Ghostwriting - Who really creates the tracks?

In November 2012, Ben Gomori wrote an article for Mixmag about ghostwriting in the Electronic music industry and how it is far more widespread than most of us listeners are aware. Quoting some quite candid comments from current and former ghostwriters, it’s a very interesting read and a real eye-opener.

The only thing that I felt was missing, was for the article to name names, but as Ben explains:


” I didn’t write this article to gossip or spread rumours, or to name and shame anyone. I just want the dance music-loving public to know that this is something that goes on, and I want those having tracks ghostwritten for them – and those doing the ghost-writing too – to maybe take a step back and think about their integrity. “


I had suspected this for a while, as there have been all sorts of rumours and accusations swirling round Internet blogs and forums for years about certain artists who have been viewed as ‘selling out’ to become more commercial. I respect and fully understand his decision to not want to be the one to break ranks and point the finger, but it does leave you wondering precisely which well known DJs and producers use ghostwriters.

Read the article in full here:


Do you know of any producers or DJs that definitely use ghostwriters? If you found out that an artist you love has used ghostwriters on some of his productions in the past, would that change your opinion of the artist?

Let us know what you think in the comments box below:


What Others Are Saying

Marlo: ” I can understand why it happens. People might want to fast-track their career if they’re at a certain standard of their skill-set in production. They might have an idea that’s really great and they need some help to develop it. On the flipside, I don’t really know where I stand on the topic 100-percent. A band still needs help, they still need an audio engineer and a producer, but no one ever really questions that. On the other hand, if you didn’t come up with the original idea at all, and someone else is making your music, what part do you play? I’m not really sure where I stand. “


Diplo: ” I think the fans don’t actually care. A lot of times with DJs it’s more about their personality. I wrote a record for Chris Brown – he didn’t write any of it, but it’s his record. With pop acts, that’s what we do. For DJs, it’s kind of the same thing, a lot of them don’t write their records, but those are their records. What really matters is if the artist is genuine and love what they do. It’s not like there’s a war between the ones who write records and the ones who don’t. When I produced Climax for Usher, there’s probably eight writers on that, and what matters is if the music is great. “


Nina Kraviz: ” I’m producing all my music by myself, but I have no problem with others doing it,” she said. “I believe that you can be really good in the studio but no one in front of a crowd. It could be a good combination for a good entertainer to find a good producer, and then you present it to the crowd in the correct way. When you take an album from a great artist like James Brown or Donna Summer, you go into the credits part and it’s like 50 people working for this record, and it’s normal. You can’t do mastering as well as writing songs; that’s why you have to get good mastering from a professional. When you say, ‘Wow, I love James Brown’, you actually mean James Brown. You don’t mean people who produce the records for him. “


Tommy Trash: ” In some ways, the DJ is like CEO of a company. You get the best people in to do the best job possible. For people who are not as strong at producing, they get in extra work. But a lot of these people getting ghost producers know exactly what they want; what they love, what they hate. They’re directing the session and steering it towards what will be aesthetically right for them. “

Above comments were made at the recent Electronic Music Conference in Sydney, Australia.