Zoon (Zoongide’ewin) reveals the video for ‘Big Pharma’ EP track, Oil Pastel/Dope Sick (ft. Cadence Weapon). What might seem on the surface like two opposing musical forces (hip hop and shoegaze) they actually, deeply align in the most beautiful and unexpected way.
Something that Cadence Weapon/Rollie Pemberton, instantly picked up on. “When I first heard Daniel’s music for ‘Oil Pastel/Dope Sick’ I entered a trance-like state and came up with the lyrics and flows almost immediately,” he says. “‘First thought, best thought’ was my methodology. What I wrote has a pastoral spirit to it. I thought about foliage and the cyclical nature of life that mirrors the passing of the seasons. And I wrote about the hubris of corporations who long to conquer the world but might destroy it in the process. It’s all loops and cycles, just like Daniel’s layers of guitar. Don’t it make ya think, don’t ya think about it?”
Daniel, a longtime fan of rap and hip hop adds, “The creation of the ‘Oil Pastel/ Dope Sick’ came from my lived experience within the opioid crisis that devastated my home community Selkirk, Manitoba. I was in the middle of that chaos for many years, channeling those emotions In an artistic way allowed me to pour out music effortlessly during the writing of the song. I managed to write and record all of the instrumentals within one evening, it was a very fast & sleek process.”
The collaboration is one of the first new tracks since Cadence Weapon won the Polaris Music Prize in 2021, with ‘Parallel World’.
Watch the video clip for Oil Pastel/Dope Sick (ft. Cadence Weapon) via YouTube below.
Daniel Monkman, is the creative force at the helm of the atmospheric and activist shoegaze-inspired work under the name Zoongide’ewin – Zoon – for short. He released his newest, 5 track EP, Big Pharma on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day. The EP is notable for its collaborations and features, expressly highlighting Zoon’s adept ability to experiment and constantly defy musical categorization.
“’Big Pharma’ is about me trying to bring awareness about the pharmaceutical industry and their lies,” says Daniel. “I talk about how they destroyed my community of Selkirk Manitoba and many more small towns and cities. A whole generation completely changed in just a matter of five years, families torn apart and loved ones lost to addiction and overdoses. Our treaty card ensures that our medical insurance is covered but a lot of the time the only medication that’s available for free is the stuff that’s most addictive. I found this alarming and made me connect the dots linked to an underlying form on genocide happening right under our noses.”
Zoon’s previous EP single and video for Astum (ft. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson), was lauded by Exclaim, Earmilk, Brooklyn Vegan, Beats Per Minute and Dominionated – amongst others, including CBCMusic who said it “melodically bright and windswept…’Astum,’ featuring artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, is a must-listen for when your toes are firmly planted in the sun-kissed sand.” The track was also included in CBCMusic’s top picks for Songs of the Summer.
‘Big Pharma’ is the first new collection of solo music since Zoon’s debut album Bleached Wavves was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize in 2021. Bleached Waves was recently treated to an Apple Music Home Session. Three cuts (two from ‘Bleached Wavves’ and a cover of Sooner by My Morning Jacket) all magically reimagined, as the editorial notes relay, “Recording with Michael Peter Olsen (who’s laid down strings for the likes of Drake, Arcade Fire, and k-os), Zoon remakes a pair of ‘Bleached Wavves’ cuts—“Vibrant Colours” and “Light Prism”—as acoustic dream-pop hymns redolent of a coffeehouse Galaxie 500. But he still infuses them with just enough textural detail (shimmering strings and nature sounds on the former, noctural twang on the latter) to retain their essential otherworldly vibe.”
Daniel is continuing to celebrate back-to-back Polaris Music Prize Nominations, with the recent word that ‘Sewn Back Together’ (Arts & Crafts) by OMBIIGIZI, the widely praised
project Daniel shares with Adam Sturgeon from ‘Status/NonStatus’ has been long listed.
Zoongide’ewin, means being brave, having courage and having a strong heart. Zoon’s genre-defying debut album, ‘Bleached Wavves’ stole our hearts, and then strengthened them with a masterful storytelling of struggle and loss through his gorgeous and gauzy shoegaze songs of survival.
‘Big Pharma‘ track list
1. Astum (ft. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson)
2. Oil pastel/Dope sick (ft. Cadence Weapon)
3. Rain in a new city (ft. Michael Peter Olsen)
4. Red river (ft. Sunnsetter)
5. Oopeeum (ft. Jasmine Trails)
Get ‘Big Pharma‘ here.