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How To Become A Ghostwriter For Singers, Rappers And Music Artists In The Music Industry

How To Become A Ghostwriter For Singers

That’s why I think it’s funny when people say, “there is no money in music”.

If there’s no money in what you’re doing , you should either find a new discipline, or find a different approach!

Don’t take this the wrong way – it takes time to build a career and make money in any capacity. But if you’re serious and committed about finding your niche in the music industry, you will find it, and the money will follow as you get better at what you do.

Ghostwriting is just one example of a role that’s sometimes overlooked by people who wish to be involved with music in some capacity. But it can be a great opportunity assuming you don’t mind “working in the shadows”.

Here’s how to become a ghostwriter for singer and rappers in the music industry.

But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:

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Singers, Why Become A Ghostwriter?

It may seem like a strange thing to want to become a ghostwriter. After all, you’re basically writing for others and not getting any credit for your best work.

And when I say best work , I mean it! As a ghostwriter, your responsibility will be to provide a product that meets the client’s expectations, and sometimes this can be a serious challenge. At times, you may need to revise work you’ve already spent hours developing, or even rebuild it from the ground up if it’s not up to their standards. So, is the job even worth it?

Well, you may be surprised to find that ghostwriting work can be quite rewarding and satisfying in a lot of ways.

For one, ghostwriting can pay well. I’ve done quite a bit of ghostwriting and freelance writing myself, some in the music industry, some not. Writing has been a huge part of how I’ve earned a living in the last six or seven years. I’m not sure where I’d be without it. It is possible to make some serous coin if you’ve got the right contacts.

For another, ghostwriting can be a very flexible job. If you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can do your work from just about anywhere. Don’t take this to mean you won’t need to set up a home office or that you’ll always be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it. But some flexibility is usually par for the course, and so long as you don’t abuse it, you’ll learn to love it.

As for not receiving credit for your work, true, your name may not appear in the liner notes of any albums, even those that hit it big. But that doesn’t mean you can’t build your reputation as someone industry people can trust to write great lyrics. You can get more work by supplying your existing clients with great work and building your profile. That's how connections are created.

Another reason you might consider this profession is if you love music, and you enjoy writing, but you can’t sing or play an instrument. But if this is the case, you will likely need to collaborate with other musicians and/or composers to produce your demos. Demos are incredible marketing tools, so you should be building your cache consistently.

Rappers, Work On Your Writing Skills

Songwriting work in the music industry

Sure, there isn’t much to a song like Rihanna’s “ROCKSTAR 101” (I’m not much of a fan myself). The point is that someone still had to write it! And to write it, they had to know what the artist was about, what audience they were speaking to, and what content would resonate with them.

So, when you’re writing songs, it isn’t just about clever metaphors and a play on words. If you’re planning to make a living ghostwriting, you’re probably going to have to know how to write in a variety of styles – simple and complex – and be able to adapt based on what works for the artist and audience.

Bottom line – you need to put in your time. You’re going to need practice. Anybody who’s good at what they do had to put in some serious hours to get to where they’re at.

I remember spending lunch hours, breaks, and even class time (not recommended) in Jr. High and High School filling binders with countless pages of lyrics. I wrote a lot of unusable junk! But at least I was teaching myself how to rhyme, structure a song, create flow, and put my thoughts down on paper. I didn’t do this because anyone told me to – I did it because I was compelled to!

Likewise, if you truly have the desire to do something, you will just do it. I won’t need to tell you to practice – you’ll just go and practicing anyway, and nobody will be able to stop you.

Similar to how I produced a lot of junk early on, you’ll write a lot of garbage too, especially if you’re just getting started. It’s okay, just stay with the process and be patient. You will improve, you will be recognized, and work will come your way.

Keep Your Inspiration Queue Full

We all have those “aha” moments when suddenly a hook comes to us. It could happen in the shower, while driving, or even while you’re doing your dishes.

But if you rely too much on those moments, you’re going to have a hard time creating a steady stream of work. If you want to be a professional ghostwriter, you must be able to produce at a moment’s notice, or at some point you’ll be crushed by deadlines.

So, how do you stay inspired? By consuming a steady supply of information.

