MUSIC

Drake Shares First Photos of His Son, Adonis

And we have Pusha-T to thank for bringing the family together.

A short lifetime ago, the most-discussed topic of pop culture was the ongoing beef between Drake and Pusha-T.

Drake—Drizzy, Champagne Papi, Canada's finest export—is no newbie to feuds with his contemporaries. But in spring of 2018, just before Drake released his most recent album Scorpion, Pusha went where no opponent had gone before: confirming the longstanding rumor that the "God's Plan" rapper had a child.

Today, Drake finally seems to be owning up to his fatherhood, having shared a handful of photos of his son, Adonis, on Instagram. "I love and miss my beautiful family and friends and I can't wait for the joyful day when we are all able to reunite," Drake wrote in the caption, marking the first time he's posted photos (or directly acknowledged) his two-year-old child. With piercing blue eyes and a full head of blonde ringlets, they don't look much alike (as we've discussed, celebrity genetics are wild), but this proof of parenthood is as good as any. He also included a full-family shot featuring Adonis' mother, French artist Sophie Brussaux.

Whispers of Drake's potential fatherhood have been circulating for years, but no names had been confirmed until Pusha's diss track aimed at Drake, "The Story of Adidon," first surfaced. "A baby's involved, it's deeper than rap," Pusha says on the song. "You are hiding a child, let that boy come home...Adonis is your son / And he deserves more than an Adidas press run; that's real."

Considering how sneaky Drake had been previously about his child, it seems like we very well might have never known about Adonis if it weren't for the diss track. Who knew? Pusha-T: bringing families together since 2020.

Tianda

Press Photo

Canadian singer-songwriter Tianda introduces "My God," a track that searches for respite from guilt.

Tianda explains, "'My God' is a self-portrait. It's all of the things I couldn't say when I was younger because I didn't understand them yet. The hook of 'they won't let me go' repeating over and over captures the feeling of being held captive by thoughts you don't understand and can't control." Tianda's evocative multi-hued voice glides over a dark pop melody in this haunting new song.



Follow Tianda Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

MUSIC

Fake Shark Makes a Comeback with "Invincible"

The Canadian indie-pop outfit returns with an anthemic new single and their first release of 2019.

Zachary Vague

Fake Shark's new single is an anthemic shot of energy, the sound of the band closing ranks with an arena-rock feel.

The Vancouver group's latest release is their first since last year's Walking Through a Fantasy, and now, in an exclusive Popdust premiere, Fake Shark shares "Invincible," the next chapter in the band's story.

A staccato piano introduces the track, followed close behind by lead singer Kevvy's murmured vocals, racking up the song's tension. "Feel like I've been on the run forever," Kevvy confesses, just before the chorus arrives over echoing guitars and booming drums. Fake Shark's brawny sound tears the song open, while Kevvy's slick vocals promise that the band isn't going anywhere: "Invincible" is the sound of Fake Shark insisting on their own presence.

"We've been through so much together, and we're still here and we're not going anywhere because we've only just scratched the surface of our potential," Kevvy says of the story behind "Invincible." "We've all been to hell and back together, been hit with everything this industry can throw at us and we keep coming back." "Invincible" kicks off a new phase in Fake Shark's career with characteristic vigor, and it's anyone's guess what's next.

Follow Fake Shark online at Twitter | Facebook | Spotify

MUSIC

Marianas Trench Extend U.S. Tour for Their Edgar Allan Poe-inspired Album

Canadian pop-rock band extend U.S. tour to promote their latest album.

Canadian pop-rock band Marianas Trench has announced that they will be extending their Suspending Gravity U.S. tour with additional shows in September 2019.

The tour will include material from the band's latest studio album, Phantoms, as well as performances of fan-favorite songs from previous double platinum and gold-selling albums. "The shows should be pretty similar to the last U.S. run that we did. This time there'll be a few new tricks up our sleeves production-wise," shared Marianas Trench drummer Ian Casselman. "We love touring the U.S., and I find that the people are just very nice down here. They're very friendly, and our fans are great. They're very gracious people, so playing for them is always a treat."

