By Christina Torres:
A really fascinating music video that has recently surfaced is Kesha’s “Praying” video.
It’s an emotional song about her journey with depression and anxiety caused by conflict with her record label’s company, Kemosabe Records, and producer Dr. Luke. The story is a powerful one depicting her healing and new outlook on life after recovering from her past struggles. “This song is about coming to empathy for someone else even if they hurt and scare you,” Kesha, wrote in a blog post published on the Lenny Letter website.
Even though Kesha had a majority of the say in how she wanted her video to turn out, she got the help from Swedish director Jonas Akerlund to create the “vivid and surreal vision” seen throughout the video. In the blog post, Kesha expressed her gratitude toward Akerlund for his role in helping “actualize the psychedelic journey that is a physical and emotional ride for the video.”
In the beginning of the video, Kesha is lying down in a coffin and appears to be dead with pig men surrounding her body. She then wakes up in what seems to be the afterlife. Floating peacefully in the middle of the ocean, Kesha is in a state of nirvana. She explained that swimming out into the ocean like that is her “greatest form of surrender to the universe.” It isn’t until the end, however, that color is restored in the ocean scene to show the true beginning of her inner peace. This part of the video is a powerful statement and a clear depiction of how she feels. With her being dead and surrounded by men with deceased pigs, one can understand that this symbolizes how she feels empty and helpless. Throughout the video, she is being chased by these pig men and is forced to fight them in order to escape. This shows her fighting off her demons and any evil in her life. At this point, she starts breaking and smashing things and falling to her knees asking for peace for both her and her offenders. Then, as I stated before, color is restored in her nirvana moment and a whale appears, which often symbolizes rebirth.
The tragic and beautiful story of a healing soul was brilliantly expressed by both Kesha and Akerlund in the making of this video.