You can study the top 40 charts, listen to different styles of music, engross yourself in poetry, read books, and even explore related or non-related fields and industries. Let me put it this way – you’ll probably be doing a lot of active reading, listening, and note-taking. By the way, I would suggest keeping a notebook or a note-taking device with you at all times. You still want to capture inspiration as it comes.

Ways to do ghost writing for rappers in the music industry

So, before your work demands it of you, you should start filling your inspiration queue, so you won’t ever be at a loss for words. There are many ways to express yourself, and you may end up relying on tried and true tricks at times (especially when you’re tired and you’ve still got more work to do), but if you keep reading and listening, you will keep discovering new ways of saying what you want and need to say.

Get Established As A Ghostwriter

I’ve talked a little bit about building your reputation and client base already. As you can imagine, getting your name out there will become an important priority and responsibility of yours, because until people know what you offer, they can’t hire you to do it!

It seems ironic, because a ghostwriter basically works in the shadows of the industry. But the importance of being known, liked, and trusted won’t take a backseat to your skills as a writer, virtually ever. You still must make people aware of your services.

I think when I talk about networking, many people cringe or shrink away because they think they need to meet everyone under the sun to be successful. That’s not the case.

I have about nine people in my life that bring me work – some consistently, some only on occasion. And, trust me – I didn’t even have that many contacts at the start. But those are all the contacts I need now to help me make a living (and beyond). Core contacts can easily branch out into others, and you can find more work through them if you just stay consistent and do good work.

As it has been said before, if you take care of the “why”, the “how” presents itself. Still, here are some ideas on how to network and establish yourself:

  • Build your website . Showcase your writing skills on your blog, share about your services, give people a way to hire you and pay you immediately. Remember to market yourself specifically as a ghostwriter.
  • Develop your social media presence . Your social media presence should be an extension of your website. Take your blog posts and share them out. Use quotes and testimonials to build credibility. Engage with visual content, such as pictures, infographics, and videos.
  • Make demos . Set your lyrics to some great music. Connect with some musicians, and get them to help you with the music if you can’t do it yourself. Build your cache so you have songs you can pull out at a moment’s notice.
  • Go out into the world . You probably don’t need to be told where – attend concerts, open mics, industry events and conferences, and so on, and shake hands. Don’t worry about trying to get something out of every interaction. Sometimes, just showing your face can make a big difference.

Deliver On Your Promises To Music Artists You Work With

Jobs in the music industry

If you burn bridges, fail to meet deadlines, or your clients find you hard to work with, you’re not going to get much repeat business, and eventually your reputation – and thus your bank account – will suffer.

In business, the best strategy is always to under-promise and over-deliver. As much as possible, make it your goal to action this mentality.

Sometimes, this might mean turning clients away when your roster is already full. At other times, it could mean getting up early or staying up late to get some work done. If you’re willing to do whatever it takes, you should never fail in delivering on your promises.

People like working with those that can be counted on. If you’re reliable and on time, 50% of the game is already won. The rest is up to you – maintain a positive attitude, and get your work done.

Take Care Of The Practical Details

There are a couple of things that would be good for every ghostwriter to do to ensure their work is protected. Here’s what I suggest:

  • Join a PRO . Join ASCAP or BMI if you’re in the States, SOCAN if you’re in Canada. They tend to offer a lot of resources that can help you navigate the complexities of your career, and will collect royalties owed to you besides. Register your songs to ensure you get paid.
  • Copyright your music . Even as a ghostwriter receiving no credit for your work, you are still the rights owner of the music you write, and are owed certain royalties when it is used. So, protect your work by copyrighting it.

It’s possible that the nature of the contracts you get will dictate different terms. Only sign agreements that seem fair to you, and if you’re not sure, get some help from an experienced entertainment lawyer.

Otherwise, it’s good to maintain control over your work and maximize your earnings as much as possible.

How To Become A Ghostwriter For Musicians Final Thoughts

Lots of people need songs written. It might seem surprising, but many mainstream artists do not write their own tunes. Many are the handiwork of a skilled ghostwriter who is fully aware of the artist’s persona and the audience they appeal to.

You, too, may have the opportunity to work with big names if you’re good at what you do and build a positive reputation for yourself.

