Though he's been the primary ambassador for Pittsburgh music in recent years, mash-up master Gregg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, is happy share some of the spotlight these days with rapper and fellow "Black and Yellow" partisan Wiz Khalifa, whose major label debut "Rolling Papers" debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
"I love it. I've been a big supporter of Wiz for a while," Gillis told Billboard.com during a conference call to promote this year's Bonnaroo Music Festival. He and Khalifa are both on the bill for the fest's 10th annual edition in June. "I actually remember going to one of his shows in, like, 2005 and giving him a CDR burn of 'Night Ripper,' my record that came out in 2006, before it came out. So I've been going to his shows forever, and we've done a few shows together now in Pittsburgh and even outside, and we're doing a couple more this summer.
"So I'm definitely down with the Wiz Khalifa movement. He definitely put Pittsburgh on the hip-hop map, and now there's a lot breaking out...Pittsburgh hasn't had a national face of music for awhile, so there's definitely something bubbling up where there's two Pittsburgh artists playing at Bonnaroo."
Though nothing's been planned yet, Gillis did hold out the possibility that he and Khalifa could do something together at Bonnaroo, or that he could collaborate with others during his third appearance at the festival. "I"ve had a couple MCs jump on with me over the years -- not as a festival, just as friends," Gillis noted. "Collaboration being such a fundamental part of Bonnaroo; I've got nothing planned, but it's something I'm considering...It's probably impossible to get Eminem to come out and rap with me on stage, but if that was a possibility I would go for it."
Meanwhile, Gillis -- who released his fifth Girl Talk album, "All Day," in 2010 -- continues to "work on new material every day," mostly in preparation for live shows and a summer schedule that's loaded with festival dates. He likely won't have a follow-up out this year, but he says that working up the live sets is key to his creative process in the studio.
"I constantly work on material for a live show, and then eventually I hit that point where it's like, 'Alright, now it's time to go in' and I have a focus of where I can go," Gillis explains. "I want to make sure I have somewhere, conceptually, to go; I never want it to be the Girl Talk party series one-through-three. To me all albums, even some more than others, are distinctively different and have their own sound...from a pacing level and all that. I'm not there yet, so it'll probably be a little bit before I sit down to do another (album)."