In the studio, and especially in hip-hop circles, it’s not uncommon to see many producers working behind the scenes to support an artist to make the perfect sound yet. This behind-the-scenes talent is famous for the ghost producer — not quite invisible. However, acting as a phantom, pulling strings to let an entire music production come together.
These days, you don’t have to be a famous artist to either hire or become a ghost producer.
Online networking platforms and service marketplaces make it easy for users to seek for talented ghost producers to collaborate with.
And of course, if you are trying to become a ghost producer, let’s find gigs through the internet.
First, let’s jump into how to become a ghost producer. And the way to find a great ghost producer for your track. It unpacks all the information you need to know about working with one.
What is a ghost producer?
Ghost producers are producers who make music— beats, recordings, instrumental parts, vocals, and more—for other artists under the agreement that this artist will use these pieces of music as their own.
There are many aspects in which ghost producers work with artists to produce music.
Ghost producer work can be just supporting an artist to make a record to produce an entire track for the artist.
Yes, if you want, you can hire a ghost producer to record an entire track for you and you can release it as if it were your own.
Beyond this extreme example, there are some reasons to hire a ghost producer.
Why hire a ghost producer?
Ghost producers get hired for a myriad of reasons, but the number one reason they do is that they don’t require the artist to give them any external credits.
That’s the reason why ghost producers can charge an additional premium for their work. They won’t be publicly credited or compensated for the work.
Most often, ghost producers are hired for their skills and knowledge in the studio.
Here are a few reasons for many artists work with ghost producers.
1. Don’t have enough time to write backing tracks
You’re a songwriter or a rapper but you don’t have enough music production skills? It’s good to hire a ghost producer. This one knows how to take your ideas and create a strong backing track.
Producers like these are experts in developing your basic ideas and matching them to a fully-fledged production.
An example could be a rapper who hires ghost producers and rap beat makers to make the backing track to their rhymes.
2. Want to sell more beats, faster
Suppose you create beats for a record label with a handful of signed singers and rappers and you need to provide them with beats on a regular basis.
If you’re strapped for time to come up with enough beats to satisfy the label’s demand you might want to hire ghost producers to create beats for you under your direction.
This reason for hiring ghost producers similarly follows an agency model, mirroring how many visual artists hire understudy artists to make their larger artistic vision.
3. Getting writer’s block and need help developing ideas
Writer’s block sucks.
Everyone runs out of creativity and sometimes inviting a new one with different experience and knowledge into a working relationship is enough to spur brand new ideas.
Experienced ghost producers come in knowing how to work with famous names in music and the tips they use to attract audience attention.
We’ve all seen the effect of artists working with a big producer. Sometimes, it’s all to completely revitalize their sound.
4. Be a visionary without much experience in the studio
Maybe you have a big vision for your track. However, executing your project is taking longer than you suppose.
If you don’t patient enough to learn everything you need to know, you don’t have to go it alone.
The truth is, you shouldn’t expect yourself to know all the things about producing your vision.
Hiring a ghost producer allows you to get to your goal faster while doing a better job.
Trust me! Ghost producers tend to come into a collaboration with an artist who already knows about their vision. It will give your creative partnerships direction!
5. Working on a huge project and need more hands-on-deck
Big pop productions almost always have a big support team working behind the scenes.
Listen to any top 40 single, guaranteed a group of at least 15-20 people worked on each song.
If you have ambitious goals and big needs for your work, don’t shy away from hiring for help.
6. Need an instrumentalist with music theory knowledge
You don’t need a music degree to create great music. In fact, sometimes knowing too much about music theory can actually become a roadblock.
But, sometimes having an expert work with you is all you need to include new spice to your musical ideas.
It’s especially true if you want a certain instrument on your track that you can’t play well.
Hiring a ghost producer with session musician chops is always great to level up talent playing on your music production process.
What about becoming a ghost producer?
Considering dabbling in the profession yourself?
Being a ghost producer is being comfortable with not getting any extra credit for your work.
Chances are these gigs will make a lot more sense when you’re already an established producer that’s desired by up-and-coming artists.
So think about building up your skills as a music producer, whether that be with recording, playing, writing, mixing, mastering, and more.
Ghost producers often will explore their first jobs working for agencies that work for labels, movies, video games, sample market places and plugin manufacturers as their starting point.
So you’ll have to find ways to break into the industry by creating connections both in-person and online.
The most effective opportunities will always come from working hard at being a good music producer. They focus on developing your knowledge and your network.