The main thing is to love music. If you love it, there’s a better chance you’ll stick with the craft and keep progressing. If you don’t enjoy your work, your chances of getting somewhere aren’t as good. Ghostwriting isn’t for everyone, but it might be for you. You won’t know unless you try.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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My name is Calief. I’m a great writer, however I sing and I rap. Most people know me for rapping though. But I would love to be a Ghostwriter. I’ve always kind of wanted to be a Ghostwriter and like you said it’s kind of overlooked and I never want to put my best work out there but at the same time. I would love to earn money from ghostwriting because right now I’m not earning any money from music, so I would love to ghostwrite. I am a very great writer I make great songs, R&B and hip-hop. I’m a very creative rapper and singer. Anybody in the industry would love my music if I wrote for them. I’m not doing any capping or just talkin to try to get you guys to contact me. I’m really the message I bring.

Thanks for the article, David! I do have a few follow-up questions, if you’d be SO kind to email me. Does a ghostwriter need any kind of representation? Like I don’t know, an agent or something? I’ve been writing for a long time but have finally decided to try to make a career of it. I’m a female and would prefer to write for female rappers but they are honestly much harder to come by, especially successful ones. So I’m wondering if a third party might be helpful with this. Thanks so much in advance!

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How to Start Your Ghostwriter Music Career: The Ultimate Guide

Start ghost writing today

Here's how to start your ghostwriter music career, easily

Knowing how to start your ghostwriter music career will put you on the right track toward some huge growth in your music career!

Read this FULL blog...   Guaranteed you'l l learn something new & useful.

When it comes to ghostwriting you're part of one of two sides.

You either agree with it or disagree - but I'm sure this article will change your opinion.

See, making money through music is every music artist's dream, but it's difficult to actually do...  

Taking the ghostwriter music career path will lead to profit as a music artist!

Through your ghostwriter music service you'll earn enough money to invest in:

New audio recording equipment

Produce nice music videos

Better music marketing campaigns (ads ain't cheap)

A new Rolex watch (just kidding)

These benefits are just waiting for you!

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An intro to music ghostwriting

In Music normally , you're credited for the tracks you make.

Music ghostwriters do not have this sweet luxury. You are not credited.

Normally you would think " damn, that sucks ", but there's a surprising twist to it.

Ghostwriter music is interesting because you're creating it just to give way.

No music credit for ghostwriters

The music industry is hard, they said.

You're essentially putting the work out there just for somebody else's name to be slapped right on it.

And just like that -  you officially became a music ghostwriter.  

Feel like a scam yet?  

A lot of music beginners don't even think of entering the ghostwriting music industry.

The Negatives Of Ghostwriting

There are a few negatives too...

When you ghostwrite you:

Can't develop your artist brand through ghostwriter music projects

Spend a lot of time on other people's projects

Are forced to keep your ghostwriter music projects involvement silent

These are all super legitimate concerns you may have, and I totally understand why.

Fortunately, there is a whole other side of ghostwriting.  

Get ready for it to be revealed to you, and take your career to the next level!

How writing works in the music world

Let's look at the word "ghost".

Consider yourself as a phantom- you don't exist in terms of who worked on the project.

Think of The Wizard of Oz,  controlling the stings from behind yet totally unknown to the outside world.

Ghostwriters are like the Wizard of Oz

Most times you're hired as a music ghostwriter, and the project is later registered and copyright protected.

Ghostwriter music contracts state that you cannot legally mention your project involvement!

Can't write and tell.

This can benefit you as a ghostwriter.

You pretty much have a shield around your ghostwriter career in the music industry! 

You're not obligated to mention it, not on the cue sheet 😉.

Contracts protect your brand as a ghostwriter

Ghostwriting 101:

Please note that not everybody can become ghostwriter music professional. 

It's no regular entry-level position (and thank god too.)

To be a successful ghostwriter you need to have  legitimate music production skills.

Truthfully, would you trust some unknown people with no catalog to mess with your track?

To start as a ghostwriter, you must join together a collection of your own works, your own songs.

This adds ghostwriter "street cred" and  proves to your clients that you're the real deal.

Build your ghostwriter back catalog

Ideally, have a Dropbox folder with snippets from your catalog.

Your clients can hear this.

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Ghostwriting: Remember The Basics

In ghostwriting, no matter how skilled or experienced you are, the main focus is not on you.

