Ghost producing: the taboo is slowly lifted

Ghost producing: the taboo is slowly lifted

Published to News on Nov 17, 2015

Text: Marceline Geelen

The taboo around ghost producing is slowly lifted.
In the past two years the dance scene has matured and the acceptance of ghost producing grows.
Where artists ‘accused’ each other in the past of secretly ghost producing for others, nowadays some of the biggest DJ’s on the planet admit openly to writing and composing for others under an alias.


In November 2013 Hardwell, at that point crowned as #1 DJ of the World, admitted to having ghost produced a Beatport Top 10 hit.
In an interview with inthemix he said: “The funny thing is that nobody knows I have a current Beatport Top Ten hit with a track not under my name, a track that I ghost produced, and nobody’s noticing it.
But if people listen closely to the top ten, for sure they’re gonna hear which track it is.”

Martin Garrix

He’s not alone.
Martin Garrix admitted that same month in an interview with DjMag: “Then I made a ghost production for somebody else - I can’t tell you which track I made - but this track got signed to Spinnin’ Records and became really big.
They found out that I made it, and so they invited me to their office and I played them my other stuff - and we signed.”
Also, in the enclosed list at the bottom of this article you see that many big names are not opposed to ghost producing or even support it.

On the side

So even if you’re the world’s number one DJ, it still doesn’t hurt to do a little ghost producing for other artists on the side.
To avoid accusations, Benni Benassi and Tiësto have openly named the producers of their greatest hits.
The biggest change over the past two years though is probably not only the slowly lifting of the taboo on ghost producing, but the fact that more and more ghost writers are recognized in name and get a share of the copyrights and license rights.
Ghost producing is maturing and has almost become an accepted part of the dance industry.
Recently DJ Mag asked what artists think about ghost producing.
The result was that 67% of the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ’s support ghost producing.
Check out some of their answers below.
Steve Aoki #5: “I don’t really have a problem with it so much…” 
Nervo #24:  “We started off as ghostwriters and used this as a platform to launch our own careers when the time was right for us to become artists.
We are all for collaborating but there has to come a point in time when the ghost producer gets their glory (if they want this).” 
Dannic #26: “I produce all my tracks in my own studio but I don’t see anything wrong with it.
If working with a partner helps you to truly make the best tracks you can, then you can only go with your gut to produce the best music at that time.” 
Ummet Ozcan #36: “It is inevitable, but it doesn’t really bother me.” 
Showtek #37:  “Some singers use help from songwriters, some DJs use help from producers.
Music is more than just a song, and it’s the bigger picture that matters.” 
Coone #49:  “If you’re a good businessman, a good entertainer, up to date with the latest trends in music and most of all a good DJ, then I don’t have a problem with it, although it would not work for me.” 
Laid Back Luke # 64: “I'm absolutely fine with that.
The mailman might be able to deliver the most wonderful packages on time, but that doesn't mean he's responsible for the products in there.” 
Tenishia #71:  “It’s not news that a lot of DJs are manufactured nowadays.
One can have great skills in DJing and not in producing, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” 
Cosmic Gate #99:  “As long as they are good DJs at least, its ok with us.
What’s a bit odd is pretending to be the producer and not give credit to the real writers of a song.”


Tags: ghost producing