To be a professional in something, the common thing everyone needs to start with is the training. This comes in many forms; self guided, peer to peer, generation to generation, or institutional. Learning institutionally can arguably be the best way to start out; you learn basics, old & modern practices, and unbiasedly; all whilst being able to add your personal twists. The music industry is no different when DJs and EDM Producers are learning music production in schools. It takes a lot of hard work to teach, grasp, and practice these concepts; and giving some credit to the production school doesn’t stop at the success of your favorite DJs. Music Production Schools are churning out many of the Ghost Producers of whom we may not know but, definitely have heard their music.
Ghost Producer alumni from Icon Collective is more common than perceived
Icon Collective, one of if not the biggest music schools in the United States, promote themselves as being able to teach an ‘extreme amount of music production content’. Like other trade schools, Icon teaches all aspects of the music industry, from the production to the business. They notably showcase the success of their famous students; Jauz, Kayzo, Slander, and NGHTMRE, to name a few. However, in the 13 years Icon has been instructing and with their hundreds of graduates, only 21 artists are listed as noteworthy alumni. Immediately, one goes straight to the thought of those alum who are not listed simply haven’t made it big yet. Whilst that may be it in come cases, we easily forget about the alumni who are Ghost Producers.
It’s no secret that schooling comes with a cost. According to Icon Collective’s 2017 Annual Report, 238 students were enrolled. Assuming under 3% become touring DJs making a wealthy salary, the rest who come out of Icon Collective now have to get creative on paying back school costs at an average total minimum of $39,000. At this point students have and can build a vast library of tracks they have written. This is where being a Ghost Producer begins to benefit. Ghost producers will continue to build their inventory and can put tracks out on the open market. With the freedom to set their own price per track, repaying school costs are close in sight.
Music production schools are just the beginning of the hard work Ghost Producers put into their career. Taking in all the concepts and exercising them in their own personal way is the leg up from the rest that they get from going to school. With repaying school costs being with reach and the quality of education, Ghost Producer alumni from Icon Collective is more common than perceived. We can look to music production schools to give us not only the next big DJ but the next big Ghost Producer as well.