It's the project that you're working on.

Focus ONLY on getting it to the next level with your skills. 

You must be able to disconnect yourself from your own music styles, then connect to the client's project.

This is a skill that gets better over time, so don't worry if you're having issues at the beginning.

are your music skills needed?

The first and probably the most obvious questions you're probably asking are

Why would anybody need ghostwriter music in the first place?

Doesn't ghostwriter music take away from artistry?

Is the entire project a cheap sell-out to the industry?

Think of ghostwriters as invisible song managers.

Writing help doesn't mean that the project isn't yours.

Kanye West's projects join HUNDREDS of composers/writers collaborating.

Without it, he would not have been even half as great as he is.

You don't become a billionaire without help!

Sure, he credited the writers but it doesn't change the fact his music is written by other composers.

The music ghostwriter simply helps develop upon what is already there, not create something brand new.

Would you be against the idea of a music artist having cover art designers and video editors? 

You need to think of that same approach when you research being a ghostwriter. 

why would someone hire your ghostwriting?

Music artists can grow too big for their own good, as odd as it sounds.

4 reasons ghostwriters are needed:

They travel too much

Labels pressure them to release more music

Excessive writer's block

Creativity suffers as lifestyle changes

The smart thing to do is invest some money into a ghostwriter music service.

Just look at Drake for example:

Drake would hire ghostwriters to complete his project's cue sheets.

The results?

Artist of the Decade and hundreds of awards. 

It pays to pay for writing help.

ghostwriters help push a legend's name

This is a bittersweet reason to become a ghostwriter. 

When a legendary music artist dies, there is still unreleased music.

As a final project, labels/publishers push this out to fans.

Just search XXXTentaction, Pop Smoke, and Michael Jackson for examples.

Posthumous album ghostwriting

It wouldn't feel right to credit the ghostwriters on post-humous albums.

Do you justify ghostwriting here?

By acting as ghostwriters, you pay homage to these prestigious careers.

Labels can Hire You for ghostwriting services

This one is a pretty obvious marketing tactic..

Labels, publishers, and music artists want to hire you as a ghostwriter to crack out as many good tracks.

This pumps up their streams and brings in revenue - you can't miss this opportunity!

How else do you think 20+ song deluxe albums come out?

The idea is that some of the songs will stick and bring in long-term royalties. 

Music artists need to cash in their 15 minutes of fame by releasing when they're hot!

The more product (songs) there is out there, the more potential sales.

This alone pays for the cost of hiring you as a ghostwriter.

It's honestly a  money-making factory.

Financing ghostwriters

Different styles of music ghostwriting

Don't take the name ghost "writer" too literally. 

A lot of your ghostwriting gigs won't necessarily have a pen, paper,  and words involved. 

Different styles of musicians are considered ghostwriters:

Ghost producers

Vocal artist professionals

Mix engineers

Knowing which style you want to be will help you out a lot.

#1. Being A Lyricist

This is the most famous (and hated) style of being a ghostwriter. .

It is a very common occurrence in the music industry, but it's a kind of “taboo” thing to talk about openly.

Think of the Quentin Miller and Drake situation for a great example of this and how it can be done. 

Hip-hop culture is about "being real" so fake lyrics are frowned upon.

If the hip-hop lyrics are good though, people will buy.

Lyrics require a lot of creativity to start!

#2. Ghostwriting As A Beat Producer

Super common, yet super overlooked. .

You always hear of producers putting  beats for sale  to music artists for a flat fee...

Where are the producer's credits? 

Exactly -not mentioned.

It's so common though that the vast majority of people don't even realize that it is a form of ghostwriting.

You pay for the lease and you're good to go!

#3. Vocalists

Vocalist studio work is considered "work for hire."

Here, pay is sent for hours rather than the end product.

Due to this, I would 100% consider vocalist ghostwriters by the type of work. 

You don't have to look very far to see this type of ghostwriting, just think of top Hip Hop and electronic music songs with a vocal hook. 

Often, the singer isn't mentioned once.

Benefit #1: Get Paid Nicely As A Ghostwriter

At the expense of your lack of credit, you can expect high pay..

This can be a great advantage if you want to experiment with working with other genres.

You're getting paid to learn (the music still has to be good though.)

