Girl Talk, stage name for Gregg Michael Gillis, is an American DJ (or rather, musician) who doesn’t produce his own original music but creates music via mashups and digital sampling of various tracks of music. He is signed up with Illegal Art, a record label – and has released around 5 LPs via the label as well as several EPs on two different labels; 333 and 12 Apostles. Girl Talk was born on October 26th 1981 within Bridgeville, Pittsburgh. He started creating (or mashing up) music while in high school (as a student of the Chartiers Valley High School) and initially began with a number of collaborations with other artists.
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Girl Talk later went solo as ‘Girl Talk’ producing music as well as studying, of all possible things for an artist, Biomedical Engineering at the Case Western Reserve University specializing in Tissue Engineering. In fact, Girl Talk worked as an engineer for some time before quitting work as an engineer in May 2007 so as to concentrate on his career as a musician of sorts. His music is usually a mashup of sorts between different songs to create remixes and he usually makes use of samples from songs, as per the fair use policy – a fact that has resulted in various citations within the media.
As per the name ‘Girl Talk’, it is the result of a number of things and is explained via various reasons.The name has been inspired from a poem by Jim Morrison and even from a Merzbow side act. Girl Talk also attributes the name to a band known as TAD that plays in Seattle. From an interview, Girl Talk states that the name ‘Girl Talk’ is inspired by and is a reference to numerous items – which include books, products and even magazines. He insists that it is a phrase that is part of pop culture. The reason for choosing the name, as the musician explains, was to have a name that stood out, was experimental and that would create some controversy – he states that Girl Talk is a name that ‘sounded’ different as to how he plays; mashing up tracks on a laptop.Girl Talk has appeared in and been featured in the documentary, RiP!: A Remix Manifesto, released in 2008.
Girl Talk sells his album in a very unique way – his first album, Feed the Animals, was released via Illegal Art – and the price of the album was decided by the buyer; in short you could decide whatever price you wanted to pay, pay it and get the album. He has then released all of his albums, except for the 5th LP, this way via the Illegal Art website. His 5th Album was released on 15th November, 2010 and had no price attached to it – it was free.Girl Talk has received a good number of awards for his music. He received the 2007 Rave Award from the Wired Magazine followed by a ranking of 4th on the Time’s Top 10 Albums in 2008 for his first album, Feed the Animals. The same album, Feed the Animals received four stars from the Rolling Stone magazine as well as a ranking of 24 on the Rolling Stone Top 50 Albums of 2008. Girl Talk has also received a ranking of 2nd Best Recording/Album in 2008 via the Blender Magazine and listeners of the NPR radio channel voted the Feed the Animals album as the 16th Best Album of the Year in 2008.
As such, Girl Talk is heavily endowed when it comes to awards and ratings – with the likes of Rolling Stone rating him highly – and it therefore is no coincidence that he is an excellent musician and an excellent DJ, a DJ to whom you can definitely ‘party all night’. How, you ask? It’s simple actually – simply acquire Girl Talk tickets and get a fill of excellent mashup remixes and a night you will definitely never forget in your entire life. Girl Talk has also been featured in a number of films. In the year 2007, he was featured on the documentary, Good Copy Bad Copy, which was on the state of copyright within the US culture. He also appeared in, as previously mentioned, the RiP!: A Remix Manifesto documentary by Brett Gaylor.