And you thought Elon Musk was the player of games? No, it’s Grimes, trying to hide her literal second child from a reporter, never mind the world. The singer-songwriter-producer-contrarian is on the cover of Vanity Fair, ostensibly to talk about her upcoming new album Book 1. (It’s a genre-spanning space opera that the magazine calls “her most audacious work yet” and compares to both Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and Beyoncé’s Lemonade.) But the interview at her Austin home was interrupted by a crying baby. Grimes’s first child, X Æ A-12, was with his father, Musk, for the day, prompting the reporter to ask if she had another child. “I’m not at liberty to speak on these things,” Grimes replied before admitting: Yes, she had a second child with her thought-to-be ex Musk.
Here’s what we know: Grimes and Musk’s second child, a daughter, was born in late 2021 through a surrogate. Grimes first introduced her daughter to Vanity Fair as Y, a nickname that pairs with her son’s, X. But later in the story, she shared the full name: Exa Dark Sideræl Musk. (She lobbied for Odysseus.) It is slightly more pronounceable than her son’s name, which she says as “X A.I. Archangel,” but Grimes said she expects that her daughter may not like it. We’ll let VF and Grimes do the explaining:
Exa is a reference to the supercomputing term exaFLOPS (the ability to perform 1 quintillion floating-point operations per second). Dark, meanwhile, is “the unknown. People fear it but truly it’s the absence of photons. Dark matter is the beautiful mystery of our universe.” She texts me a voice memo with the pronunciation of Sideræl—“sigh-deer-ee-el”—which she calls “a more elven” spelling of sidereal, “the true time of the universe, star time, deep space time, not our relative earth time.” It’s also a nod to her favorite Lord of the Rings character, the powerful Galadriel, who “chooses to abdicate the ring.”
As for her relationship with Musk? It’s complicated. The pair seemingly didn’t break up last year, as Grimes’s song “Player of Games” led fans to believe. (Really, it’s about Musk’s plans to go to Mars in ten years.) Instead, they’ve been living in separate homes in a “very fluid” relationship. “I just don’t like things to be messy and anime,” Musk told the magazine of living apart. And despite her errant thoughts about communism, Grimes still supports Musk, the richest man on the planet. “Bro might say a lot of stupid shit, but he does the right thing,” she said. But Grimes tweeted after the story was published that she and Musk have since broken up “*again* … but he’s my best friend and the love of my life.”
X, on the other hand, seems to be doing well. Over the course of the profile, he watched My Neighbor Totoro and went out for a playdate. Grimes told the magazine she thinks of X as Paul Atreides from Dune, and she’s his mother, Lady Jessica. “When I see X, like, I just know X is going to have to go through all this really fucked-up shit that sort of mirrors Paul-type stuff,” she intuits. Watching Denis Villeneuve’s new Dune, starring Timothée Chalamet as Paul, “I was just crying my eyes out the whole movie.” Now, she’s working on her son’s “creative stuff,” including taking him to raves and preparing to introduce him to the music-producing software Ableton Live. Don’t be surprised if we get a feature on Book 1.