DJ Chuckie Opens Up About Ghost Production, And Maarten Vorwerk
There is a lot of debate in the world of electronic dance music right now about ghost production. Some people, typically promoters and certain fans, feel that it is deceptive to listeners. Some critics go even further and conclude that ghost production contributes to a lack of originality and a general degradation and decline of the electronica genre. Many are vociferous about the issue on social media; it seems a new dance music promoter threatens with each passing week to reveal the names of artists that use ghost producers, and the ghost producers that they use.
It appears that these critics have an issue mostly with the ethics of the practice. But they never explore the possibility that the producers who create for other artists actually want to remain anonymous. Because, contrary to popular conjecture, the overwhelming majority of ghost producers do so by choice.
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But what about the perception on the other side? What do household DJ’s think about using ghost producers? People with real insight into what goes on. Some fascinating understanding can be gleaned from a 2014 interview conducted by Electronic Dance Music Tv with the Surinamese-Dutch DJ and producer, DJ Chuckie. This interview featured a short segment with Chuckie talking about Martin Vorwerk, one of the most famous ghost producers on the planet.
We were treated to some intriguing and open discussion during the brief interview about the reasons some producers prefer to stay behind-the-scenes and focus solely on making music without attaching their names to the tracks that they have worked hard on. When pressed about the possible rationale for people like Martin Vorwerk ghost producing tracks, Chuckie replied honestly, stating that, “I guess that some people don’t want to be an artist. He just wants to be in the studio”. If critics of ghost production only ever needed to hear one rebuttal to their claims of ghost production being unethical, this was it. These people want to remain out of the spotlight for a reason – the cynicality in assuming the likes of Martin Vorwerk are forced into ghost production because they don’t have an alternative is as bewildering as it is untrue.
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Chuckie also offered further personal disclosure during the interview about ghost production, openly mentioning that “I produced a couple of techno tracks for other DJs and producers. I don’t need my name on them. It’s cool”. This candid response was revelatory about the attitude of people who are closest to music (DJs and producers) about ghost production. From the way Chuckie discusses it, you can tell that everyone on the recording side of the industry has absolutely no problem with it. A casual attitude is prevalent about ghost production because it is not seen as an issue to make tracks for others. Household names and producers recognize the benefits that the other provides.
The only people who seem to have an issue with ghost production is the people who aren’t opening up their eyes to the reasons that artists do it. In a world that’s on an almost constant search for something to be outraged about, perhaps people in EDM who are overtly critical about ghost production should look at this interview and realize that using ghost producers is nothing to be frowned upon. Something that enables people to produce music, receive adequate pay, and stay out of the limelight if they want to should not be ridiculed. It should be celebrated.