“Learn to Let Go” is more than a song title... it’s become one of my mantras over the last few years. As much as our past creates who we are, we can’t let it define us or hold us back. And especially if you’ve been through something hard, and we all have, you can’t hold on to resentment because it’s like a poison. You have to learn to let go of those bad feelings and move forward.
We all have bias based on whatever our own story and life experience has been, but really the only way to truly evolve is to let the past be the past and move forward with an open heart. If you let your demons haunt you, they will haunt you forever. Learn from your mistakes but don’t dwell on them, and if you feel like someone has wronged you, let that be their problem ― not yours.
“Your past only has as much effect on your future as you want it to.”
This was one of the first songs I wrote for my new album, ‘Rainbow.’ I wrote this song with my mom, Pebe Sebert, and the first day of the writing session we wrote this great melody but we couldn’t figure out what the song was about. We only had one more day booked with my friend and co-writer on this song, Stuart Crichton. I was so frustrated because we had this amazing chorus melody but no words, and I was so sad because I wondered if we would finish it?
The next day I had breakfast with one of my best friends. She just struck me that morning because she is such a happy beautiful soul. She floated into the room like a magical beam of light ― she was a goddess. I know some of the hard times she has been through, and I was inspired by how she didn’t let any of the darkness from her past creep into her life. Her beautiful spirit inspired me to consider how, even though we all go through tough things in our lives, we all have the ability to make the decision to just let it go and move forward. If my friend can do it, then I thought maybe I can do it too.
When we got to the studio the song just started flowing. My mom is always telling me how you have to learn to accept that you can’t try to control everything. When you realize that you are not the one in control and you stop holding onto regrets ― it’s liberating. Your past only has as much effect on your future as you want it to. It’s about embracing your past, but not letting it define you.
For the video we play on that concept by incorporating home movies that my aunt Sonia Sebert had filmed over the years and then we recreate some of the scenes with me as an adult in a really whimsical kind of way. It’s this idea of reconnecting to my child-like self because that’s when you are so full of wonder and joy. You can choose to learn from the bullshit along the way but not dwell on it and and instead connect with that joyful childhood innocence.
I worked with Isaac Ravishankara, the same director who I worked with on the video for another song on the album, ‘Hymn.’ I wanted all of the videos on the project to have a colorful and idiosyncratic style. This video in particular I wanted to feel nostalgic and otherworldly because it’s about me reconnecting to my childlike innocence. I’ve looked at this record, ‘Rainbow,’ as me being myself, Kesha Rose Sebert, my name without the dollar sign, genuinely for the first time ever. I mean that on every level but especially musically ― and that’s really scary for me. This song, and the ideas behind it, were a big part of this record and I hope my fans like it because it is my gift to them for sticking with me for all of these years. This idea of learning to let the negative things go has been extremely helpful for me over the last few years, and I hope it resonates with others.
Kesha’s new album, ‘Rainbow,’ will be released on August 11th.