My response to the article "'Ghost-Producing' is EDM's Dirty Little Secret"
Original Article: http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2013/07/edm_ghostproducing_david_guetta_ghostwriting.php
Something to think about. Now while "production" is what makes DJ's famous, at least in the EDM world, as oppose to "performance", is having a few tracks produced by someone else entirely wrong? Now maybe leaving the impression that the given famous DJ made the track when he didn't can be a dishonest practice, let's think about it from an artist and performer point of view.
When you think of all Michael Jackson songs, you don't think about every writer, composer, perhaps even the dance choreographer that developed or assisted in the music video as well as the live shows. You don't think about the lighting guys on the stage, the pyros, the camera work, or the musicians that recorded the instruments. You think of the "experience" as Michael Jackson (the show).
Now let's bring it to something more familiar. Hip Hop music has been notorious as being a sample based form of music; many times not giving credit to the original sample's owner. Despite the controversy, the tweaking and editing of samples is accepted as an artform and part of the music's history.
Has the current world of EDM made us forget what a DJ really does? Isn't a DJ a person who plays "other people's" music? It's silly that people just don't know the difference between a DJ and a producer, and that when a DJ actually does a few things to be a DJ, people get all riled up.
So in a nutshell, I don't find it wrong if a superstar DJ has a team of ghost producers. People came to see a "show". I do would wish they would be more honest and crediting of it; at least say it was a collaboration with a new artist. In reality, what they do behind closed doors is really their business. I find it funny that if an artist is caught in one instance where they had to "lip sync" a set or had a ghost producer, produce a song, people act like this superstar was never capable of DJing or producing. I would even argue that some of the superstar's best work, was BEFORE THEY BECAME SUPERSTARS. Let's be fair, we really don't know the responsibilities behind the work it takes to set these shows up and make music, when you are that big, famous, and busy. Before they were superstars, they had more time in the world to concentrate on their music. I'm not defending poor work or lazy work when it comes to being an established artist. But I will say, from experience, that when you're busy traveling, your mind is not all there to sit down and make music.
And really, the people getting screwed are not the people buying the record or going to the show. They paid for a song and show and they got a song and a show. It doesn't change the quality of the song, whether the track was good or bad. The only person truly getting screwed is the ghost producer himself, who sold his song to a superstar for easy cash. But even then, let's be smart. Corporations have employees that develop innovations all the time that the corporation takes the credit for. Music is a money generating industry, and every superstar artist is just another franchise. And to call it a "dirty secret", really? Any ounce of common sense would have let you figure this out a long time ago.