Last Friday, the world lost a true electronic music icon and innovator.
Tony Cook, better known as Cookie Monsta, passed away on October 2nd, 2020 at the age of 31. He left behind a storied legacy as a pioneer of the dubstep genre, an innovator of music production, and most importantly, an exemplary character and friend to all.
Hailing from Nottingham, United Kingdom, Cook picked up music production as a child via Music 2000, a studio simulator game that allowed the player to create music and accompanying videos. After beginning to produce music seriously in college using Reason software, Cook performed at a college party, receiving rave reviews and pushing him to pursue a career in music. Thus, Cookie Monsta was born.
Drawing influence from Rusko's sound, Cook began to develop his own style that would soon attract the attention of fellow dubstep pioneer Flux Pavilion. It wasn't long before the first Cookie Monsta release on Flux's Circus Records banner was put forth, and a dubstep anthem was born.
"Ginger Pubes" remains one of dubstep's most memorable tracks, with an instantly-recognizable sample from the 2005 crime drama The Business and crunchy bass wobbles that introduced the world to the Cookie Monsta sound with a bang.
In the years to follow, Cook would go on to evolve the bass music scene even further with hits like "Ruff "(feat. Tima Dee), "Beast Mode," and "Elevate," pushing the envelope of what the definition of dubstep actually was. Respected by purists and newcomers alike and deeply admired by the bass music community, Cook's style remained cutting edge, yet true to its roots.
Touring the world many times over, Cookie Monsta's name became synonymous with lively, relentless DJ sets that spared no heaviness. He often collaborated and performed with close friend FuntCase, and the duo remixed Excision's "The Paradox" in 2017.
Excision hosted the tandem—along with fellow dubstep trailblazer—Doctor P for a legendary DJ set at Lost Lands in 2019. That performance is still held in high regard among fans of dubstep and fellow DJs across the board.
Last year, Cook announced that he would take a break from touring for mental health reasons and promised fans that he'd still be making music during his time off. Countless showings of support were offered up by those loving fans.
Upon returning to touring and live performances, Cookie Monsta rejoined Doctor P for a winter tour across the United States in January 2020 and performed a set for Couch Lands, 2020's livestreamed festival stand-in for the COVID-postponed Lost Lands.
On Friday, October 2nd, Circus Records made a public announcement of Cook's passing. "The world will miss you Cookie, we will miss you brother," the post reads.
The dubstep world came to a sudden halt as producers and DJs of the genre and beyond offered their condolences to Cook's family and friends, sharing their greatest memories of his shining personality.
A common thread ties each tribute together: the fact that Tony Cook will be remembered not only for his work in shaping and cultivating an entire genre of music, but also for being a genuine, kind, and compassionate friend to all who knew him.
Rest in peace, Cookie Monsta.