KE$HA And The Not Quite 72 Virgins In Her Own Personal Heaven

ESQ: You're from Nashville, and now you're out in L.A. — a fixture in this huge, conglomerate, label-heavy music scene. How does that translate?

KE$HA: I've always been loud and obnoxious and sneaking my way into things, and so I feel like I've snuck my way onto the Lollapalooza lineup, and I'm going to sneak my way into whatever else I get to do. Because really I'm just telling stories about the stupid shit I do.

ESQ: Really? What's your songwriting process like?

KE$HA: Okay, for instance, I have a song on my record called "Steven" — I've been stalking this guy since I was fifteen, so it's a song about Steven: "Why won't you call me?" I have a song I wrote the other night called "Take It Off" about when I went to a drag show, and how really turned on I was by these transvestite men taking clothes off. I was like, What does that even make me?
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I'll usually go out, have one fucking insane night, come home half-drunk, stumbling, and write down a few words. The next morning I'll wake up and be like, Whoa, this story needs to be told. Like this single I have out right now, called "TiK ToK": One morning I just woke up, and I live in this house with I-don't-even-know-how-many roommates — it's this Laurel Canyon house with seven rooms and roommates fluctuating monthly.

ESQ: And what, exactly, is going on there?

KE$HA: Well it was the house The Eagles recorded Hotel California in. So it's just this huge hippy... There are a bunch of hippies who come in and out, and there are all these people sleeping on the couches. I don't really care, I don't mind it. But I woke up one day after we went to a party, and I was surrounded by ten of the most beautiful women you've ever seen. And I was like, I'm like P. Diddy — there's no man like this in the entire world. So that became the first line of the new single, and we just went from there. It's a daily process in my life.

ESQ: Is it hard to concentrate living with beautiful women crawling around your bed at night?

KE$HA: No, it's inspiring. Bring 'em on!

ESQ: Okay, but it must be difficult to be such a beautiful, single woman in such a big, bustling L.A. music scene.

KE$HA: I like to admire. I'm a fan of beauty, so it's not hard for me. But I think a lot of people can get wrapped up in comparing themselves. And that's when the tragic downfall comes, because there will always be someone more beautiful.

ESQ: So how do you avoid tragedy? Like I said, you're kind of pigeonholed almost, clearly by the MTVs of the world, whatever people are making you out to be. Does the music speak for itself? You certainly do.

KE$HA: I hope so. I just filmed a viral video for my song "Backstabber" with a bunch of trannies...

ESQ: You seem to have a tranny thing.

KE$HA: I have this... It's like my new pick. I'm really fascinated by them. Because I feel like my music stands for the ultimate statement of irreverence. "We don't give a fuck/we don't give a fuck" is one of the lines in the song, and it's true: Me and my friends, no matter how beautiful or not, it's just whatever. So I see these transvestites who are in my video, and I went to one of the drag shows, and I was like, That's taking it to a whole new level.

ESQ: Speaking of new levels, there seems to have been this mass acceptance of the electro scene, which was kind of thrown under the bus for a while as some crazy Euro shit. But it's almost got a pop sensibility now. Will that work for you as much as everything else has?

KE$HA: I like that I reached a lot of people I wouldn't have reached had I not been on this [Flo Rida] song. But it's also exactly the kind of music I do. But I'm a bit of a chameleon anyway.

ESQ: So no regrets.

KE$HA: No, none. Never.


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