It has always been a point of intrigue for both critics and proponents of ghost production alike—just how well are ghost producers compensated? An interesting story emerged this week over at Your EDM sheds some light on this.
The story reveals that Niles Hollowell-Dhar – otherwise known as KSHMR – has been ghost producing recordings for the popular American house DJ Borgeous. The DJ, whose hit song Tsunami shot him to fame on the EDM scene in 2013, has since featured on Billboard Dance Radio’s Top 10 a total of three times.
Leaked contract agreements between Borgeous and his record label Spinnin’ Records show proof of payments to Californian DJ KSHMR directly and indirectly via Deep Dish Inc, a company in which Hollowell-Dhar currently holds the position of president. The contracts cover two of Borgeous’ tracks: They Don’t Know Us and Zero Gravity.
It is the juicy details of these contracts that are most interesting from a ghost production perspective. The documents reveal that KSHMR himself directly received a payment of 50 percent from Spinnin Records for producing They Don’t Know Us, and indirectly through Deep Dish he received a further 25 percent. His total payment for Zero Gravity amounts to 37.5 percent of revenues generated by the track.
These figures instantly dismiss the notion that ghost producers are unfairly compensated for their work, which is a criticism often leveled towards the practice by skeptics. Documents like this very rarely see the light of day, so the insight gleaned about ghost production and the distribution of revenue is fascinating.
Included in the contract is an amendment that specifically outlines KSHMR agreeing to waive all credit on tracks released by Borgeous. Evidently, this is an agreement that works well for both men, and the income that KSHMR receives for his uncredited work is clearly more than fair.
Given that it’ll probably be a long time before a contract like this makes its way into the public eye again, it’s important to highlight just what it reveals about the positive aspects of ghost production.
These leaked contracts give a clear indication that it can be extremely lucrative to ghost produce electronic music that you don’t get credited for. Major record labels know what good music is worth and they are willing to pay handsomely for it.
Is this typical of the average payment for ghost producers? It is hard to make any concrete conclusions, but the arrangement between KSHMR and Borgeous displays compelling evidence that dispels the notion of unfair payments given to people for the privilege of using their music.
Aspiring EDM producers everywhere can take note of this story and realize that if being a superstar or getting credit is not that important, then ghost production can be a viable and rewarding path in the electronic music scene.