On the first weekend of Coachella, Kesha took the stage with the EDM producer Zedd, for her most high-profile performance since accusing her former producer Dr. Luke of sexual assault.
Now Kesha and Zedd have recorded a new version of the song "True Colors," which they performed together that night. The song was set for release on Friday but arrived late Thursday.
"True Colors" is Kesha's first piece of recorded music since "Timber," her 2013 collaboration with Pitbull. While Zedd's 2015 album version featured singer Tim James, the single takes on an undeniable new urgency with Kesha on vocals.
At Coachella, her surprise appearance had the gravity of something more than just another pop-star cameo. This recorded version is a welcome reminder of Kesha's considerable vocal talent and may hint at the new sounds and ideas she might pursue once she decides she can record new music.
The new "True Colors" recording is, perhaps surprisingly, a fully sanctioned release with permission from Kesha's current labels Kemosabe and RCA. Kemosabe is Dr. Luke's label imprint under RCA, whom Kesha has accused of keeping her locked into a contract with a producer she says assaulted her.
"Just to clarify: We didn't use any loop holes. Kemosabe / RCA gave us permission to release this song," Zedd wrote, prompting a rare reply from Dr. Luke on Twitter: "Thanks for the clarification, @Zedd."
Kesha had tipped social media off about the collaboration, captioning an Instagram photo of the two in-studio with a note: "It's a miracle when someone gives you a chance at finding your voice again with no reason other than that he is a...beautiful person with a heart of gold."