What Genre is Gorillaz?

The music of Gorillaz is classified as alternative rock, art pop, electronic, trip-hop, and hip hop. The band consists of four animated and fictional members, namely, 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Russel Hobbs, and Noodle. Gorillaz’ fictional universe was created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett with Albarn as the lead vocalist and primary songwriter.


Alternative Rock

Alternative rock is a subgenre of rock music that was created by musicians to break away from the conventional rock genre. This sub-genre became widely popular in the 1990s because it appealed to a larger audience who wanted to explore music outside of mainstream rock. Gorillaz’ debut album that was released in 2001 consisted mostly of songs under the alternative rock genre and it sold over seven million copies worldwide. Since then, writers and critics have identified their music as alternative rock along with a lot of other genres.

Art Pop

Art pop is a music genre that integrates pop art in traditional music or music videos. The pop-art movement was popularized in the 1960s by Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, and the Beatles. Jamie Hewlett, the co-creator of Gorillaz is a comic creator, animator, designer, and illustrator. As an artist, he demonstrated his passion for art by giving extra depth to the music of the band. 

Hip Hop

Hip Hop developed in the Bronx, New York in the 1970s as part of a cultural movement at the time. It is composed of rap as well as other genres such as funk, rhythm, and blues. Gorillaz have made numerous collaborations with multiple hip-hop artists since their debut in 2001. They have collaborated with DOOM, De La Soul, Vince Staples, and many others.

Other Genres


Plastic Beach is the third studio album that was released in 2010. It used electronic music technology that effectively imitated swirling ghost voices in a way that is different and at times weird but also beautiful to listen to. 


Trip-hop traces its roots to Bristol, the United Kingdom and first appeared on the scene in the 1990s. It is an experimental genre that merges a lot of different genres including hip hop, electronic, funk, R&B, soul, and more. Trip-hop is one of the several genres associated with the Gorillaz. Their trip-hop songs are a combination of main techno and hip hop but sound so entirely different that most people don’t automatically classify them under the abovementioned genres.


Gorillaz has changed their genre with almost every song and album which makes it impossible to place them under a specific category. The subtle distinction, depth, and creativity of Gorillaz allowed them to explore more genres and present them in the best possible way that’s memorable to the audience. All their songs are beautiful in their own way and have carved their own niche that has a significant impact on the audience. 

Gorillaz Featured Image by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/philadelphia_live/, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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