Clients are loyal for the most part.

If there is chemistry, they'll keep you. Yahoo, long-term clients!

Benefit #2: Ghostwriter Network Benefits

You're going to be connecting and communicating with various artists in the ghostwriter field..

You may rub shoulders with industry players without even knowing!

As you get more deals, expect to meet bigger clients and receive many more referrals.

It's a perfect situation - referrals run the music industry.

Ghostwriting referrals

These experiences can give you a clearer picture of where you fit in the music scene.

Now that you have these friends and connections, you'll succeed when releasing your own music!

securing a ghostwriting music job

Are there many ghostwriter music jobs available?

You’d be supposed how big the ghostwriting industry is.  

If we’re only speaking just on record labels , there are millions of dollars flowing to ghostwriters every year.  

Securing a decent ghostwriting music job can set you up for life…  

It’s not easy but if you put in the work then there are music ghostwriting jobs waiting for you.

Are You Good Enough To Start?

This is something only you will know best..

Have a sense of what your written skills are.

If you can't believe in yourself then don't expect clients to believe in you. 

Offer free ghostwriting gigs first until you feel comfortable charging.

Make sure your ghostwriter catalog is updated frequently.  

How To Land Your First Few Clients

The first rule of thumb is pitching to people that you already know. .

4 steps to landing music ghostwriting gigs

List down a bunch of different artists you know

Reach out and let them know of your ghostwriting service

Work for free for a project or two

Ask your network for referrals

Instagram DM is your best friend when it comes to networking.

The more people you know then the bigger the pool of potential clients is.  

You may also want to see if you can get featured on SoundBetter for  Lyric Songwriters for hire !

Pricing Your Ghostwriting Services

3 factors in your music ghost-writing charge amount.

Your placements

Your experience

Your catalog quality

Charge appropriately to how much you know and the service you can provide.

Pro tip: always make sure to write a legally binding contract for all of your ghostwriting deals.

This ensures that both parties live up to expectations and are legally protected.

Every artist needs a music attorney - don't miss this!

How To Write A Contract

Larger artists already have lawyers and contacts..

The contract should clearly state exactly what your role and contributions will be.

Sometimes, you can charge a 50% retainer of your earnings for the project and then the remaining 50% once you completely finish it.

This reduces the chance of them straight-up not paying you .

Keep in mind that not every artist will try to swindle but you can never be too careful.

Business is business - you should manage to research more information to know what's happening.

If you are making the track from beginning to end with all your original ideas and work put in you can expect to charge more.

On the flip side, if you only have a few verses then don't expect to charge too much. 

Remember that the price can either come from the final product, or hours put into your service.

Generally, artists that use ghostwriters are connected to each other due to having similar service needs.

Making A Website For Your Services

Data and analytics is everything in marketing..

Sadly, Twitter data isn't that helpful for targeting interested clients.

Websites are better because you can take Shopify payments for your services, as well as log analytics.

You can sign up for FB pixel to re-target site visitors and close more deals!

Labels watch this kind of stuff, it makes you look more professional than simply using Twitter.

Getting Started: The Process

Our  Boost Collective Instagram  is living proof of connections that can be made. 

Optimize your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook profile data so that it mentions that you are a ghostwriter. 

This can easily attract interested clients and develop your ghostwriter career. 

"I don't want others to know that I'm a ghostwriter", Is that on your mind?

Even though it's discreet, it's one of the music industry's most profitable jobs. 

Don't worry, you can simply  create a second brand  under a different persona and do all of your ghostwriting through that.

Twitter is effective for finding clients to market your services.

The benefit is that it keeps you confidential and makes sure there is a separation between brands so the ghostwriting brand can prosper.

Here are easy steps to getting this down

Write an outline of the client's brand and sound on a document 

Make your recording in the artist's style

As you continue ghostwriting continually refer back to the outline

Make sure that your created music is properly merged

Once finished, go back and do one final check before submitting it to the artist.

By following these steps you will evolve from a ghostwriting newbie to a grandmaster.

Ghostwriter branding

I hope you now know how to start your ghostwriter music career!

