Born in Denver, Colorado, Kyle Reid was a talented jazz drummer and percussionist until diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis forced him to give up his sticks at age 17. Turning to his laptop, he channelled his frustrated musicality into beat making.
GILA, (pronounced hee-la) is named for the gila monster, the only venomous lizard native to the United States. Often slow, full of texture, and deadly, the gila monster possesses many of the same qualities in GILA's music.
GILA first made waves in 2012 with rap duo Gorgeous Children. Their self-titled mixtape showcased a sound equally inspired by Nine Inch Nails and contemporary rap beats, and quickly picked up support from publications like The Washington Post, Noisey, Fact, SPIN & Stereogum.
In 2014 he released a solo track on Glasgow institution Lucky Me’s Advent compilation, and shared stages with fellow Lucky Me alumni Hudson Mohawke and Rustie.
2015 found him contributing to XL Recordings’ Chapter VI compilation, which also featured tracks from Kaytranada, Novelist and Mumdance. This was followed by XL releasing his debut solo EP ‘Genkidama’ in 2016.
By this time influential BBC Radio 1 DJ Benji B had begun spinning GILA’s track ‘Pick Six’, regarding it as his secret weapon and the most requested song in his DJ sets and radio show. The track starts with an homage to the Afro-Cuban music GILA’s parents would play while he was growing up, before launching into a devastating club track. Other DJs to utilise its power include Flying Lotus and Kode 9.
Benji B further showed his love by releasing the ‘Pick Six’ EP on his nascent Deviation label in 2017. The following year GILA launched his own label, Hunnaban Inc., with the ‘Shedskin Pt. .33’ 12"’.
Now signed to London’s Lex Records, GILA continues to grow and expand his repertoire. His new ‘Trench Tones’ EP, with four tracks showcasing the diversity of his sound, will drop in June, with his debut album to follow later in the year.