Gregg Michael Gillis born October 26, , known by the stage name Girl Talk , is an American disc jockey who specializes in mashups and digital sampling.
He was trained as an engineer. Gillis began experimenting with electronic music and sampling while a student at Chartiers Valley High School in the Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania suburb of Bridgeville. After a few collaborative efforts, he started the solo "Girl Talk" project while studying biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland , Ohio.
In school, Gillis focused on tissue engineering. Gillis states his musical inspirations to have been Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. Gillis has also stated that he was always into hip-hop and pop music. As he aged, he started to like older artists such as The Beatles. Gillis worked as an engineer, but he quit in May to focus solely on music. He produces mashup -style remixes, in which he uses often a dozen or more unauthorized samples from different songs to create a mashup.
The New York Times Magazine has called his releases "a lawsuit waiting to happen",  a criticism that Gillis has attributed to mainstream media that wants "to create controversy where it doesn't really exist", citing fair use as a legal backbone for his sampling practices. Gillis has given his own different explanations for the origin of his stage name, once saying that it alluded to a Jim Morrison poem  and once saying that it alluded to an early Merzbow side project.
The name Girl Talk is a reference to many things, products, magazines, books. It's a pop culture phrase. The whole point of choosing the name early on was basically to just stir things up a little within the small scene I was operating from.
I came from a more experimental background and there were some very overly serious, borderline academic type electronic musicians. I wanted to pick a name that they would be embarrassed to play with. You know Girl Talk sounded exactly the opposite of a man playing a laptop, so that's what I chose.
Gillis is featured heavily in the open source documentary RiP! For possible future projects, Gillis is considering creating an original song rather than full-length albums featuring songs by other musicians tied together. Many create mashup video collages using the samples' original music videos. In , Illegal Art started to be on an indefinite hiatus, so Girl Talk was not able to release any more of his works through them.
In , Girl Talk continued his work on a new mashup album, producing various hip-hop beats and tracks along with his live shows. In , Girl Talk and Freeway performed an unknown collaboration during a private show. Gillis played at the Coachella Festival in For the first time in one of his live shows, artists, including Busta Rhymes , E , Juicy J and Freeway, performed their vocals over his mashups. After the success of his album Feed the Animals , for which listeners were asked to pay a price of their choosing, Gillis made all of his other albums similarly available via the Illegal Art website.
Feed the Animals was number four on Time 's Top 10 Albums of In , Girl Talk appeared in Good Copy Bad Copy , a documentary about the current state of copyright law and remix culture. In , he appeared as a test case for fair use in Brett Gaylor 's RiP!
His parents, in one scene, complain to him about his frequent stripping during his performances. Gillis began producing music with AudioMulch software, which he still uses, played live from a computer. During a live performance, he uses samples and loops to play a set — allowing room for variation throughout the set. His live sets are typically accompanied by video content on stage. He has been known to bring fans on stage to dance during performances.
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Retrieved July 14, San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved June 23, Retrieved March 21, Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 15, Retrieved December 10, Retrieved December 7, Retrieved March 26, December Retrieved August 30, Paste Magazine.
Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on March 6, Retrieved August 28, The Brooklyn Vegan. June 4, Retrieved December 12, Archived from the original on May 22, The Chicago Reader. Retrieved August 18, Illegal Art Trey Told 'Em. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons. Gillis in Glitch , experimental early , plunderphonics , mashup , hip hop. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Girl Talk.