Whether it’s singing about brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack or tossing her cookies in Paris Hilton’s closet at a party, Ke$ha — pop’s newest sassy sister — knows her free-spirited, unabashed quest for unfettered fun doesn’t make her the best role model for young admirers.
Rather, the 22-year-old TiK ToK singer thinks her fans hold her high on her party-girl pedestal for being real and not afraid to sing about it. Ke$ha makes little attempt to tamp down her wild side. Thus, her first album, Animal, seems aptly titled.
“I kind of think that this record embodies being an animal and giving into the animal side of yourself, and being really raw,” Ke$ha told Metro before a private show in Toronto recently.
She described her 14-song debut as “magical” and “a celebration of fun and youth, irreverence” and the resulting “papparazi-ness” as crazy.
“Some songs are funny, and some of them are a bummer and some of them are just unapologetically sassy,” Ke$ha said. “I’m just being honest. I never said that 100 per cent of the things I have done are necessarily things to be copied, it’s really just like, I documented my life.”
Animal, released Jan. 5, quickly leapt to No. 1 much like TiK ToK catapulted to the top when it bounced onto airwaves in October. TiK ToK has held steady in singles charts and took platinum status in Canada, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
Ke$ha admitted she was almost surprised TiK ToK, which Nielsen Soundscan called the most downloaded song in one week by a female artist, was that good.
“I had no idea. I actually, like, I wrote it and I didn’t think it was anything special because I’ve written every song on my record so in the process of writing you get so excited and then afterwards you’re like, ‘Is it good? Is it bad?’ I had no idea,” she said.
The L.A.-born Ke$ha was raised on welfare and food stamps by her single mother, Pebe Sebert. Ke$ha grew up in Tennessee recording studios — Sebert co-wrote Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You, which became a hit for Dolly Parton in 1980 — and was exposed to the tunes of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Patsy Cline. Her penchant for singing and storytelling caused her to quit school at age 17. She met executive producer Dr. Luke, who invited her to sing on Flo Rida’s hip-hop song Round Room. Dr. Luke — responsible for No. 1 tunes for such starlets as Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne — brought her to Sony’s RCA Records, which signed her in February 2009.
On Animal, Ke$ha cheekily chronicles her experiences living life hard.
“I wrote all the songs at a time when I lived in Los Angeles, and I went out all the time and, you know, did have drinks and did dance and did have unapologetic, irreverent, breaking-into-house-parties kind of fun, so I never said that I’m the best role model,” she said. “But I do think that if kids can take away anything positive from the record it’s that you can have fun with everything and not take certain things so seriously. I also don’t take myself that seriously.”