Oh boy, this one is gonna draw some fire.
If you are an upcoming producer with some serious talent, you should be ghost producing. Hands down.
1. You are not stopping the ghost production machine
The major reason producers don’t want to ghost is because they don’t morally believe in it, and want to stop it. The fact is, there are talented producers who are willing to ghost produce without you. It’s simply too lucrative to not participate in. By refusing to ghost produce, you are less making a stand, and more holding yourself back from potential income.
2. You’re getting paid to hone your skills
Most upcoming producers I know spend 40-60 hours a week working a day job, then try an squeeze production in their time off. These artists spend more pushing papers or working in some kitchen than actually making music. They are not professional musicians. They are professional cooks, professional white collars, professional retailers because the majority of their time and income is tied with a day job.
Being able to do your craft for a living is incredible, but building a brand is hard. Offering your skills in a service, instead of a product can have glorious effects. Currently, I’m in the midst of launching my design and marketing agency, Second Unit Digital. It’s taking off. (Shameless plug: email me to get started on a new look for your brand: email@example.com) By offering others the same skillset that is building Pariah Reign, I am able to fully support myself and further hone in my skills with to constant practice.
3. Ghost producing isn’t just ghost producing
Lastly, ghost producing is not always necessarily ghost producing. A ghost producer usually signs off a track to a bigger brand-name for an amount of money. There are however, other ways to make money off doing music full-time without supporting the career of some Dutch douchebag.
Here’s a few paying music gigs that are suited for talented electronic music production.
- Pop music production. In every other music industry besides electronic music, upcoming artists write hits for the stars. These writers then use royalty money and their industry contacts to further launch their careers. Creating the backing track for a Top 40 tune isn’t a bad way to make change, and is enjoyed by many top-tier producers.
- Freelance music production. Offer to produce for companies looking for custom music. Post your services on Fiverr or another freelance marketplace. Create little promo clips and liners for radio stations or podcasts. Hustle and find some YouTube channels to make intro music for.
- Producing music for sync-licensing. Make music that meshes with film, video games, and promotional videos. Hustle your music onto a sync-catalog and earn money from getting placements in other people’s creative endeavors. Sell your beats on AudioJungle
- Selling beats to vocalists. This option can be really great for producers, or really terrible. Personally, I would only sell beats on marketplaces, as dealing with vocalists and rappers in a financial transaction can be sketchy.
- Offer mastering services. Most producers do this, but hardly do they ever hustle it. If you offer mastering services, then go out there and sell it. Don’t wait for someone to come knocking on your door and say, “Oh hey sir. I don’t know if you master tracks, but can you master mine?”. Message producers. Offer to do the first one for free.
- Go out there and HUSTLE YOUR FACE OFF. No matter which one of these you choose, it is up for you to do the hustle. If you really want to make it big in the music industry, then you should be easy. You’ll already have the hustle inside of you. If you really suck at selling your services, team up with someone who doesn’t, and give them a percentage of each job you do.
Point is, you don’t have to work for someone else doing something you don’t want to do. If you have the fire in your belly, you can make cash, doing the things you love. Your skills will improve. Your network will expand. You will be closer to getting where you want to be. Don’t quit your job yet, but start hustling to become financially independent from your musical toolbox.