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Kesha Emerges as Possible Awards Contender on the Basis of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Love

Not that many years ago, when she was establishing her early party-hearty image, Kesha might have been near the end of a list of female singer-songwriters you’d dial up to write a song in honor of as revered an American figure as Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That she was first on the list when the RBG biopic “On the Basis of Sex” came up for a theme song in 2019 is a sign of just how much that image has changed, thanks to a newfound status as an emblem of women’s rights issues and deeply sober songs like last year’s “Praying.”

“Here Comes the Change” came about after the film’s director, Mimi Leder, called Kesha and “we had a long conversation and really connected about the power of females, and mothers in society and nature,” the singer says. “We connected on being powerful women in an industry that is male-dominated. By the end of that conversation, she asked me to write a song for her movie. I was intimidated, and thrilled; capturing Justice Ginsburg’s legacy is a daunting task.”

When Kesha started phase two of her career, she signaled her intent by covering Bob Dylan songs in concert, and his influence loomed over her largely acoustic performance of “Change.” “’On the Basis of Sex’ is a period piece and takes you through many decades,” she says, “but I wanted to write a song that, if you had heard it at any point in any decade, it would have sounded true to that decade. Bob Dylan is a huge influence for me — his songs are always relevant — and I wanted to go in and write a song with that spirit. I went in with two of my favorite collaborators, Drew Pearson and Wrabel. We only had one evening to write and record the song, and we were brainstorming ideas and we made the decision that the verses didn’t need to rhyme like a classic song structure because it was more important to just say what we wanted to say.”

Her song was influenced not just by Ginsburg and Dylan but by motherhood… prospective motherhood. “I feel like the marginalized person keeps changing, but it’s the same fight for equality — whether it’s women, LGBTQ people or people from a different country,” says Kesha. “I would love that, if I do bring a child into this world, that they would live in a world where someday we all realize that we are equal. So the song is in a sense chronicling my hopes, dreams, and fears about bringing a person into the world some day.”

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