Archives For dr. luke

Kesha just ended a five-year musical hiatus by releasing her new single, “Praying,” although the time in between her albums has been the complete opposite of uneventful.

Over that span, Kesha was constantly in the headlines. She entered and exited rehab for an eating disorder, performed live, served as a judge on a reality TV competition (remember ABC’s “Rising Star”?) collaborated with Zedd and most notably, sued producer Dr. Luke. Kesha alleged physical and emotional abuse along with employment discrimination; the producer countersued for breach of contract and defamation.

As the series of lawsuits between Luke (born Gottwald) and Kesha (nee Sebert) played out in court, the singer claimed that if the court wouldn’t allow her to break her contract with Kemosabe Records, she wouldn’t be able to release new material. The court disagreed and technically with her new single and announcement of a forthcoming album, the court was correct.

But it should be noted that in April, Sony severed ties with Gottwald, who is no longer the CEO of Kemosabe Records. Despite this, a representative for the producer issued a statement to Billboard following the song’s release that said there were no changes to Kesha’s contractual recording obligations.

“As legally required all along, the album was released with Dr. Luke’s approval by Kemosabe which is a joint venture label of Dr. Luke and Sony,” it claimed in part.

Just a few weeks ago, a defamation lawsuit in a Tennessee court that Gottwald levied against Kesha’s mother, Pebe Sebert was dismissed. A joint statement from both parties said Ms. Sebert “admits she has no firsthand personal knowledge of the events occurring on the night of the alleged rape.”

While the separate legal battle in New York continues, it will not hold up Kesha’s return. “Praying” is an earth-scorching ballad that according to the artist, channels her feelings of “severe hopelessness and depression.”

“This song is about me finding peace in the fact that I can’t control everything — because trying to control everyone was killing me,” she wrote on Lena Dunham’s website Lenny. “It’s about learning to let go and realize that the universe is in control of my fate, not me.”

Ryan Lewis, who is best known for his work with rapper Macklemore, co-wrote the single. “Rainbow,” Kesha’s new LP, drops August 11.

From February 2017: GRAMMY Producer Of The Year nominee Ricky Reed talks about working in-studio with Kesha.

“Versatile” would be one way to describe Ne-Yo’s musical capabilities given how many different radio formats have played his songs over the years and the number of genres he has actively participated in. Electronic Dance Music is one of those genres, whether it is working with Afrojack or Calvin Harris for the GRAMMY-nominated “Let’s Go,” and the singer/songwriter doesn’t think that its popularity is going to decline anytime soon.

“It’s a genre that’s based off of crowd participation,” Ne-Yo replied when I asked him if he was surprised at dance music’s sustained prominence, especially in the pop world. “If you’ve ever been to an EDM show, it’s not even so much about the DJ. Most EDM DJs wear a black t-shirt and black jeans…you’re going for the music and the way that the music makes you feel.

“We’re in a time where things that make you feel something are few and far between, and that music has always been based on getting that energy. I don’t feel like energy will ever go out of style, so I don’t feel like EDM will ever go out of style.”

While not of the electronic variety, there is a bunch of energy on Ne-Yo’s new single, “Another Love Song.”

“I wanted to do something kind of up-tempo, summertime, fun,” the artist, nee Shaffer Smith, explained. “Still have an R&B edge but could also you know, play with the pop folks if you felt like it and I feel like ‘Another Love Song’ is just that.”

Ne-Yo wrote the song himself and tasked Dr. Luke to produce it. It’s the first single from his forthcoming seventh studio album. Given his longevity and track record, perhaps he knows a thing or two when he speaks about staying in style.

Following the news that Sony Music was severing ties with producer Dr. Luke, attorney Jill Stanley of ProofWithJillStanley.com called up to weigh in on possible motives and what this would mean for Dr. Luke and Kesha moving forward.

“Locked Away,” the Caribbean-infused pop song with a catchy chorus sung by Adam Levine, could have been the song of the summer. Matter-of-fact, the duo that comprises R. City intended for the track to be just that. However Timothy and Theron Thomas were not able to release to the track to the masses until July; despite the fact that it was ready in May.

“We got Adam Levine on the song, and then just clearing it with his label and the time that it takes to get that process done took a little longer than we had expected,” Theron revealed to me. “We were so ready to get it out.”

Levine recorded his vocals at the beginning of May, and the Atlanta-based group planned on a June release. However at least one lesson was learned: once you’re on a major record label, you will not always have full control over a project’s timeline.

“As songwriters and producers, we come in, we write the song and then we leave,” Theron explained. “We’ve always been independent, and we’re really famous in the Virgin Islands, so we used to put out independent albums put out music on our own.

“When you’re signed to a label, you can’t do ‘guerilla-style’ stuff. People have to sign waivers and stuff has to be cleared.”
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But on the flip-side it was the label, Dr. Luke’s RCA imprint Kemosabe Records, that enabled the Levine collaboration in the first place. Luke, nee Lukasz Gottwald, played the track for the Maroon 5 front man and he immediately agreed to sing its hook.

The whole project is quite improbable considering that when R. City first entered the studio with Luke, the goal was to write hit pop songs; “Katy Perry records.” Gottwald had already seen the duo’s talent first-hand as they collaborated on Becky G’s single, “Shower.” A mutual friend tipped Luke off to the Thomas brothers’ talents as singers. Any aspirations that they, or their manager had for a Perry placement quickly vanished.

You can only imagine the expression on the face of Ray Daniels, R. City’s manager, when Dr. Luke told him he had R. City records to play him instead of other collaborations; the artists weren’t even signed, although that too was about to change.

“He started to get a lot more cool about it once he heard the music,” Timothy said.

“Luke started playing him records and (Daniels) was like, ‘Okay, cool, I get it,’” recalled Theron.

