Posted by & filed under Features, Music.

Ghost Writing

Earlier this week I stumbled across a website called “Retired Artists” which offered the services of anonymous, but supposedly famous musicians to write your music for you, so you don’t have to. Sounds pretty cushty doesn’t it? Have awesome , digestable tunes created for you that you can pass off as your own and no one would ever know the difference! Weirdly, the site switched over to “Riff Writers” a few days later with a more professional looking BRIGHT WHITE background and some photos of some metal musicians with black eyebars across them. They’re totally the guys involved with this project. Despite the name and look change the content is identical, here are some choice snippets from the FAQ:

What if I am unhappy with the song I am sent?

We recommend starting with one so we can prove to you our songwriters abilities.

Will I own all rights to the song once I buy it?

Yes.  However if the song(s) should go on to sell over 20k copies,  a small mechanical royalty may be agreed upon between Riffwriters and the client.  This will be spelled out in a contract between both parties before agreeing to work together.

My band mates are unsure of how to play the song, what should I do?

Upon request, a video showing the guitar as the song is being played at a slower pace can be sent to you via email.

Can you include lyrics with the song?

No.  We do not want to do everything!  This service is designed to kick start your creative process and provide you with your own musical outlet.

What if my vocals don’t perfectly fit into your song structures?

Upon receiving the song,  whereas some people choose to use the song exactly the way it is sent to them, other musicians have built off our ideas and molded the songs to fit their lyrics.  A lot of times songs are structured around vocals, because we are not writing your vocals for you, we give you free reign to alter our demo compositions in any way you’d like.

If you are using our studio tracks service, we can alter the demo compositions to suit your vocals before laying down the actual tracks in the studio.

Now, ghost writing is hardly a new invention by any means. It happens in all mediums of art and is always considered to be relatively looked down upon within the relative spheres. However, what do you think about it? Does it make your blood boil? Have we stretched the limits of ghost writing ever since technology now allows us to program an entire album without even touching an instrument.

What do you guys think? Share your thoughts and if you’re brave enough any experiences you may have had as either a ghost writer or even someone who has used one of these services. Sound off in the comments!

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