Girl Talk
Girl Talk 1
Girl Talk performing live
Name Gregg Michael Gillis
Birth date (1981-10-26) October 26, 1981 (age 37)
Origin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Genre(s) Mashup, electronic, dance, glitch, experimental, plunderphonics, hip hop
Occupation(s) Producer, musician
Years active 1996–present
Label(s) Illegal Art (2000–present)
333 Recordings
12 Apostles Records
Website Twitter account

Gregg Michael Gillis (born October 26, 1981), better known by his stage name Girl Talk, is a musician specializing in mashups and digital sampling. Gillis has released five studio albums on the record label Illegal Art and several extended plays on 333 Recordings and 12 Apostles Records. He also forms one-half of the production duo Trey Told 'Em with close collaborator Frank Musarra.

Early life and educationEdit

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, including playing keyboards in the experimental music band The Joysticks, 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.[1]


Gillis worked as an engineer, but he quit in May 2007 to focus solely on music.[2] 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,"[3] 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.[4] In an interview with Triple J on January 29, 2009, Gillis noted that he uses Adobe Audition and AudioMulch.[5] He has released five studio albums, all on Illegal Art: Secret Diary (2002), Unstoppable (2004), Night Ripper (2006), Feed the Animals (2008), All Day (2010). Additionally, he has released the extended plays Stop Cleveland Hate (2004), Bone Hard Zaggin' (2006), and Broken Ankles (2014). After the success of 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.

A tour in support of All Day began in Gillis's hometown of Pittsburgh with two sold-out shows at the new Stage AE concert hall.[6] For possible future projects, Gillis is considering creating an original song rather than full-length albums featuring songs by other musicians tied together.[7]

Stage nameEdit

Gillis has given different explanations for the origin of his stage name, once saying that it alluded to a Jim Morrison poem[8] and once saying that it alluded to an early Merzbow side project.[9] Most recently, he attributed the name to Tad, an early 1990s band based in Seattle.[10] Gillis has said the name sounded like a Disney music teen girl group.[1]

In a 2009 interview with FMLY, Gillis stated:

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.[11]


Night Ripper was ranked number 34 on Pitchfork Media's Top 50 Albums of 2006, number 22 on Rolling Stone magazine's Best Albums of 2006, and number 27 on Spin magazine's 40 Best Albums of 2006.[12] In 2007, Gillis was the recipient of a Wired magazine Rave Award.[13] Feed the Animals was ranked number four on Time magazine's Top 10 Albums of 2008, while Rolling Stone gave the album four stars and ranked the album number 24 on their Top 50 albums of 2008.[14] Blender rated it the second-best album of 2008.[14]

Gillis' hometown of Pittsburgh officially named December 7, 2010 "Gregg Gillis Day".[15] Since Gillis releases his music under Creative Commons licenses, fans may legally use it in derivative works. Many create mashup video collages using the samples' original music videos.[16] Filmmaker Jacob Krupnick chose Gillis's full-length album All Day as the soundtrack for Girl Walk//All Day, an extended music video set in New York City.[17]


