Girl Talk

illegal art

Gregg Michael Gillis (b. 1981), better known by his stage name Girl Talk, is an American musician specializing in mashups and digital sampling. Gillis has released five LPs on the record label Illegal Art. He ended his career in biomedical engineering in 2007 to focus solely on music. He uses often a dozen or more unauthorized samples from different songs to create a new song. He cites fair use as a legal backbone for his sampling practices. 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.

Regarding his stage name, Gillis has said, ‘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.’

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