What do Well-known Artists and DJs Think about Ghost Producers and Ghost Production?


There are a number of controversial topics in the dance music community, but the concept of ghost producers turned out to be the most prominent one. If you are still unfamiliar with this term, it’s basically when an artist makes a track for another artist without giving them any credit. There have been many high-profile situations concerning this topic. One of them involved DJ Mat Zo. The incident reached its peak when he retweeted a list of artists accused of using ghost producers. The list included artists such as David Guetta, Danny Avila, Nervo,  and Carnage, who responded with a series of angry tweets.


Each year DJ Mag provides information for each recording, which very often contains artist recognitions. Since guest production has been such a heated topic, it was appropriate for DJ Mag to ask the members of Top100 about their opinions on this phenomenon. Check out some of the artists’ responses to being asked what they thought of DJs using ghost producers further in the article.


Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike

Seems like there’s a lot of confusion around this topic. Sometimes artists get help with mixing, song making, or additional production.  It does not concern electronic music only or any other genre for that matter. At the end of the day, if some extra help makes the final sound of the recording better, then it is in everyone’s best interest to go that way. But it is important to be clear about how this collaboration works, and all participants have to be credited properly and paid for their efforts.


Armin van Buuren

I think it’s wrong to give a track your name when you have nothing to do with it and you weren’t even in the studio while the making. I’ve never used a ghost producer.


David Guetta

There is a huge difference between ghost producers and teamwork. Working in a team where everyone is given credit and paid is awesome. It kinda feels like a band.



It’s OK if you have a ghost producer and talk openly about it. But when you try to hide it and act like you know what you are doing, it’s kinda dumb.



Some singers use songwriters, some DJs use producers. Music is more than just a song. The bigger picture is important.


Andrew Rayel

Honestly, I’m not a fan. This is not something to be proud of. I do not respect great artists who use someone else’s art.


Markus Schulz

I think fans can easily tell whether a track is genuine or not just by listening to what is coming out of the speakers.


Carl Cox

I believe that as a DJ you have to stand up for what you do and don’t hide behind anyone’s back. This has been going on for years and will go on.


Laidback Luke

I don’t mind it at all. A mailman can deliver the most wonderful parcels on time, but this doesn’t mean that they are responsible for the stuff inside.


Flux Pavilion

A DJ is different from a producer, so I am not surprised by the fact that a person who is good at one thing asks another person who is good at something else to do the job.


What’s the current situation?

In 2013, nobody spoke much about the ghost-producing industry. DJs, entertainers, and performers who used ghost producers never admitted it. And when the rumors that someone was using ghost producers surfaced it was considered a scandal.


By 2015, several famous DJs like Tiesto and Benny Benassi openly admitted to using ghost producers. While others who clearly came from nowhere, such as Hardwell and Martin Garrix, stated that they got their start as ghost producers for Spinnin’ Records. But even now that using ghost producers is becoming widely popular, acceptable, and even expected, it is not a perfect plan.


Well, the phenomenon of DJs and artists hiring producers instead of making their own music is definitely not going anywhere. For some reason, either being too busy touring, or having no musical talent, or no time, not every great DJ can be a great producer. It makes sense that the ghost producing industry started supporting artists, but this relationship is one-sided. DJs can improve their craft, but there’s no need for them to create their own art. They just pay for it instead. Meanwhile, ghost producers get a one-time payment and sometimes they get fees. And that’s it.


There is nothing wrong about an artist paying someone else to make their music. There are many producers out there who have no interest in DJing or touring, or who just want to make music without the stress that comes along with turning into a brand.


Some DJs need producers to support their careers, while some producers would rather create music for other artists than try to become the next big name themselves. There is a clear and obvious opportunity for a symbiosis here. We just need to work on making this relationship equal for everyone involved.


Brian Scully, the art manager at New York-based Moodswing Management agency, says that ghost producers are often hired not to trick the audience, but to save time for performances by providing a second opinion or helping with finishing touches. Many companies are honest about their intentions.


Geronimo, the music director and host at SiriusXM says that honesty is the best policy. There can be some disappointment when an artist presents something that is not their work. Brian Scully is more flexible. He says: “I don’t mind it as long as a person who is not credited receives professional or financial benefits. I do mind it when experienced artists take advantage of young producers”.


Ghost producing might actually be very profitable and can bring profit anywhere from $ 1,000 to $ 20,000 per track for top list DJs. And thanks to the intense touring requests of famous EDM bands, whose schedules force them to travel and not be in a studio, this has become more common than ever. But one EDM insider states that there are many producers who prefer to stay anonymous.


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