings, the Brooklyn-based soul outfit that served as the backing band for the late, great Sharon Jones; the breakthrough she experienced while writing it; locking herself and her co-writer, Drew Wrabel, in the vocal booth by accident — the whole deal.
She starts by singling out her new album, Rainbow, as a new chapter in her career because it's closest to the music that she loves, and one listen through "Woman" and we know that the days of "Tik Tok" and her pop-leaning hits are a thing of the past.
"I love the music I have made before, but it was funny to me that I would go play huge EDM festivals and then I’d go onto my tour bus and get out my record player and put on Iggy Pop, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, T Rex, Dolly Parton, James Brown, Beatles, The Sweet; any of those records," she writes. "They all couldn't be more different sonically from what I was doing, even though the same wild spirit was there."
She goes on to explain exactly where that cry of "I'M A MOTHERFUCKING WOMAN!" came from, and how incredible her time in the studio was when they were working on this particular track. "I have always been a feminist, but for much of my life I felt like a little girl trying to figure things out," she continues.
"In the past few years, I have felt like a woman more than ever. I just feel the strength and awesomeness and power of being female. We hold the key to humanity. We decide if we populate the Earth, and if so, with whom. We could just decide not to have any more kids and the human race would be over. That is power. I just really fucking love being a woman and I wanted an anthem for anyone else who wants to yell about being self-sufficient and strong. (Yes, men, this song can be for you too.)
"It was such a beautiful experience to write such a strong female empowerment song with two men, Drew Pearson and Stephen Wrabel, because it reinforces how supportive men can be of women AND feminism. That day was one of the best writing sessions of my life. It was pure raw joy. I have never had such a wonderful and hilarious work day as I did that day. It was one of those days I'll remember forever, because it brought me back to why I wanted to ever start making music."
PREACH, GAL. "Woman" is instantly loveable on its own — as are her dive-bar dance moves and that Elvis-worth gold suit — but Kesha's thoughts on it make us love the single that much more. Rainbow drops August 21, and we can't motherfucking wait.