Main article: Girl Talk discography
Primary albums



  1. 1.0 1.1 Bolton, Nick (2011-02-28). One on One: Girl Talk, Computer Musician. The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved on 2014-03-28.
  2. brandon (2007-02-07). Quit Your Day Job: Girl Talk. Stereogum. Spin Media. Retrieved on 2010-05-30.
  3. Walker, Rob (2008-07-20). Mash-up Model. The New York Times Magazine. The New York Times Company. Retrieved on 2008-07-30.
  4. McLendon, Ryan (2008-11-14). Interview: Girl Talk a/k/a Gregg Gillis. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2014-03-28.
  5. Greg from GirlTalk chats with Dools. Triple J (2009-02-09). Retrieved on 2010-10-26.
  6. Lazar, Zachary (2011-01-06). The 373-Hit Wonder. The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved on 2011-07-14.
  7. Girl Talk Experimenting With Actual Songs For Next Album. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media (2009-09-14). Retrieved on 2010-05-30.
  8. Cardace, Sara (2006-10-02). Pants-Off Dance-Off. Nerve.
  9. GOTTY (2007-05-23). The Art Of Persuasion.... The Smoking Section. Archived from the original on 2008-02-26. Retrieved on 2008-07-11.
  10. Hamilton, Ted (2009-04-07). Girl Talk and Rock. The Cornell Daily Sun. Retrieved on 2009-04-07.
  11. a (girl) talk with gregg gillis « thefmly – those who were strangers had turned into friends. TheFmly (2009-04-30). Retrieved on 2010-05-30.
  12. Girl Talk: Night Ripper. Acclaimed Music. Retrieved on 2014-01-30.
  13. Watercutter, Angela (2007-04-24). The 2007 Rave Awards. Wired. Condé Nast.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Girl Talk: Feed the Animals. Acclaimed Music. Retrieved on 2014-01-30.
  15. Stiernberg, Ronnie (2010-12-07). Pittsburgh Celebrates Gregg Gillis Day. Paste. Wolfgang's Vault. Retrieved on 2010-12-07.
  16. Jentzen, Aaron (2011-06-22). Girl Talk on YouTube: 10 must-see videos. San Antonio Express-News. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved on 2011-06-23.
  17. Bloom, Julie. Girl Walk//All Day: A Q&A With the Director. The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved on 2012-03-21.

External linksEdit

Girl Talk albums and singles
Studio albums
Secret Diary Unstoppable Night Ripper Feed the Animals All Day
Secret Diary
Night Ripper
Feed the Animals
All Day
Extended plays
Stop Cleveland Hate Bone Hard Zaggin Broken Ankles
Stop Cleveland Hate
Bone Hard Zaggin'
Broken Ankles
Placeholder other Believe in Magic
"U Are"
"Believe in Magic"
Girl Talk songs
Secret Diary "Let's Start This Party Right" • "I Want You Back" • "Ffun Haave To" • "What If..." • "Time to Get Glamorous" • "Unicorn vs. Gravity" • "The Right Stuff" • "Fun in the Sun" • "Jumpin(g)" • "Friends 4-Ever"
Unstoppable "All Eyes on Me" • "Non-Stop Party Now" • "Touch 2 Feel" • "Pump It Up" • "Bang This in the Club" • "Bodies Hit the Floor" • "The Feeling" • "Happen" • "Cleveland, Shake" • "Keeping the Beat" • "Step to It" • "Can't Stop"
Night Ripper "Once Again" • "That's My DJ" • "Hold Up" • "Too Deep" • "Smash Your Head" • "Minute by Minute" • "Ask About Me" • "Summer Smoke" • "Friday Night" • "Hand Clap" • "Give and Go" • "Bounce That" • "Warm It Up" • "Double Pump" • "Overtime" • "Peak Out"
Bone Hard Zaggin' "Pure Magic" • "LC and Lo"
Feed the Animals "Play Your Part (Pt. 1)" • "Shut the Club Down" • "Still Here" • "What It's All About" • "Set It Off" • "No Pause" • "Like This" • "Give Me a Beat" • "Hands in the Air" • "In Step" • "Let Me See You" • "Here's the Thing" • "Don't Stop" • "Play Your Part (Pt. 2)"
All Day "Oh No" • "Let It Out" • "That's Right" • "Jump on Stage" • "This Is the Remix" • "On and On" • "Get It Get It" • "Down for the Count" • "Make Me Wanna" • "Steady Shock" • "Triple Double" • "Every Day"
Broken Ankles "Broken Ankles Intro" • "Tolerated" • "Tell Me Yeah" • "I Can Hear Sweat" • "Suicide" • "Lived It"
Other songs "U Are" • "Killing a Material Girl" • "Blue and Green and Brown Ousado" • "On Nesbit" • "Let's Run This" • "Cool as Hell" • "Andy van Slyke Marijuana Sensitivity" • "Believe in Magic"
Remixes "Cellphone's Dead" • "Let's Call It Off" • "Knife" • "Gasolina" • "Non-Tradition Ball Head"