Since I have been interested in EDM music festivals recently, I have started to notice that there are many ghost producers in this industry that do not release music under their names. Confused about why they wouldn’t want to take the credit for their music, I did some research to come up with some reasons why this is.
Why EDM ghost producers don’t release music under their name? EDM ghost producers do not release music under their names for a variety of reasons, which are:
- The income for ghost producers in this genre is much more stable because they charge per track.
- Some producers do not want to experience the spotlight that comes with being a big name in EDM music.
- With recognition for the songs that they write in this genre, it can be hard for EDM producers to branch out into anything else once they have branded themselves in this way.
Electronic Dance Music, more commonly known as EDM, is a classification of different electronic music genres. DJs usually play it within the partying and clubbing scene, with tons of extravagant festivals specifically dedicated to this music. With such a big following behind it, EDM has become somewhat of a lifestyle in recent years.
Many EDM producers are not interested in releasing songs under their names. If you are just as confused as I was about this topic, then keep reading to find out everything that you need to know about this mystery of a topic.
Some Reasoning for Not Releasing Music under Their Name
When the topic of EDM music comes up, the thought of huge festivals and a die-hard fan base immediately comes to my mind. These festivals and events have become a staple in America culture (and also many other cultures) within the past decade, with colorful outfits and wild parties associated with a certain sound.
With such a tight-knit community of EDM fans who regularly participate in these events and support the lifestyle, it can be quite hard to imagine why a successful producer of this genre would want to remain a ghost throughout their entire career.
If a song or particular album is such a hit, why wouldn’t the creator want to take credit for it in the public eye?
I was confused about the same thing when I discovered how many EDM songs are written and produced by people who do not come forth with their faces and names.
While everyone’s reasoning for this can be different, please take a look at the list down below to get some quick ideas of why EDM ghost producers don’t release their music under their names. Here follows the list:
- To stay out of the spotlight
- More consistent income – charge per track
- Versatility in their music career
- Avoid fame of being an EDM producer
- More desirable career path
- Don’t need to worry about having a certain look
- Don’t want to be a DJ/Performer
First of all, not everyone in the world wants to be famous, which is one of the main reasons why EDM ghost producers remain anonymous. With staying out of the spotlight completely, a lot of the pressure that comes with being in this industry is immediately lifted off, and we will go into more details about this soon.
Additionally, EDM ghost producers do not need fame and the spotlight to make their money. As an anonymous producer, they have the potential to have a more consistent income than someone who is a well-known face in the industry.
The reason is that EDM ghost producers can charge a fixed amount per track instead of the alternative, which gives them a pretty steady paycheck throughout their endeavors.
Without being able to associate a face and a name to the songs that are written by EDM ghost producers, the producers themselves can achieve more versatility in their music career.
To be more specific, the ghost producers do not limit themselves to only writing and producing EDM. They can branch out into other types of music and industries without being looked at sideways.
For example, if a very well known EDM producer was making a type of music for several years, and all of their songs were favorites among EDM fans, you would immediately associate that person with that type of music.
As a result, if the same world-famous EDM producer decided to try out something else, such as country music, they would still be known as the EDM producer even though they are trying to get into something completely different.
The spotlight that comes with being an EDM producer can put limitations on what the producer will be able to achieve elsewhere. On the contrary, if there is no face and name to the music they create, the ghost producers can move in and out of different industries as they please.
All of these reasons make being a ghost producer in EDM much more desirable than becoming a big name, which is why a lot of them exist. Many ghost producers understand that they do not depend on fame for money, and they can make money with their talents alone instead of all of the unnecessary appearances and so on.
Appearances, the music and entertainment industry are very concerned with the looks of the people who become famous. With such prejudice and judgmental society, it can be intimidating to try and keep up with a certain look all the time.
EDM ghost producers do not have this issue at all, because the public eye never sees most of them. In fact, with them being ghost producers, it is common that their fans do not even know their names.