And it all worked out the way it was supposed to: “Locked Away” hit number one on the pop radio airplay chart on the same week that the duo’s debut album, What Dreams Are Made Of, hit shelves.

The New Year began with pop star Ke$ha entering herself in to rehab, and speculation brewing as to why she admitted herself in to the clinic.

Shortly after the TMZ report broke, it was fans of the singer, born Kesha Sebert, that tweeted me Dr. Luke was to blame. Luke signed Ke$ha to a recording deal at 18. He was responsible for her first placement, the hook of Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” and her solo releases. According to a subsequent report by the entertainment news website, people in Ke$ha’s circle claimed that the super-producer constantly asked her to lose weight. In one alleged instance, the songwriter born Lukasz Gottwald called the singer “a f—ing refrigerator” during the 2012 video shoot for “Die Young.”

“Dr. Luke had been telling her how she had to get in shape and lose weight and all this stuff,” Ke$ha’s mom, Pebe Sebert, told People magazine. “She was exercising and dieting and ultimately doing everything she could, but not getting thin fast enough, and that’s when she first became bulimic.”

Through a representative, Dr. Luke refuted the claims.

“These statements and allegations concerning Dr. Luke are completely false,” read the statement given to People. “It is unfortunate that at a time Ke$ha is suffering immensely and trying to heal at a treatment center, her mother is taking this approach with the media. I give Ke$ha my utmost support and well wishes for a quick return to health.”

This does not seem to be the first media report of conflicts between Luke and Ke$ha. Late last year, Rolling Stone mentioned to the “TiK ToK” singer a petition that was circulating the Internet, attempting to separate Ke$ha from her contract with Dr. Luke. Ke$ha acknowledged its existence.

“I feel like my fans are really protective of me,” she responded to the magazine about the petition. “They just want to see me grow as an artist, which I agree with. Hopefully in the future, I’ll be in a position where I can put out a ballad or a more vulnerable song.”

When RS asked if Ke$ha currently had any creative control, she replied, “Not really.”

I asked Cher, a woman in New York who runs Ke$ha’s largest fan support Twitter account, what the singer’s fans are hoping for as far as the petition.

“For Dr. Luke to release her out of this contract, and then she can actually release the music that she wants to release, and be the person she wants to be.”

Meanwhile the collaborative efforts of Luke and Ke$ha seem to still yield big results on the charts. The Dr. Luke-produced “Timber,” which Ke$ha sings on the hook of, just hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Ke$ha literally went from what she describes as “a hobo” to a platinum-selling recording artist with a memoir in stores, all within a couple of years. It might take a lot to surprise her these days, but one publication did the trick.


“I was a little shocked. I was like, ‘Are you sure?’” Ke$ha recalled when she heard Vibe Magazine wanted her to grace its cover. The artist became the first Caucasian woman to appear solo on the front of the magazine. “It is shocking, but also massively flattering.”

The “TiK ToK” singer attributes the honor to the idea that with music these days, “there are no boundaries.”

“On this record especially, I worked with so many people from so many different genres of music,” she explained on “The Ralphie Show.” “From Iggy Pop, to Flaming Lips, and the Strokes, and the Black Keys, and then will.i.am and Nate (Ruess) from fun. There’s so many different genres of music represented.”

That new album, Warrior, comes out December 4. The lead singer of fun. is a co-writer on the first single, “Die Young.” He and Ke$ha haven’t even met.

“He was working with my friend Benny Blanco here in New York, and I was in LA making my record with Dr. Luke,” she recalled. “They just sent over the chorus-y, like idea. And then Luke and I were like, ‘Oh, that’s great.’”

And voila, hit record? Not so much. Ke$ha also revealed that she re-wrote the song 10 times until she felt it was representative of her. The artist’s meticulous detail to lyrics is the main reason why almost two years passed between the releases of her two full-length albums.

“I really wanted to take my time with my second record because I feel like that is the record you really make a name for yourself or it could suck,” she stated. “I just wanted to make sure that my second record was me and it was right and it was honest and it was dope.”

The Nashville-born singer is played on the radio next to artists like Rihanna, who has worked at a pace of releasing seven albums in the last seven years.

“I think I would die,” responded Ke$ha when asked if she could release music at that speed. “I have a lot of respect for her.”

In addition to Warrior, Ke$ha is also selling the Deconstructed EP through her website. The release features acoustic, broken-down versions of songs such as “Die Young,” – allowing the singer to once again prove she doesn’t need auto-tune.

“I was just like, ‘Really? You really still don’t think I can sing? F*** all ya’ll!’” Ke$ha exclaimed, eliciting laughter in the studio. “It’s really irritating when you can do one of three things in your entire life, and everyone’s like, ‘You can’t sing!’”

He came to dance, dance, dance, dance… and now, on this new Dr. Luke-produced, Flo Rida-assisted track, he’s paying the price. The song is the first single from Cruz’s forthcoming November LP, tentatively-titled, TY.O.

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Taio Cruz chatted about his second U.S. single from Rokstarr, “Dynamite”, on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” The party anthem was produced by Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco – and co-written by Max Martin. The three are pop music royality, producing and penning hits for everyone from Britney Spears to ‘N Sync to Katy Perry.

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VerseCity front man Micah Walker calls in to “The Ralphie Radio Show” from Houston to chat about his band’s version of “TiK ToK”, entitled, “Tik Tok Rok.” The group kept the basic premise of the song while changing a few lyrics and melodies – transforming a ladies anthem in to something a little more unisex.

Walker tells “The RRS” that 10 cents of every iTunes sale goes to Ke$ha’s publishing company. He also found out that Dr. Luke, who wrote and produced a litany of hits, including “TiK ToK”, heard the rock version and liked it.