The music industry has always been associated with iconic figures, charismatic artists who captivate crowds with their talent and stage presence. However, behind the glittering facade of spotlights, concert halls, and major festivals lies a phenomenon often unknown to the general public : ghost producing.
But what exactly is ghost-producing?
Ghost producing is a common practice, especially in the electronic music industry. It relies on a collaboration that is often strictly confidential
between the ghost producer and the artist (DJ). The reasons behind this practice can vary: lack of skills in music production, time constraints, or simply the artist's desire to focus on other aspects of their career, such as stage performance or image management. A ghost producer takes on all the responsibilities that a conventional music producer would, getting involved in various parts of the music creation process, be it beatmaking, songwriting, or mixing.
The only key difference is that these producers carry out their tasks without receiving public recognition, whether through song credits or a share of future royalties or promised publishing.
Ghost producers have a long history in the music industry. For example, over 60% of DJ Mag winners support the use of ghost producers.
Famous but unknown - Maarten Vorwerk
Often recognized as the most renowned EDM ghost producer, Maarten Vorwerk
has significantly contributed to the rapid spread of festival house sound. Despite being highlighted in the early 2000s, illustrated by an official remix of the timeless classic "Satisfaction," Vorwerk is entirely absent from DJ performances
. Instead, he chooses to stay in the studio, consistently producing hits that top the charts. Can we really blame him?
Supporters of ghost producing argue that this practice allows artists to focus on their strengths, ultimately creating a higher-quality end product. However, critics believe that it can lead to a loss of artistic authenticity
, with fans sometimes feeling betrayed when they discover that the icon they identify with is not the actual creator of the music.
From shadows to spotlight - Martin Garrix
The young prodigy Martin Garrix
represents one of the most inspiring success stories in the music production world as a "ghost producer."
Facebook - Martin Garrix
“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.” - Martin Garrix
It was during this invitation at Spinnin' Records that Martin Garrix played his track "Animals,"
which would propel him to superstar status a few months later.
Transparency with the public
The ethical question
surrounding ghost producing sparks passionate debates within the music industry. Some see it as a pragmatic solution for artists to remain competitive in a saturated market, while others consider it a violation of the sacred bond between the artist and their audience.
In recent years, however, some artists have shown transparency
by publicly revealing the involvement of ghost producers in their works. This growing trend toward honesty indicates a potential shift in the public's perception of ghost producing, hinting at a new era where invisible collaboration might be accepted, or even appreciated.
Don’t panic, our vinyl records are still homemade!