A Minute With: Pop star Ke$ha on new album "Warrior"

Also: Ke$ha Collaborating with Charles Albert on Jewelry Line (under the cut!)


(Reuters) - Pop star Ke$ha made a name for herself with infectious dance-pop hits but the singer-songwriter is stepping out of her Auto-Tune comfort zone on "Warrior", out this week.

Ke$ha, 25, stormed the charts with hit songs about drinking, partying and having a good time, such as "TiK ToK" and "Your Love is my Drug" from her 2010 platinum-selling album "Animal".

Ke$ha talked with Reuters about the pressures of following up the success of her first album and responding to her critics.

Q: Did you feel additional pressure while working on this album after the success of your debut, "Animal"?

A: "Everybody keeps asking me about pressure, and I think a lot of other people maybe are feeling pressure about this record, but I just want to make a good record. If I sat around trying to make a number one record, I'd just be too consumed with that. I just want to make an awesome, kick-ass record that I love and that my fans love."

Q: Was there anything that you weren't happy with on the first album and that you wanted to change for the second?

A: "I just wanted to make sure my entire personality was presented more accurately. I feel like people really got to know the super-wild side of me but then sometimes a more vulnerable side. I didn't really feel comfortable expressing it. So this time I kind of forced myself to express a little bit more vulnerability, less Auto-Tune, less vocal trickery. It's a little more raw."

Q: You received a lot of criticism for your use of Auto-Tune, masking your true singing voice. Was that a valid criticism for you, when many others use it?

A: "I remember having this conversation with my producer, and him saying, 'We're using a lot of vocal tricks,' and I said, 'People will get to know me as my career goes on, I just want it to sound really weird and cool and clubby right now, and super electronic.' I made a conscious decision to use Auto-Tune for effect, as ear candy, and vocoders and chop up my words.

"This time around, I have heard so many different people say I can't sing, it's quite frankly irritating, so I ... made a five-song acoustic EP ('Deconstructed', out on December 4) that's kind of like my middle finger to all those people that said I couldn't sing, and there's more of my voice on this record. You know, haters are going to hate, you just have to do what you want to do."

Q: Talk us through some of the collaborations on "Warrior". There's quite a variety, such as with Iggy Pop and Ben Folds.

A: "Ben Folds is a friend of mine. He gave me a giant glitter grand piano that's in my house, so that one was natural. The Flaming Lips was probably surprising for a lot of people because we're two super-different genres of music but we had the most fun and we made so many songs, it was super insane. We're like best friends, we text everyday now, so that kind of came naturally. The one that I really have been working on for years was a collaboration with Iggy Pop. He's one of my favorite musicians and artists of all time, so that was super exciting for me, because I respect him so much."

Q: You've written tracks for Kelly Clarkson and Britney Spears, and you've written all the songs for "Warrior". What did you want to bring out in your lyrics this time round?

A: "I definitely wanted to maintain the irreverence, because that's why my fans like me. It's because I'm super honest, not always PG rated ... but I didn't want to let the haters somehow cramp my style or get the best of me, so I maintain my irreverence ... I also really wanted to show the other side of my personality, which kind of is more nerve-wracking to show people, being a real person and the vulnerable side of my personality and voice. So there are tracks on this record that are super vulnerable and were hard even to write. I had to force myself to sit down and write these songs."

Q: You've carved a distinctive image and also just launched your latest collaboration with Baby-G watches. How do you want to evolve your career in the future?

A: "I think that with this record, I really wanted to show that there are no rules or boundaries in art, at all, like I sing and I can use crazy Auto-Tune vocoders and I can rap and I can do a song with Iggy Pop. You can do all these things that make sense. You don't have to just be one thing, like, you don't adhere to any sort of stereotype or any boundaries or any rules, so for me it's really fun to break down these boundaries."

Q: You came in at the forefront of the electronic dance music explosion in the pop charts two years ago. Why do you think EDM is doing so well?

A: "Dancing is one of the ways we, as adult human beings, still get to play and it's socially acceptable. Little kids play all the time, but as we grow up, we're supposed to just not play anymore, so our version of that is going out and dancing, and I think it's one way people are still visceral and animal-like."


Popstar, Ke$ha, Collaborating with Charles Albert on Jewelry Line

Charles Albert® is thrilled to announce Kesha Rose by Charles Albert®, a new jewelry line, in collaboration with pop music sensation, Ke$ha, who is also gearing up to release her much anticipated second album, Warrior.

Kesha Rose by Charles Albert will maintain the Charles Albert® brand’s high-quality and contemporary aesthetic, while reflecting the singer’s distinctive personality throughout the collection. Known for her unique wardrobe choices, the jewelry will reflect that edgy and raw look by featuring skulls, arrowheads, fossilized shark teeth and metal-cast human teeth. These materials mixed with turquoise and other natural stones were personally selected by the musical star. “The design process was so fun. Charles and Beth and their whole team are so collaborative and always a good time to work with. Going to their office was like a crazy playground for me – so many fun stones and colors and weird objects. We just sat around and played with all of it for a few days and ended up with a sick collection of pieces in the end. I could not be more excited”, said Ke$ha of the design process.

Ke$ha has worn Charles Albert® at the MTV VMA’s and other high-profile red carpet events through the years. Charles says, “She wears our pieces well and we have always been a fan of her eclectic style. So naturally, when this partnership for Kesha Rose by Charles Albert came about we just felt it was an organic fit.” The feeling is a mutual one, “I have been wearing Charles Albert for a few years now and I'm obsessed with their jewelry. It's so fun, and massive, and makes such a wild statement. I didn't know Charles himself until we started working together, but once we did I realized how amazing this partnership would be because of how similar our vision and aesthetic are”, Ke$ha says of the jewelry designer.

The new line will be comprised of 5-7 collections containing statement necklaces, earrings, unique pendants, chunky bracelets, oversized knuckle rings and medi-rings. The jewelry will range in price from $30 to $750, with most pieces retailing under $100 to make the collection accessible to Ke$ha’s fan base. According to the singer, of the line, “There will be something for everyone!”

Kesha Rose by Charles Albert will launch in late summer 2013 in anticipation of fall fashions and will be available in August at stores and online at Charlesalbert.com

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