The role of a ghost producer is maybe the most frowned upon job in the music industry. The person buying the track is seen as a fake, substituting years of hard work for a few hundred quid, while the producer, despite simply putting food on the table, is accused of enabling the ‘fakes’.
Whichever way you look at it, the western greed for fame and the desire to become a famous DJ has created an entire marketplace inside of itself. And a team of ghostwriters in the former USSR have jumped at the chance to make a living from writing music.
The ghostwriters cannot pursue a career themselves, as expensive VISA requirements and travel costs make the overheads too steep for promoters from the US and Europe who can book someone closer to home for a fraction of the cost.
Alex Larichev is the founder of Moscow based company EDM-Ghost-Production that employees ghostwriters from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan among other countries. Alex has developed a system that allows producers to upload their original tracks with a requested price tag, if the track meets the quality control of Alex’s team, it goes on sale with 70% of the profit to the original producer, and 30% to Alex and his team.
“I ghostwrite, and I’ve got a team of six people who custom-write tracks in a professional studio. Most of the time, the guys who make ready-to-use tracks are kids. Half of them are 16, 17, 18 years old.”