GIRL TALK FACTS:
Genre: Electronic, Dance
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Albums: Secret Diary (2002); Unstoppable (2004); Night Ripper (2006); Feed the Animals (2008); All Day (2010)
Other: Time ranked Feed the Animals #4 on their Top 10 Albums of 2008.
Though he began as a biomedical engineering student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, Gregg Gillis, more commonly referred to as Girl Talk, ditched the books and has become a trailblazer in turning mashups into wildly popular dance music. By deftly splicing together different parts of current tunes, Girl Talk's tracks have become staples at clubs across the world.
Girl Talk released his first album in 2002 in unique fashion. The record, titled Secret Diary, offered fans the option of paying whatever they wanted for the compilation, something that would become somewhat of a tradition for the popular DJ. He released Unstoppable in 2004 to generally favorable reviews, and his laissez-faire pricing policy began to provide him with a large following of fans.
While his first two albums were relatively popular, in 2006 he gained a more wide following with Night Ripper. The tracks on the record featured samples from a long list of other popular artists including Britney Spears, Paul McCartney, MIA and Notorious B.I.G., to name a few. The album was considered by many critics to be among the best of 2006, but would only foreshadow what would come later.
During this period, Girl Talk had begin to make a name for himself not only for his unique style of production, but for his enigmatic stage presence as well. Not content to just sit back and mix tracks, he vocally engages the crowd, and his performances almost always devolve into a sweaty dancing frenzy surrounding his laptop. His legendary shows have led Girl Talk to be a mainstay at a number of huge festivals as well including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and All Points West.
Although Night Ripper was his breakthrough success, 2008's Feed the Animals is believed to be his most popular album. The record received almost unanimous praise from critics - Blender Magazine placed it as the second best album of that year. Tracks on the album featured samples from an incredibly wide array of artists including Roy Oribson and Kanye West.
Girl Talk's most recent production, All Day, became available for free download in November 2010, and much like his previous two releases, was met with considerable fanfare from fans and critics alike.
There have been a lot of artists attempting the same style of music, but the long-haired Pittsburgh native is the only one who has managed to capture the attention of the entire music world.