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Kesha Releases ‘Joyride,’ Her First Single as Independent Artist

In a fitting way to ring in Independence Day, Kesha has dropped her new single “Joyride,” marking her first release as an indie artist since parting ways with Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records and RCA.

The single, which she debuted at Brooklyn’s Planet Pride this past weekend, is a departure from the more experimental nature of last year’s “Gag Order,” an album that pushed into more arthouse territory for the pop singer. “Joyride” is an electro-banger perfectly timed to summer, a callback to her early hits like “Tik Tok” and “We R Who We R,” with quotable lyrics like “You want kids? Well I am mother.”

“Joyride” marks a new beginning for Kesha. In December, Variety reported that she had parted ways with both her label Kemosabe and Vector Management. The news came six months after she settled multiple lawsuits with her former producer and label owner Dr. Luke, which stretched over nearly 10 years but were settled out of court. Both Kesha and Dr. Luke issued statements on social media, with Kesha explaining she was “closing the door on this chapter of my life and beginning a new one.”

Kesha released five full-length albums and three EPs through Kemosabe, though she attempted to be released from the contract after claiming that Luke sexually assaulted her. He denied her claims, and she ultimately stated that she didn’t fully remember the events of the evening.

In March, she tweeted, “First day I’ve owned my voice in 19 years. Welcome.” Now, with her past behind her, Kesha recently celebrated her liberation with a performance to kick off Pride weekend at WeHo’s Outloud Fest, where she told the crowd, “This is my first show as a free motherfucking woman.” During the performance, she debuted two new songs including “Mother” and “Freedom.”

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