The Great Disappearing Act- Ghost Producers and Artists
It’s nice to think that all of the musicians and staff that work on creating some of our favorite music all get credit for it, right? But what if some of the names on the credits, even the artists themselves, just took someone else’s work and called it their own? Ghost writing and producing have been an increasingly noticed issue in the industry lately, especially in EDM. It’s a lucrative business, with ghost producers earning anything from $1000-$20000 per track. So why is it a problem?
In a story picked up by Billboard, DJ Mat Zo called out some big names in the EDM scene including Tiësto and Diplo for releasing work created by anonymous producers. It would be a downer to learn that some of their biggest tracks were simply pieces taken from some defenseless young producer or protégé who can’t really say no or haggle for a better price. While some people argue that ghostwriters and the like are hired to save time for the star acts, it just doesn’t feel genuine. In a world where not enough talented and deserving artists make it, the least that artists could do is actually make their own music or give credit where it’s due. Read up on Billboard’s article at this link.
There are un-credited studio collaborations all the time in the pop industry but does that mean the people who are working hard to create this don’t deserve the same recognition just because it has always been done that way. Even artists featured on tracks don’t always get their name on the title. Calvin Harris’ newest single, “How Deep Is Your Love”, features Disciples. However, Disciples is an all-male production trio, and the vocals are done by a woman…
The singer is 31-year-old, London-based Norwegian Ina Wroldsen who also co-wrote the song with Disciples. Calving Harris heard the track and wanted to release it as his own single. He did so but leaving out Wroldsen in the process. Luckily, Wroldsen has been writing the lyrics to tracks for artists ranging from the Pussycat Dolls to One Direction and also performs with in the band Ask Embla and as a solo act. But not everyone has all of those opportunities to let one credit slip by.
Earlier in the summer on iTunes, artist Lucia Cole released an album called Innocence. The only problem is Lucia Cole doesn’t exist. An elaborate ploy orchestrated by an unknown user, there was a complete artist profile with full social media pages, celebrity endorsements and interviews, and Jessica Simpson’s Irresistible from 2001, in full, as her track listings. Since then, all of Lucia Cole’s music has been removed from most music distributors. You can check out the entire story here.
I think it’s time that we start keeping a better eye out on all of the music that’s getting released. While it may not directly affect us listeners, there’s something to be said for artistic originality. We hope artists enjoy making their music and I hope they want us to share in that excitement. We all share a passion for music so why can’t we give credit where it’s due?