Ghost producers and writers may well be anonymous, but it's no secret that their production work turns DJs and artists into stars.
Put simply, ghost production is big business. One spot that's a hub for ghost producers is My Ghost Market (owner of platforms such as EDMwarriors, Piratebeats, and Ghostloops), an online multi-marketplace where ghost producers can sell music and artists and DJs can buy licensed ghost-produced tunes.
The use of ghost producers is definitely divisive, but there's no denying the crucial role they play in electronic music. Artists like Martin Garrix have declared themselves to be ghost producers for DJs, while Ninja Tune artist Denis Sulta commented last year that artists should feel no shame if they work with a ghost producer.
"I've been listening to the Kanye West ['Jesus Is King'] album on loop, Sulta said. "That genius cannot be achieved alone. If you think that it can be, you're a self-indulgent artist who will get to the point where you think that you do everything. You can make a kick drum sound absolutely amazing, but if your hi-hats sound like shit, why not get somebody to help you with your hi-hats? Why would you want to do everything alone? That sounds like a lonely existence."
Aside from dance music, ghost production's rife in genres such as pop and hip hop. It's no surprise, with music consumption higher than ever due to streaming platforms and the ease of access to music, which, in turn, sees it listened to, but then quickly forgotten about.
These days, the process of making a track is not as manual as it used to be, with it now common for tunes to be created from samples or ready-made loops, which are easily produced on a laptop and finished in their entirety in a digital environment. That's changed the way music is consumed and, therefore, involves new communication and marketing strategies when tracks are launched into the market.
Based on this changing landscape, My Ghost Market has predicted a bunch of trends it expects to form and increase in the coming decade, including Artificial Intelligence being used to master tracks.
The use of loops doesn't qualify as ghost production, but there was a recent case involving Justin Bieber and Zambia-born producer Laxcity that raised a question of how close the two are linked.
Bieber sampled some Laxcity synth chords, available on royalty-free sample site Splice, on his track 'Running Over', which a Twitter user spotted and made Laxcity aware of.
This led to Bieber thanking Laxcity for being "a part of it" after Laxcity praised the album on Twitter.
Multi-platinum producer Nick Mira, a major contributor to the sample and loop industry, is also well known on Twitter for opening up discussions on issues of music creation through samples, loops, and other copyright issues.
Now brands like Mastercard are launching into music by releasing singles as if they were artists, working with producer Niclas Molinder, and holograms like Hatsune Miku are able to develop a music career thanks to composers and producers working in the shadows.
The number of ghost producers in the music industry are constantly growing, with thousands of artists going to ghost production marketplaces to buy tracks and, in less than five minutes, have a song ready to be released.
Any electronic music artists can head over to EDMwarriors for tunes, where buyers have a choice of more than 1000 ghost producers to get ghost-produced tracks from. Buyers get exclusivity, rights and royalties, while sellers get up to 90 per cent of the sale. Basically, the higher the track is sold for, the higher the profit.
The founder of My Ghost Market said: "We know that there are many ghost producers doing beats and samples for other producers and artists. Our short-term goal is to boost our business in the beats market, and also in the loops market, we are hearing the same loops and samples repeated in all the songs. Applying the concept of exclusivity and confidentiality of ghost production to these products can change the game."
Head to My Ghost Market for more information.