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How Do Ghostwriters Work: Everything You Need To Know About The Ghostwriting Process (Music)

Do you have a great idea for a song, but don't know how to write it down? Or maybe you're too busy with other commitments to write your own music. That's where ghostwriters come in! But how do ghostwriters work? And how can you make sure that you're hiring the right ghostwriter for your project?

This article will explain everything you need to know about how ghostwriters work and the process of hiring one. Keep reading to learn more!

How Do Ghostwriters Work: Everything You Need To Know About The Ghostwriting Process (Music)

What Is A Ghost writer In Music?

A ghostwriter is basically your behind-the-scenes genius, crafting songs, lyrics, or even instrumental pieces for another artist, all while staying out of the spotlight.

How to Sell Music as an NFT: The 5 Steps For An Independent Artist

They're not there to invent the wheel but to finesse what's already cooking. Think of them as your secret sauce for editing or rewriting to elevate the final product.

This isn't just a music thing, though. Ghostwriting happens across creative fields, from penning novels to composing tunes.

In the pop world, a ghostwriter will whip up lyrics and melodies that vibe with the style of the artist getting all the credit.

And get this—some of today's chart-toppers kicked off their careers by ghostwriting bangers for other big names.

But let's keep it real: not everyone's a fan. Some folks question the authenticity of using a ghostwriter.

Usually, there's a hush-hush agreement, a confidentiality clause, that keeps the ghostwriter's identity under wraps.

How Does Ghostwriting Work?

As mentioned above, ghostwriters can do a variety of things when it comes to music. But, generally speaking, they will help you with the songwriting process.

This includes brainstorming ideas, writing lyrics, and putting together melodies or hooks for your songs.

A ghostwriter is one who is an experienced songwriter and in many cases a successful musician themselves in their own right; however, this is not always. the case.

There are many songwriters of famous songs that nobody would ever know unless they researched it – most people think the singer or rapper is responsible for the song lyrics 100% of the time, when in fact, most do not write their own songs at all!

You may be interested in this, for instance… Does Nicki Minaj Write Her Own Music?

How Much Does A Ghostwriter Cost? 

How Much Does A Ghostwriter Cost? 

It depends on the songwriter's experience and the length of the song. Generally, a hired ghostwriter will charge by the hour, with rates ranging from $50 to $200 per hour.

For a song that is 3-5 minutes long, it would typically cost between $300 and $1,000 to have a professional ghostwriter write it for you.

Keep in mind, these figures are for the average person looking to hire a freelance ghostwriter for their projects and not reflective of what major labels would pay for a ghostwriter.

In the case of major record labels, we are talking tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands for such services, depending on the song-writer.

Do Ghostwriters Get Credit?

Do Ghostwriters Get Credit?

It depends on the contract. Generally, ghostwriters are not given credit for their work, but sometimes they are. It also depends on how involved the ghostwriter is in the songwriting process.

If they contribute a lot of lyrics or melody ideas, then they may be given credit. But if they just help with some basic structural or lyrical ideas, then they probably won't be given credit.

The ghostwriter will typically sign a contract that stipulates that their name will not be attached to the song or album. There are a few notable exceptions, but for the most part, ghostwriters remain anonymous.

Do You Need to Credit a Ghostwriter If You Hire One?

Generally, no, you do not. If you hire a music ghostwriter to write a song for you, you are the one who will be credited as the songwriter.

This is because a ghostwriter is a professional songwriter – it is their job to provide this service and that is what they are being hired for “ghost” writing.

How Do Ghostwriters Get Paid: Do Ghostwriters Get Royalties?

How Do Ghostwriters Get Paid - Do Ghostwriters Get Royalties?

No, ghostwriters do not get royalties. They are paid a one-time fee for their services and that is it.

However, some may negotiate a percentage of the song's publishing rights in their contract. This means they would get a portion of the song's earnings each time it is played on the radio or sold as a download or CD.

But, again, this varies from ghostwriter to ghostwriter and contract to contract.

How Does the Process of Hiring a Ghostwriter Work?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the process of hiring a ghostwriter for music will vary depending on the specific needs and preferences of the artist or band.

However, in general, the process of working with a ghostwriter will typically involve meeting with the writer to discuss the project and sharing ideas, sending drafts back and forth, and then revising and finalizing the song together.