This past autumn, Marianas Trench fans got a preview of Phantoms through the energetic first single from the album, "I Knew You When." The song's spirited nature is indicative of the album as a whole, while lyrically it reflects Phantoms' overall theme of dealing with memories of past relationships.

Lead singer Josh Ramsay explains, "I wanted to set an album from the perspective of someone descending into madness as he inhabits a house haunted by the ghost of his former love. I looked to Edgar Allan Poe for inspiration. Strangely, the date he was rushed to the hospital preceding his death was October 3rd, the same day our first album was released, and the same date I was once to be married. Even more strangely, we finished this album on January 19th, his birthday. I'm not one for superstition, but that does feel oddly serendipitous."

The shows are set to be held at venues that will give fans more of an up-close-and-personal live experience. "I hope that our fans get out of our shows what they want to get out of it," Casselman expressed. "Music is such a personal thing, and Josh's lyrics are autobiographical. We work hard on the art and creativity aspect of it, so Josh doesn't like to say what a song is about to fans and I get why. I know people are curious, but if you didn't let them discover it on their own, it could ruin the music and meaning that you can find for yourself."

The tour will make its way up and down the East Coast before heading West and wrapping up on September 29th at the House of Blues in San Diego, CA.

Check out Marianas Trench's music video for "Glimmer" below and be sure to listen to Phantoms, and catch them on tour. Check out the dates below.

Marianas Trench - Glimmer www.youtube.com

Phantoms

Tour Dates

Sep-11 London, ON Western Fair

Sep-13 New Haven, CT Toad's Place

Sep-14 Providence, RI The Strand

Sep-15 Brookville, NY Tilles Center PAC

Sep-17 Cincinnati, OH Madison Theatre

Sep-18 Louisville, KY Mercury Ballroom

Sep-20 Joliet, IL The Forge

Sep-21 Milwaukee, WI The Rave

Sep-22 St. Louis, MO Delmar Hall

Sep-24 Dallas, TX Canton Hall

Sep-25 San Antonio, TX The Vibes Event Center Showroom

Sep-27 Phoenix, AZ Van Buren

Sep-28 Las Vegas, NV Brooklyn Bowl

Sep-29 San Diego, CA House Of Blues

MUSIC

iskwē Leaves an Abusive Relationship for the Butterfly Realm in Her New Video

The electro-pop artist's newest video is a neon-lit metamorphosis.

iskwē's newest video for her song "Breaking Down" is about leaving an abusive relationship—but it's also about what you find after leaving a dark space, be it the space to create a new version of yourself, or possibilities and other worlds you never imagined.

"This video is about me finding my way back to my clan, the butterfly clan, which represents my family in the spirit world," said the artist. "I wanted to show the emergence of self, by shedding layers of the past while discovering strength in being true to who I am."

Image via Mikwchyan

The visual features a variety of diverse dancers, all at first struggling to escape gauzy, cocoon-like prisons. Eventually, they break out and find a way to fit into their own skin; at last, their bodies are illuminated by rainbow paint and Christmas lights. It's a surreal, campy, and dazzling performance that will leave you blinking away the glitter.

"Breaking Down" is the second single off iskwē's upcoming LP, achakosuk. A member of Canada's indigenous Cree community, her music has always strived to overcome Western expectations, prioritizing ancient communal and mystical traditions while bringing attention to indigenous voices and contemporary social issues.

"Our vision was to be as inclusive as possible, with each of the dancers representing different communities," iskwē said of the "Breaking Down" video. "Indigenous, people of colour, LGBTQ, as a way to honour our various stages of emergence and growth in finding comfort in who we are."

The video feels like it's about more than just finding oneself. It seems to be about tapping into hidden spiritual forces, using them to metamorphose into a higher version of oneself, and finding communities that support and uplift those forces.

Watch "Breaking Down" below:

iskwē - "Breaking Down" (Official Video) www.youtube.com

News

China Detains Two ​Canadian Citizens

The government's charges against a Canadian ex-diplomat are thought to be retaliation for Canada's arrest of a high-profile Chinese executive.

