Ke$ha on peeing glitter, Will Smith and Vulva 101
A conversation with Ke$ha, even briefly, requires at least fleeting mention of a few vital topics. Blue lipstick, a bottle of whiskey and glitter.
“It doesn’t go anywhere. I’ve tried to get it off, but then I just reapply, so it seems relatively pointless,” she says of the sparkly accessory. “After about the third show I ever played, I was like, '%@*# it.' You might as well just learn to love it.
“I’ve found glitter anywhere a person could find glitter. I’ve choked on glitter. I found it behind the backs of my eyelids. Even in my food, in my beer. It clogs my shower after every show. There’s glitter in my piss. It’s so gross.”
But Ke$ha is also — wait for it — sort of sweet. Sure, the raucous party-girl attitude has made her a multiplatinum pop star. (I fully expected her to eat me alive, or at least unleash some serious sarcasm). But she’s surprisingly earnest about her music and sincere about her fan base, which includes large helpings of teen girls in Ke$ha-inspired war paint and headbands at every show.
“I love it. I live for it. I feel like we’re a cult of rabid misfits. We’re all crazy animals, and we just want to all live our life and celebrate it,” she says.
“We’re all there out of a pure and visceral celebration of life. There’s no hate. There’s no judgment. It’s just a really positive environment. It’s really exciting for me to see people come and have a place where they can genuinely just be themselves, free of any judgment they might get at school or work or home.”
Ke$ha’s new show, which lights up The Woodlands Tuesday, takes her sleaze-pop empowerment to a bigger, badder, faster level. It’s her third major appearance here in about a year, following sold-out sets at the House of Blues (July 2010) and Verizon Wireless Theater (April). She promises everything from a “Mad Max meets Lost Boys” vibe and machine-gun guitars to DayGlo body paint and, of course, glitter cannons.
This is Houston in August, kids. Expect it to stick — everywhere.
“I’m playing a bunch of different synths and Kaoss Pads, and it’s really intense,” she says. “I definitely have always been working toward a goal of playing massive places. I’ve really taken it as my personal project to show the world, because that’s where really I can shine, is during my live show. I’ve designed everything — the four outfit changes, the choreography, the lighting and the structure.
“I’ve taken it so, so seriously. It’s like my baby, and I’m so happy with it.”
Ke$ha’s debut album, Animal, generated four top 10 hits, including Diddy-referencing chart-topper Tik Tok (quite possibly the most annoyingly catchy pop song of the past decade). She followed up with an EP, a remix album and another No. 1 single, We R Who We R (which I’ve caught myself singing, despite knowing better). She dropped her last name, Sebert, before joining the glitterati.
Most recently, Ke$ha nabbed a co-writing credit on apocalyptic Britney Spears hit Till the World Ends (and is featured on the remix alongside Nicki Minaj). The bulk of her wish list, however, is decidedly testosterone-fueled.
“Britney Spears is like the epitome of a pop star. I have to say, I’m pretty stoked on that front,” Ke$ha says. “(But) I would love to write a song for a boy. I’m kind of a pervert, and I’m kind of a weirdo. I think I could do it. I would love to do a song with a classic, a great: Robert Plant, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards or Iggy Pop, David Byrne.”
A second studio album is in the early stages, with lyrics and melodies inspired by the likes of Iggy Pop and Black Sabbath. But don’t expect Ke$ha to abandon the groove now that folks are dancing.
“I think that it’s just taken people a little bit of time to realize what kind of animal I am. I came out, and I was rapping and then singing, (putting) Auto-Tune on my voice in a very different way than a lot of other people have used it,” she says. “I was using it to tune my talking voice, my rapping voice. I think people just assumed, ‘Oh, that means she can’t sing.’ It’s actually hilarious to me, ’cause it’s the only thing I’m actually, 100 percent confident in — that I can sing.
“Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll make like a ballad record that’s, like, a really serious, adult-contemporary record. But not right now. Right now, I’m making a record that’s for young people and to inspire people to feel youthful and wild. I feel like I’ve accomplished my goals.”
Gettin’ jiggy: My brother gave me (the Beastie Boys’) Licensed to Ill. He also gave me a Fugazi record. My mom wrote country music, so she gave me Dolly Parton, 9 to 5. I also remember, very distinctly in my mind, being in love with Will Smith. I had like four copies of Big Willie Style.
Show me your teeth: I got one tooth in the mail from a fan, and I was like, ‘This is brilliant.’ I would love all of my fans’ teeth, to be able to wear or to make a piece of art for my house. At this point, I have over 300 teeth. I’m still collecting, if you want to, let people to know that they can still send in their teeth. That’s so, just raw, and a part of your bones.
Fan mail: I recently got this book called Vulva 101. The man told me that I got him out of writer’s block. I was like, ‘That’s sweet. That’s so great.’ I opened the book, and it’s a giant coffee table book just full of pictures of vaginas. It’s amazing.
Ke$ha Presents the Get Sleazy Tour
With: LMFAO and Spank Rock
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: The Woodlands Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr.
Tickets: $39.50-$59.50; 713-629-3700 or ticketmaster.com
Crazy ass Beastie Boys cover. I'd love to have a "Get $leazy" tag. And I love that there are all those Ke$ha articles lately since her tour came back to the US. There's gonna be some BIG, music-related news within the next few weeks, btw. You might already have heard of it on Twitter from Doctor Luke and Benny Blanco... get pumped.