So, when an EDM ghost producer needs to go to the grocery store, they do not have to worry about putting on a certain outfit or making sure that they have their hair done in fear of being a target of paparazzi photos and unpleasant gossip articles online.
Instead, they can live out their lives as ordinary people, without the stresses and pressures that come with being in the spotlight all the time. The only difference between them and so-called “ordinary” people is that they can make the same amount of income as famous producers without changing their lifestyle.
Additionally, EDM ghost producers do not need to have a certain look at all. Usually, when it comes to entertainment and people who are famous, the fans will gravitate toward those who are more attractive.
Ghost producers do not have to be good-looking to do his/her job, which takes even more pressure off them. In normal circumstances, someone who tries to become world famous as a music producer and does not fit the standards that society stands by, then he/she might not have the same success as someone who does.
Therefore, EDM ghost producers are not only able to move incognito through wherever they would like in the music industry, but they can also pretty much guarantee their success if the talent is there for them and they are okay with being under the radar.
Lastly, when it comes to being an EDM producer in the spotlight, it is expected that the producer also performs as a DJ on certain music sets throughout festivals and other events.
If you have ever seen the lineup of an EDM music festival, the chances are that you have probably scanned over lots of producers that will be performing live on the stage as DJ’s.
Even though the technical job description of a music producer does not usually include this, it is something that a lot of EDM producers are sucked into when they get a big enough following. Because the fact is that many music fans will want to see their favorite artists live on stage.
Live on stage is something undesirable to a lot of music producers, which is why they choose to stay anonymous in the world of EDM.
The Amount of Money EDM Ghost Producers Make
Now that you have discovered some of the reasons why being a ghost producer in EDM can be more desirable than the alternative, you might be wondering what a position like this will pay.
EDM ghost producer average earnings:
- Inexperienced: $300-5,000 per track
- Experienced: $20,000+ per track
While these numbers will differ from person to person depending on experience level and the actual music that they produce, EDM ghost producers can make anywhere from $300 to $20,000 per track.
With just one popular song that gets played at EDM music festivals and similar events all around the world, a ghost producer has the potential to make a six to seven figure income yearly. However, it doesn’t happen that often of course.
As you can see, the concept of being a ghost producer takes away all of the pressure that comes with the EDM business as a whole. These kinds of producers enjoy the luxuries of living an ordinary life, away from the spotlight, while still making the kind of money that the well-known producers make.
Do most ghost producers sign some sort of NDA contract? Or are ghost producers allowed to f.e. have a “productions made” portfolio page or “C.V.” on their website?
I’m overall not a big fan of the secrecy involved. I believe “being an artist” equals “being an ARTIST” – aka “someone with a creative itch they NEED to scratch, regularly – to feel happy and fulfilled as human beings”.
I certainly see myself that way. And it’s not always easy. At the expense of romantic partners, no kids, limited social life, etc: I spend insane amounts of time on my productions, because I want them to live up to the vision I have inside. I simply can’t do run-of-the-mill releases. Would make me depressed.
I can however, produce faster for others. Cos then it’s a more objective, less personal, less “artistic” process/approach, for me. So I’ve considered doing ghost productions. Have already done 10+ co-productions as I’d term them.
… But to sign an NDA-ish contract, and have to remain silent about my involvement in something, forever, would require quite a premium pay, for me to consider it.
Good question. The problem is that many artists don’t tell they have a ghost producer. There are stories the other way around (as far as I can remember). Ghost producers don’t get any recognition for a song, even if it became a big hit, but that is part of the deal.
For someone to do ghost productions probably depends on the benefits for the producer. For example, if ghost productions pay well for relatively less time, then the producer might earn enough to leave his/her daily job to have more time for the productions the producer loves to make. You can stay in a way unknown as a ghost producer, so you can do it only for the benefits if these are worth it.
A benefit that ghost productions probably always give is producer experience, which can be already worth it.