In a recent article for music website pedestriantv, readers were informed of the actions of Danny Grant, head of Loud Entertainment, who posted a Facebook status promising to reveal the names of some big names in the EDM scene that use ghost producers.
Danny has become disenchanted with the prevalence of ghost production in electronic music. According to his status, the main reason for his discontent is a loss of originality arising from household names using producers to make generic music. But this misses the entire point of ghost production and revealing the names of artists who allegedly use ghost producers doesn’t benefit anyone.
What people like Danny don’t seem to realize is that ghost production is not at fault for a perceived lack of originality in electronic music. The problem here is one of bland conformity. People see a certain trend that works, and other artists flock to copy that trend. Instead of producing innovative and unique new material, many artists copy popular movements until the market becomes over saturated with the same type of music and everyone is sick of it.
It’s also important to remember that other music genres have gone through this boom-bust cycle – it is not an issue unique to electronica. Seventies disco and nineties punk are both good examples of this. Over saturation to the point of generic music that all sounds the same inevitably leads to a revolution. It is human nature for artists to innovate and surprise. Fresh and inventive tracks are released all the time, one just needs to sift harder through the garbage to find them. Many truly brilliant dance music tracks have been released over the last few years. Laying the blame for a lack of originality at the feet of ghost producers is not just misleading, but also damaging.
Ghost production meets a genuine economic and artistic need. Aspiring artists who don’t want to be part of the celebrity culture, but want adequate compensation for making music can do so. Because, difficult as it might be to believe, not every artist is obsessed with becoming Martin Garrix 2.0. Just like not every trader is interested in becoming The Wolf Of Wall Street. Some artists just want to get on with pursuing their passion and being able to afford the cost of living. The crux of this is that ghost production makes a wide pool of talent available to household names, the cleverest of whom will be able to spot original electronic music and put it into the spotlight under an established brand.
People complaining that artists who use ghost producers are the trigger for a lack of originality in EDM are plain wrong. And revealing the names of such artists not only hurting the individuals involved but is also damaging the industry as a whole. Entertainment promoters such as Danny Grant need to think deeper about their actions before they commit to them. The wider issues here are over saturation and negative bias – electronic music is not a unique in going through a period such as this. Stellar electronic music is still being produced and will continue to be as long as creative people are given the means to produce. It just takes a bit more effort to find quality. Naming and shaming artists who use ghost producers doesn’t solve anything.