Toronto Star

Updated Story:

Tensions in the U.S.-China trade war intensified once again this week when Chinese authorities confirmed they'd arrested a second Canadian citizen, Michael Spavor, for "endangering national security." Spavor's arrest follows a former Canadian diplomat's detainment under the same suspicion. Both sets of charges are thought to be reprisals for the highly-publicized arrest and possible extradition of a powerful Chinese executive, Meng Wanzhou, for violating U.S. sanctions while in Vancouver.

On Wednesday, Canada's foreign minster, Chrystia Freeland, confirmed that Spavor went missing earlier this week when he was due to travel between his home in Dandong, a Chinese city bordering North Korea, and Seoul, South Korea. Chinese authorities soon reported that Spavor was arrested the same evening that a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig, was arrested. Freeland expressed concern for both men, but the political charge of detaining an ex-diplomat was clear: "The fact that [Kovrig] is an employee of my department means a lot of us know him and that adds another layer of concern," she said. "We care and we work and fight hard for every Canadian detained abroad."

Yet Spavor's arrest brings its own bizarre twist to the political tensions between China, Canada, and the U.S. As the founder of Paektu Cultural Exchange, an organization promoting tourism and investment in North Korea, Spavor is notable for facilitating Dennis Rodman's personal visits with Kim Jong-un. He's fluent in Korean (with a North Korean accent), has lived in Pyongyang, and is a long-time acquaintance of Kim's. In 2017, he spoke to Reuters about introducing Rodman to Kim: "That was the most amazing experience I've had in my life," he said. "We hung out for three days."

CNN

While President Trump has made the base-less pronouncement that he would use Meng's arrest as leverage to negotiate a new trade deal with China, Freeland warns, "Our extradition partners should not seek to politicize the extradition process or use it for ends other than the pursuit of justice."

12/12/18

A former Canadian diplomat is being detained in China in rumored retaliation for Canada's arrest of a high-ranking Chinese executive.

Michael Kovrig is a former diplomat who's worked for the United Nations and the Canadian foreign service as vice consul at the embassy in Beijing. He's been working in Beijing as an advisor for the International Crisis Group, covering East China for the ICG's CrisisWatch, which helps "decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises."

As such, Kovrig hasn't brought good publicity to the Chinese Communist Party, highlighting reports of violence and possible human rights violations in areas such as Xinjiang, where millions of Muslim Uighurs have been forcibly detained by the government. In China, state-run media reported that Kovrig was being held and investigated for "engaging in activities that endanger China's national security," a thinly veiled allusion to suspected espionage.

The president and chief executive of ICG, Robert Malley, contested the claim: "I am not willing to speculate as to the reason why the Chinese authorities chose to do what they did. I am willing to state categorically what is not the reason for Michael's detention. He did not engage in illegal activities. He was not endangering Chinese national security." He added, "He was doing what all Crisis Group analysts do: objective and impartial research and policy recommendations to end deadly conflict."

It's widely believed that the Chinese government arrested Kovrig in retaliation for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co. (and also the daughter of the powerful company's founder). She was arrested by Canadian authorities in early December on the charge that she helped Huawei violate U.S. sanctions by misleading banks about her company's business in Iran. Officials in Beijing publicly demanded that Meng be released, threatening there would be "severe consequences" for Canada otherwise.

Meng's arrest reignited tensions over the trade battle between the U.S. and China. With Meng still detained in Canada and possibly facing extradition to the U.S., the Chinese government conveniently found charges to bring against a well-known Canadian citizen with diplomatic ties. A former Canadian ambassador to China, Guy Saint-Jacques, has publicly declared, "In China there are no coincidences. In this case it is clear the Chinese government wants to put maximum pressure on the Canadian government."

Meng WanzhouHuawei Central

Saint-Jacques doesn't doubt that the arrest is a government ploy to exchange the release of Kovrig for Meng, adding, "When things happen and they want to send you a message, they will send you a message."

If so, the machinations are too transparent to seem beneficial in the long run. Jude Blanchette, China analyst at U.S. advisory firm Crumpton Group and long-time acquaintance of Kovrig, said, "If Michael's detention was intended to send a message to the Canadian government, it has been a serious political miscalculation." The analyst warned, "The message it sends to businesses around the world is that they need to think twice about sending executives to China."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau only commented that the case is being taken "very seriously" while negotiations are still underway.


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.



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