GorillaT on His Sudden Life Pivot and What it Takes to Create a Brand from Scratch

From being a college athlete to producing his own music, GorillaT made lots of noise—literally—in the dubstep scene in 2023. The 22-year-old artist, whose real name is Tate Warner, started making electronic music just about three years ago and now finds himself performing on headlining tours, festival lineups and popular stages like Excision's "The Thunderdome."

For many in the electronic dance music community—or any community for that matter—there is often a show, moment or song that sparks a deeper passion for it. Warner found this to be true when he went to a Subtronics show around three years ago. GorillaT tells EDM.com that his origin story goes like this: "I went to that Subtronics concert, my friends kind of dragged me there, I remember not really wanting to be there too bad, and then the next day I went home and sold my PS4 and like, half of my belongings so that I could buy Ableton."

After downloading the music production software, the next step was figuring out his sound and means of promotion. Discussing his initial sound, Warner highlights that because Subtronics was his first show, he spent a long time trying to emulate his music.

"When an artist finds an artist that just changes their lives like that, you spend the next year or two trying to make songs exactly like them," he explains. "A lot of my early songs around those times were more me trying to figure out how to make full songs in the style that I wanted."

This imitation game didn't last for long, though. "I understand production now to a level where I give online classes, one-on-ones, I mix down people's songs, I have a Patreon," says Warner, who now describes his sound first and foremost as "wonky," the word appearing in the titles of multiple songs. "Once I figured out what style I liked I could just do it by myself in terms of my own sound design and the way that I like melodies to kind of sit together."