There sure has been a lot of rumours and news spreading around on “Ghost Producers” in the electronic dance music industry. The DJ Mag Top 100 poll has always been a contentious enumeration. Not to mention the recent news of the current DJ Mag No.1 being questioned of whether they are actually worthy of the spot with them (Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike) even being accused of buying their votes.
After a prolonging controversy on this, here’s a straight feed from DJ Mag who addressed the issue of ghost producers, asking every single DJ on the Top 100 list, “What do you think of DJs who use ghost producers?”.
The answers do sure portray a varied idea of different artistes and their opinions do quite evidently make it seem that while numerous artistes support the underlying concept of it, some of them censure the very idea of a ghost producer.
Here are the top DJs in the world divulging their idea of a ghost producer:
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike (#1):
“There seems to be a lot of confusion around the topic. Sometimes artists get help in mixing, songwriting or additional production; it’s not exclusive to electronic music or any other genre for that matter. Ultimately, if that extra pair of hands makes the final sound of the record better, then it’s in everybody’s best interest to go down that avenue. But what’s important is clarity around how that collaboration works, and everybody involved properly credited and paid for their efforts.”
“My view is if you’re not producing your own tracks, then just be honest. The fans don’t deserve to be lied to.”
Armin van Buuren (#4):
“I think it’s wrong if someone puts a name on a track they had nothing to do with, that they weren’t even in the studio for. I’ve never used a ghost producer.”
David Guetta (#6):
“There’s a big difference between having ‘ghost producers’ or working as a team. It’s totally cool to work as a team and everyone should be credited. And paid. Bit like being in a band.”
“If you get a ghost producer and you’re open about it, that’s fine. But when you try and hide it and act like you do know what you’re doing, that’s kind of stupid.”
Steve Aoki (#10):
“I don’t really have a problem with it so much…”
“Mixed feelings. Of course it kind of takes away some integrity of an artist, but being a good producer is by far not the only aspect of being a great artist or a great DJ.”
Dash Berlin (#15):
“I work together with other producers all the time and I am very open about it. What others do is their decision.”
“You can’t be in the NBA if you don’t know how to play basketball.”
“As long as they really rock the dancefloor and still are involved in the creative process of the track, it’s fine by us. If they suck behind the decks and bought their tunes on www.ghostproducingforcheap.com, they failed in life.”
“Everybody should be credited, but I also feel that this is a totally overhyped and exaggerated phenomenon. I love collaborating with talented people and getting inspired, so if you want to work together and you credit the person, great!”
“I think it’s acceptable to get help. Ultimately, it is up to the artists to decide at what point they are no longer being honest with their listeners.”
“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).”
“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.”
“It’s up to them, I wouldn’t use one but I suppose we’ll never know about the rest.”
Above & Beyond (#29):
“It’s fair enough if they credit them publicly.”
Aly & Fila (#42):
“They know themselves and they should be ashamed.”
Don Diablo (#30):
“I think they are missing out. Rocking a big rave is an amazing experience, but there is no better feeling in the world than creating your own music in the studio.”
Steve Angello (#31):
“I think it’s lazy, but music is not the only profession that has lazy people.”
Fedde Le Grand (#35):
“I think it’s a weird phenomenon. If I read a book of my favourite writer, I would feel cheated to find out that someone else wrote it. You’re a fan of someone’s work, not of their skill to know where to hire the right people. I think it’s fine to have help or collaborate, but doing nothing or just making a remark on the final product seems weird to me.”
Ummet Ozcan (#36):
“It is inevitable, but it doesn’t really bother me.”
“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.”
Paul van Dyk (#41):
“If you’re not making your own music, chances are it’s not coming from the heart. If it’s not coming from the heart, then likely, there’s a problem.”
“In our opinion you’re always better off making your own music. We couldn’t fathom having somebody else making our music for us – it’s an art we pride ourselves in.”
Danny Avila (#60):
“I think the original idea has to come from the artist himself. He has to be involved in the creative process. But there are great sound engineers that can help bring the track to the next level, which is a great thing.”
Carl Cox (#63):
“I believe, as a DJ, you should stand up for what you make and not hide behind anyone. It’s been going on for years and it will continue to do so.”
Laidback 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.”
“I think they should not be on this list.”
“This is a reflection of the fact that DJs are being booked not for their DJ skills but the ability to produce and promote hit songs.”
Yellow Claw (#76):
“We hope Meek Mill will become a DJ and produce a 16-minute minimal tekno diss track against them to set them straight.”
Will Sparks (#78):
“I think many of them simply lack passion, the others are just lazy or don’t have a musical mind.”
“I’m personally sort of against it. I mean, basically, you’re lying to the entire world about your work.”
We’ll leave it at this – giving credit where credit is due is incredibly important with any form of art.
“That’s a part of the business these days! I couldn’t do it like this! My music is my identification.”
Flux Pavilion (#86):
“A DJ is different to a producer, so the fact that a person who is good at one thing asks another person who is good at another thing to do something doesn’t surprise me.”
Robin Schulz (#89):
“Not my cup of tea, but it’s OK for me. Nobody gives a fuck if a pop star or band is produced by someone else!”
Sander van Doorn (#90):
“I think the difficulty with ghost producing is that you can’t create your own sound. For me, it’s very important to produce my own music and it’s my mission to always stay true to my sound.”
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.”
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