Published to Press on Jul 17, 2018
Pleasantly surprised. That’s what we were, when we saw a segment about ghost producing that was aired primetime on the largest public Dutch news bulletin by the NOS. Of course, at House of Tracks we know that many world-famous DJ’s only reached their huge status with the help of ghost producers. Some of them have not even produced one single note of their biggest hits - they just bought the whole track, including all of its rights. As we have always predicted: ghost producing is here to stay!
Tekst: Marceline Geelen
Why is the double standard weird?
In a blog article, that we published in 2015, we talked about the hypocrisy surrounding ghost producing. We clearly pointed out that the double standard is weird. It’s been a fact in the music industry that many artists use ghost producers or co-producers. And if your name is Rihanna, nobody cares. As soon as it comes to dance productions though, there used to be different rules, although these are rapidly changing.
NOS JOURNAL 20:00 16-07-2018
YouTube channel - NOS MASHUP
There are several reasons why someone would use a ghost producer. In the NOS-item some of those reasons are named: lack of time or lack of talent. On their special YouTube-channel NOS Mashup you can find an interview with one of the largest ghost producers in the world, the Dutch Maarten Vorwerk. He produced hits for many artists, among others Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Will.i.am. In the item, that lasts almost eleven minutes, one of the themes is the difference in between ghost producing and co-producing.
Is ghost producing a coproduction?
We already published a blog about this in September 2016:“ Making a track successful is up to the composer (the seller) as well as the user (buyer). One needs the other and you both profit! Consider the whole process as a coproduction - even though you never spoke or met. Had you even thought about looking at it that way?”
Spotify Dance Top 50
Among others, Nicky Romero and DJ Dannic agree in an interview that many tracks are rather co-produced than ghost-produced. NOS Mashup did some research in the Spotify Dance Top 50. They discovered that from the fifty tracks at least twenty are made with help of other DJs or ghost producers. We almost never know about this because, as Blasterjaxx states in an interview: “It’s an unwritten rule in the dance industry to never reveal this.” Nicky Romero states in another interview though, that in his opinion at least 10 or 15% of the producers he knows, never produce their own tracks and bought each and every one of their hits.
This fact is one of the reasons that ghost producing is booming. The 17-year old Dutch ghost producer Axollo is one of our talented producers who benefits from this trend. He’s been selling music through House of Tracks for quite some time. In the NOS Mashup-interview he says: “I earn in between 300 and 1000 euros for every track I make. Right now it’s only a second job for me, but my friends who work in the supermarket are sometimes jealous. It looks like I’m doing nothing, because I produce all of my tracks on my attic bedroom.”
Why becoming a ghost producer?
In our blog HoT pride: the success of our producers we stress this same fact. “By signing up with us, quite a few producers successfully started his or her own label through which they sold many tracks. And for many of them, the story didn’t end there. They sold their track to an advertisement agency and one of them was to be heard every day in a US TV-commercial. […] Another HoT talent sold a track to a huge game company and knows that millions of people around the world listen to it every day while playing their favorite game. The producer in question gave up his job in the supermarket – producing good music appears to be much more lucrative and honorable.”
Why would you need a ghost producer?
One of the questions the young interviewers of NOS Mashup ask themselves, is why DJs feel the need to use the services of ghost producers. At the top of the list of reasons is: lack of time. Ghost producer Albert Harvey, who worked several times for David Guetta, explains that being a renowned DJ takes a whole team to sustain. “There needs to be a website, a video, social media, and meanwhile one must perform and produce new music. No DJ can do this on her of his own – they would have to be a super human.”
Are producing and DJing different talents?
In our blog, dating March 18th 2016, titled Let DJs be DJs and producers be producers we also state that DJing and producing are different talents and not necessarily united in one person. "So whether you’re a good producer or a good DJ, cobbler stick to your last! When you’re talented, there’s always room for you at the top - either as a DJ or as a producer or as both! House of Tracks offers solutions for both disciplines. In an ideal world, everybody would be equal. How nice would it be if DJs would be honest about using (ghost)producers and giving these talented men and women the credit, they deserve?”
Concluding: the dance scene is maturing. Ghost producing has evolved and is a part of the dance scene that will stay and continue to do so. In the end, it’s money that makes the world go ‘round. And with the knowledge that some ghost producers earn somewhere from ten thousand to thirty thousand euros per sold track, there’s plenty of money to be made here.