INTERVIEW | Girl Talk: Future Sounds, Death Grips & Breaking Boundaries
With a seamless flow that transcends standard mash-up, Girl Talk (aka Greg Gillis) weaves instrument or vocal tracks from several sources at once, but never stays on one idea long enough to get used to- or tired of- it. He mixes Daft Punk with Michael Jackson, Jay-Z with Radiohead, Busta Rhymes with the Police, Mary J. Blige with The Guess Who. And that covers about a minute and a half of one song.
Rappers are known for sampling their backing beats from old rock and pop songs. But rather than focus on the rapper and the rhyme, Gillis treats the vocals as an equal piece of the sonic puzzle, simply another commodity in the music itself, reducing ego and message to the purest, catchiest elements and applying that to the tone of what he’s creating.
We headed to Catalina Island recently for Bud Light’s week-long Whatever USA 2015 event, where we mixed it up with performances from Diplo, T-Pain, Snoop Dogg, Lil Jon and Girl Talk. Along the way, we caught up with Gillis to get some key insights on everything from beating people up in music videos, to future of his music and beyond. We cover the evolving dynamic of his sample base, and explore his previous projects in comparison to Death Grips as well. He has some tricks up his sleeve for the near future, building off his recent collaborative experience with Freeway and Wacka Flocka on the Broken Ankles EP.
While his melodic sample pool has a high hip-hop concentration, Gillis’ sample selection is unique and varied enough to bring together the unlikeliest of music lovers. His instrumental tracks seem to be the spoonful of accessibility sugar for more aggressive rap melodies to go down. Public Enemy, meet Journey. Cube, Prince. And so on. Tt’s a joy ride that transcends the nostalgic, pledges no allegiance and follows no linear format.
The Bud Light Whatever event, covering 1 million square feet that grew to encapsulate both Catalina’s beachfront and harbor, also saw Bud making a $500,000 donation to Catalina’s city of Avalon.
Also, as part of Bud’s Whatever, USA experience, they’re also offering our readers the opportunity to cross items off their Summer Bucket Lists with a competition. To enter, all you need to do is post a summer photo showing how you and your friends are “Up For Whatever” using the hashtags #UpForWhatever and #BLContest.