New EDM Producers can benefit from Ghost Production

New EDM Producers can benefit from Ghost Production

When new EDM producers make their first foray into production, it can be difficult to get from unknown producer to a well-paid touring DJ who jumps between continents and lives an exhilarating lifestyle at the top of EDM. The gap between unpaid rookie and successful DJ can take years to overcome, and in those years, a lot of doubts will arise in the minds of those looking to hit it big. 

An often overlooked benefit of ghost production is how it can act as a bridge for many aspiring EDM producers, helping them to not only earn a living, but to improve their skills on the job. In this sense, ghost production can be seen as similar to a paid internship. An oft-quoted statistic, taken from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers book, is that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at something—producers who spend all of those hours not earning a dime are vastly underselling themselves. 

It would be a lot more beneficial for aspiring EDM producers if they spent a significant portion of those 10,000 hours working for clients who are already successful in EDM. Such clients know exactly what they want, which ensures aspiring EDM producers can learn new methods, techniques, and diversify the styles of music that they are able to create; music that is proven to sell commercially.


In fact, not only is the experience of being paid to do what you love a pivotal draw of ghost production, but the knowledge gleaned about what types of music actually sell is also vital. As a ghost producer, you can garner unique insights into what genres of music sell and how well they sell. For example, ghost producers might note that a big room house track commands a much higher fee than something more niche, such as happy hardcore. Such insights give you the business edge needed to succeed—ghost producers quickly learn to align their own creative processes with what the market wants; like any good artist.

It’s also important to consider the networking opportunities ghost production can lead to. Several successful DJs, such as Nervo and Martin Garrix, have gained recognition from record labels as a result of their initial ghost producing endeavors, propelling them to ultimately successful careers within EDM. It’s a simple truth that ghost production gives aspiring producers a tangible contact or group of contacts within the music industry while going it alone and building those connections is much harder from scratch, without ghost production.

Another overlooked benefit of starting out as a ghost producer is that you can always return to it. Some aspiring producers find that when they become DJs and gain recognition, they either can’t handle the limelight or they get tired of it. Already-established producers will have a much smoother transition back into ghost production if they started out that way, and they can continue to create music and further their career that way. 


A counterpoint to all of this is that in an EDM landscape that encourages ghost production, its increased prevalence might lead to a shortage of DJs and producers actually making their own music, because they’ll always have the chance to purchase it. However, as long as there is a creative process to make electronic music, there will always be young and hungry people who want to impact the world through their creative talents. 

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