I knew this piece would connect with me the moment I read the title. First off, what is ghost writing? It is when someone/something (group, company, etc) publishes a piece of work as their own because they have bought the rights. Kel Kelly’s post about ghost writing in the blogosphere resonates quite strongly with me. The post covers the presence of ghost writing in the blogosphere, and Kelly says it is “deceitful and at it’s very core sits a big, fat, hairy lie.” (Kelly). She states that the difference between blog ghost writing, and book ghost writing is that the blogosphere thrives on authenticity. Posting a piece on your blog as your own when you in fact did not write it, is the antithesis of authenticity.
Now, how does this connect with me and the music industry? Currently music producers in the electronic music scene are coming under fire for using ghost producers. Some of the world’s most notable producers/DJs pay off producers to release a track as their own. In my eyes this is fraud. Music is an art form, just as much as writing is, and releasing a piece of art as your own, when you did not create it is wrong. It is a bold lie to your fanbase. You are lying to your very supporters in order to garner more recognition, which will in turn lead to making more money. To break it down, it is paying for fame. These DJs/producers pay for these tracks because they feel it will boost their notoriety, thus leading to more gigs.
To expand on this, the pop music world has been using ghost writers essentially as long as pop music has been around. The pop star is a basically a figurehead. They are a sometimes talented musician who is handed lyrics, an instrumental track to sing over, and are told how to sing the lyrics. They are a robot for a record label, who goes and sells the artist’s records for money. To the general audience, the pop star gains recognition, when a lot of times, all they did was follow orders from the producer, composer and writer.
Ghost writing is very prominent in the music industry and is practiced in other artisitc outlets like blog writing. I understand ghost writing from the true writer’s standpoint. They want money, recognition, etc. Maybe they want to make music for a living, but don’t want to go on tour or deal with fame. Same goes for a writer.
Using ghost writers for your artistic brand is something I will never respect. I am totally on-board with how Kel Kelly feels towards ghost writing. It is a lie.