In general,

  • The artist reaches out to a ghostwriter and discusses what he or she is looking for.
  • The ghostwriter produces a sample track or two based on the artist's specifications.
  • The artist decides whether or not to hire the ghostwriter.
  • If the artist hires the ghostwriter, they work together to create a full album or songwriting project.

In other cases, the song is already written and the record label may have an artist in mind to record it.

What Are the Benefits of Working with A Ghostwriter

What are the benefits of working of ghostwriter

There are a number of benefits to working with a ghostwriter, the main one being that you get to work with a professional songwriter who can help you write a great song (typically better than your own writing abilities).

But beyond that, here are some other benefits:

  • You get to focus on your music and not on writing songs.
  • You don't have to worry about how to structure or write a song.
  • You can get outside perspectives and ideas from someone who is objective.
  • The process is usually quicker than if you tried to write the song on your own.
  • You can have multiple songs written by different ghostwriters to help create a more diverse album.
  • In general, working with a ghostwriter can save you time, energy, and frustration when it comes to writing songs. It can also help you create better, more professional-sounding songs.

Are There Any Negatives To Working With A Ghostwriter?

There are a few potential negatives to working with a ghostwriter, the main one being that it can be expensive. Hiring a professional songwriter is not cheap and you will have to factor that into your budget.

In addition, you may not have as much creative control over the song if someone else is writing it for you.

Lastly, some people may see working with a ghostwriter as not being real or you being unoriginal (more so in rap/hip hop music as rap lyrics are supposed to be the story of the rapper inspired by his or her real-life experiences) – but, again, this is not always the case.

How to Find the Best Ghostwriter for Your Needs

Hiring a ghostwriter can be tricky if you do not already have a selection of songwriter contacts you can call upon. You will need to start online and do thorough research. Here are some tips to help this process go smoothly.

  • Ask Around for Recommendations
  • Find Someone Certified in Your Genre of Music
  • Communicate With Them Regularly and Clearly Communicate Deadlines
  • Have Them Write First Drafts Rather Than Co-Writing More Complex Parts of the Song – This will help to ensure that your ideas are not getting lost.

Ghostwriting Jobs For Beginners

If you are a songwriter hoping to make a career as a ghostwriter, you may want to know more about ghostwriting jobs for beginners with no music industry credibility. Here are some tips on how to get started:

Start Online

The best way to find ghostwriting jobs is to start by looking online. There are many websites that list freelance writing opportunities, and most of these sites also have a section for ghostwriting jobs.

Show Your Work

You will need to have a body of work to show potential clients. This can be in the form of a portfolio, your own recorded demos, any existing songs you have written for people (even if they are friends singing them) or you can provide writing samples that demonstrate your ability to write songs.

Be prepared to do some research on how to price your services. Ghostwriting rates vary depending on the project and the experience of the writer. It is important to be aware of what typical rates are so that you don’t undercut yourself, or worse, overprice your services.

Write For Free (I know, but hear me out…)

One of the best ways to get experience as a ghostwriter is to write for free. There are many artists who are looking for someone to help them with their music but don’t have the funds to pay a professional writer.

Offer your services for free in exchange for testimonials and public (social media) credit. This will help you build a portfolio of work and also get your name out there as a songwriter.

Be Flexible

When you are starting out, it is important to be flexible with your rates and open to negotiation. As you gain more experience, you will be able to command higher fees for your services.

How Much Do Ghostwriters Make per Song

This is a big one, how much are ghostwriters paid and do ghostwriters get royalties?

Ghostwriters usually get a one-time fee that can vary wildly. For your everyday person hiring a freelance ghostwriter, you're looking at anywhere from $300 to $1,000 for a 3-5 minute song.

But if we're talking major record labels , those numbers can skyrocket into the tens or even hundreds of thousands .

According to Forbes , ghostwriters often get between $10,000 and $20,000 upfront.

As for royalties, it's a mixed bag. Some contracts offer a slice of the song's earnings, especially when it comes to radio plays or streaming.

But generally, the industry leans more toward that one-time payment, skipping the royalties.

Are Ghost Writers Credited?

Ghostwriters are not always credited for their work , but sometimes they are, depending on the contract and how involved they are in the songwriting process. 

If they contribute a lot of lyrics or melody ideas , then they may be given credit. But if they just help with some basic structural or lyrical ideas, then they probably won't be given credit.

