Ghost Production for EDM, Hip-Hop & More: How to Get StartedGhost Production for EDM, Hip-Hop & More: How to Get Started


Ghost Production for EDM, Hip-Hop & More: How to Get Started

Ghost production refers to the practice of producers creating music that is officially credited to the artist releasing the song. As behind-the-scenes music makers, ghost producers impact genres from EDM to hip-hop and pop music. This guide uncovers some of the secrets to becoming a ghost producer.




May 15, 2024

Frequently Asked Questions about Ghost Production

What is ghost production?

A ghost producer creates music for another artist and is not credited for his or her work. Ghost producers are typically commissioned and paid for by another artist and work based on a briefing of the type of sound the artist is after. There are a lot of potential reasons why artists might want to hire a ghost producer. Keep reading this guide for more on that.

What is the difference between a producer and a ghost producer?

Ghost production isn’t exclusive to a certain genre. From hip-hop to EDM, and from tech house to the biggest hits in pop music: ghost producers are everywhere. More than you’d think—but more on that later in this guide. Unlike producers, ghost producers remain uncredited in the release of a song. That’s also clear through how ghost production services are financially compensated: a ghost producer usually gets paid a one-time fee for their work. This is usually a hefty sum because, in a way, it’s a buyout of creative work. Exactly that is why many producers want to get into ghost production: it’s a lucrative side hustle—or for some, even a main hustle. It’s easy money.

Also, ghost producers go uncredited, so they aren’t entitled to future royalties when the song gets publicly released. That’s a huge difference from producers, writers, or co-producers, who typically get a chunk of the royalties for their contribution to a song.

If you want to learn more about royalties and how to get paid for your music: check out our extensive features Music Publishing Made Easy: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners and Music Sampling: A Beginner’s Guide.

Why do artists use ghost producers?

There are a lot of different reasons why an artist—or even a producer—might want to use a ghost producer. A lack of technical skills or not having enough time to produce quality music can be a reason for artists to turn to ghost production services. Some artists might even use it to overcome a creative writer’s block. In other cases, an artist has an idea or direction they want to achieve, and hire a professional ghost producer to bring that idea into fruition with ghost production tracks.

EDM ghost production: who uses ghost producers?

Ghost production happens way more than you’d think. In the world of EDM, artists like Dimitri Vegas, Steve Aoki, Tiësto, Diplo, Like Mike, Van Hage, Yves V, Fisher, and Jeckyll & Hyde have used ghost producers before. The list goes on and on.

"I can’t tell you which track I made. But this track got signed to Spinnin' Records and became really big. They found out that I made it, and invited me to their office and I played them my other stuff—and we signed."

—Martin Garrix (2013 interview)

EDM ghost production: who are known ghost producers?

Dutch music producer Maarten Vorwerk is a key figure in the music business of ghost production. He's arguably even the most famous ghost producer out there. His book Vorwerk Tip of the Week The Ultimate Handbook to Become a Succesfull Dance Music Producer and the interview below by Muzikxpress are recommended to learn the ropes of music production and how to create ghost tracks. Another household name in ghost production is Chris Lake, known for ghost-producing the major hit “Losing It” by Australian producer FISHER.

The Ethics of Ghost Production

There’s no shame in the game when it comes to ghost production. This is also shown in the quotes by DJ Mag Top 100 deejays further down this guide. Some of the biggest electronic music producers and countless pop artists have used professional ghost producers before. In an interview with Fuse TV, Spinnin' Records deejay/producer Nicky Romero even unveils that “there are rich dads in this world that just pay for their sons to have music,” buying their sons into the Beatport Top 10 and DJ Mag Top 100 DJ's.

With that said, there are different sides to ghost production. On the one hand, ghost production is an often-used and somewhat respected way of collaborative working behind the scenes. On the other hand, it’s used as a shortcut to success which is not respected and appreciated by the music scene.

DJ Mag Top 100 Quotes on Ghost Producing

DJ Mag—known for its EDM-holy-grail-level DJ Mag Top 100—asked DJs from their list about their thoughts on custom ghost production and ghost tracks. Here's a selection of quotes from the full list:

"Ultimately, if that extra pair of hands makes the final sound of the record better, then it’s in everybody’s best interest to go down that avenue."

—Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike

"I’m absolutely fine with that. The mailman might be able to deliver the most wonderful packages on time, but that doesn’t mean he’s responsible for the products in there."

—Laidback Luke

"There's a big difference between having 'ghost producers' or working as a team. It's totally cool to work as a team and everyone should be credited. And paid. Bit like being in a band."

—David Guetta

"I don’t really have a problem with it so much…"

—Steve Aoki

"We understand some DJs just don't have the time or knowledge to produce, and without productions it's impossible to tour around the world. Those DJs use 'their' music as a marketing tool but for us it's hard to understand."


How to Become a Ghost Producer

First of all, networking and online promotion are integral parts of a successful music business. Make sure people know about you and your style. Start off small and work towards your goal, just like famous ghost producers like Maarten Vorwerk have shown in the past. Build up a massive library from there.

The good news: there's no need to reinvent the wheel to get into ghost production. There is a wide range of ghost production marketplaces at your disposal to start offering ghost production services.

Below is our Top 5 selection of ghost production marketplaces to get started. Pick the marketplace that best suits your style and needs, and start working on your music career in ghost production:

Top 5 Ghost Production Marketplaces

The Ghost Production

The Ghost Production is a platform connecting producers, artists, singers, and DJs. With insightful blogs such as How Much Do Ghost Producers Make? and a section called Top Picked, the website offers a user-friendly platform to get into ghost production in a variety of styles.

House of Tracks

With a massive library of royalty-free tech house and EDM music, House of Tracks is a go-to marketplace for tracks for ghost production, YouTube videos, DJ sets, gaming, and more. The top-performing labels on House of Tracks include Shadow Music, Undefined Sense, and DoYouWannaDance.

I Am Ghost Producer

Ukranian DJ and producer Anatolii Vered founded this marketplace focusing on EDM ghost production. After buying a track via I Am Ghost Producer, the client becomes the full owner of the song perpetually, owning 100% of the copyright. Genres including hip-hop, R&B, and nu-disco are also part of the website.

Anonymous Tracks

With a wide range of genres (from Tech House to Future Bass), Anonymous Tracks is a great source if you’re looking for ghost production services outside of strictly EDM. Even Trap is represented in the marketplace. The website also offers quality sample packs, presets, and drum kits.


Their claim to have music by “the universe’s best ghost producers” might be a bit of a stretch. But with an easy-to-navigate website and a clear filtering system, Beatgun for sure has a massive library with a wide range of track files, ghost tracks, and different rates for each type of music project.

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