A Love Letter To: Kesha Rose Sebert

 

Non-binary artist, activist and "professional feelings-haver"  Rachel Maria Cox pens an incredibly beautiful love letter to Kesha Rose Sebert.

Addressing the internalised misogyny that’s within many of us, Rachel tells how delving into Kesha’s music and ultimately connecting to her vulnerability, helped release these thoughts and spark a deep love of pop music.

Collage by Pamela Boland

Collage by Pamela Boland

By Rachel Maria Cox

A Love Letter To: Kesha Rose Sebert

Dear Kesha,

I have to start by saying I owe you an apology. When I first heard TiK ToK I was a teenager, full of internalised misogyny and trying very hard to be accepted as one of the boys. I thought your music - and pop music in general was stupid, vapid, pointless, and I have to say it did not take me long to realise how very very wrong I was.

A few days ago I watched Rainbow the film for the first time. It hit home to me the way your music has always found a way into my life. You have achieved a level of success that I can only dream of one day reaching, but I have always felt that we have a lot in common from the way your music has resonated with me. Ever since getting myself a copy of Animal/Cannibal, I found that behind the ‘party girl’ persona there was vulnerability, humour, and a bit of rock star attitude – you were everything that I as a young person aspired to be. I remember being that person who told all their friends that they just had to listen to an album track rather than just the singles, and they are album tracks that I still come back to.

Thank you for showing me that there can be a fragile beauty in pop music. I am still brought to tears by The Harold Song, The Billboard remix of Animal, and Past Lives in particular will always be one of my favourite songs of all time.

When the news broke of your hospitalisation for an eating disorder, I again found another thing we shared. Though I can never understand exactly what you went through, I know what it feels like to have your boundaries as a person so violated by others that you feel the only way to build a sense of self is to control what goes into and comes out of your body. I will never stop being in awe of your strength, your perseverance, and your courage in the face of such public vulnerability.

I will never forget where I was when I heard Praying for the first time. I remember coming home from a gig and seeing I think a Tweet that you had put out your first music in years. I remember crying at a bit past midnight, alone in my room, listening to the song over and over again. I just couldn’t believe how resilient and how hopeful the song was, how beautiful and fragile it was and how it built up to such strength.

Rainbow will always be an album that changed my life. Your music will always give me hope and I can only dream that one day, I will be able to do for someone else what you have done for me.

All my love,
Rachel Maria Cox.

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Stream Rachel Maria Cox’s new single Prosecco here.

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