Questions Raised About Ghost Production On EDM Hit
As electronic music continues to grow there is an increased pressure on the music's stars. Artists find themselves in a situation that requires them to churn out tracks in rapid succession. Also, many electronic artists are great DJs but might need help with the production side of things. With this pressure comes and often unspoken part of the electronic music world; ghost production. Ghost production is when an artist pays another producer to create a track to be released under the artist's name, with the producer receiving no production credit but instead a nice fat check. In a lot of cases the ghost producer will receive credit as the "composer" of a track.
Some of electronic music's biggest stars have admitted to ghost producing. Hardwell and Martin Garrix have both admitted to producing hit tracks. In November when speaking to inthemix, Hardwell claimed to have ghost produced a track that landed in Beatport's top 10. Garrix told inthemix that prior to his massive hit "Animals", he too ghost produced a hit on Spinnin' Records.
Now, the internet has erupted with new ghost production claims. This new allegation is centered around Borgeous and DVBBS' "Tsunami". The big room track, released in September, shot up to the #1 spot on Beatport and charted on iTunes worldwide. Now, four months after its release, a contract has surfaced on the internet which shows the purchase of two recordings for €30,000 (just over $40,000). The contract is between a man Maarten Vorwerk, alleged ghost producer, and Josh Herman, the manager of DVBBS and Borgeous.
This is not the first time Maarten Vorwerk's name has surfaced as a ghost producer. He is credited with being a composer on Quintino and Sandro Silva's "Epic", Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike's "Wakanda" and many more. Despite his past credits on tracks the new contract is extremely suspicious. As soon as it began to spread Vorwerk and Herman immediately denied its existence. "The contract is made up," Vorwerk tweeted, "photoshopped and faked deliberately to bring harm." Obviously, the parties mentioned in the contract would deny its existence to protect their image and that of their artists. However, the contract did come from an anonymous source and lacked much legal content one would expect to see on a contract of this sort. We may never know the truth behind the contract but it is clear ghost production has become a large part of electronic music today.