Is Ghostwriting Legal?

Yes, music ghostwriting is legal. However, the legality of music ghostwriting can get a bit murky depending on the specifics of the contract and the arrangement between the writer and artist.

Generally speaking, when someone hires a ghostwriter to write lyrics or a song for them, the writer will sign over all their rights to the work to the artist. This means that even if the song becomes a massive hit, the writer will not be able to earn any royalties from it.

Additionally, if the artist decides to use a different writer for future songs, they are not obligated to credit or compensate the first writer at all.

What Is a Ghostwriter in Rap?

A ghostwriter in rap is the same and does the same as any other type of ghostwriter. They are hired to write lyrics for a musician or artist who either doesn't have the time, can't write lyrics, or just doesn't want to.

As ghostwriters are often uncredited for their work, and with the negative stigma attached to not writing your own bars, it's pretty common for rappers to deny that they've ever used one.

Final Thoughts

Working with a ghostwriter can be a great way to ease the songwriting process while still maintaining creative control over your music. It is important to do your research and find the best ghostwriter for your needs, as well as be clear about the direction you want your song to go.

Have multiple songs written by different ghostwriters to help create a more diverse album. If you are looking for someone to help write your next big hit, consider working with a ghostwriter!

Do you have any questions or thoughts about working with a ghostwriter? Let us know in the comments below!

ghostwriter music meaning

About Author

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle


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How widespread is ghostwriting in music and how ok with it should you be.

This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.

In 2012 Damien Hirst responded to complaints that of the 1440 existing instances of his famous spot paintings, he'd only painted five himself. "It amazes me that I still get asked these questions," he said. "You have to look at it as if the artist is an architect, and we don't have a problem that great architects don't actually build the houses."

It's a defense most of us would understand. We accept that Obama doesn't write those zingers we see endlessly shared on Facebook. We don't mind that TV presenters are reading from an autocue they're seeing for the first time. But in music, there's still a question mark hanging over the link between authorship and authenticity, and last month's Meek vs Drake bunfight —easily the most blogged-about rap feud of the year—shone a harsh light on that question mark.

A decent ghostwriter wouldn't have stood for the ludicrous mixed metaphor in the previous sentence. It's easy to see the appeal of bringing in outside help, but it's also easy to see why many consider it unethical. By the time Meek was accusing Drake of having been pissed on in a cinema it was clear things were getting out of hand, but the debacle did raise one question: if diss tracks routinely throw up all manner of unsavory accusations, what is it about Meek's original accusation—simply, that Drake didn't write his own raps—that struck such a nerve?

Continues below

"Credibility is key in hip-hop," says 1Xtra's Music Manager, Austin Daboh. "In R&B, for instance, the majority of the stories are about love and sex, they can relate to anyone. But 50 Cent rapping about being shot nine times: That's personal. Rap lyrics should be hyper-personal and hyper-localized. So I can see why ghostwriting would be a problem for some people."

Still, tales of ghostwritten tracks are legion , to the point where many view ghostwriting as an apprenticeship for upcoming MCs. Nas wrote on songs like "Getting' Jiggy Wit' It" for Will Smith, Method Man contributed to ODB's debut album and Jay-Z, famously, has written for both Dr Dre and Bugs Bunny. A couple of years ago Killer Mike talked to XXL about his own experience of writing for other artists. "I wrote the record for them from their perspective," he reasoned. "To me, that makes sense, and that's more than appropriate." He identified a distinction with pop—"when it comes to pop hits or radio records, it really doesn't matter who is writing it, 'cause it's almost like a commercial or a jingle."

ghostwriter music meaning

In 2015 that assumption, that people don't care about credibility in pop, may no longer be true. If you look at the pop acts who've blown up since Lady Gaga pushed songwriting to the fore six years ago—from Taylor Swift and Lorde to FKA Twigs and Halsey—you'll find that more fully-rounded auteurism is filling holes that ten years ago might have been populated by artists expected merely to turn up and sing a few songs. The inclusion, as bonus tracks on 1989 , of voice memos purporting to be Taylor Swift's early song ideas, shows just how important songwriting is to her brand. (And these days the more traditional type of one-man enterprise like Jake Bugg or Ed Sheeran is expected to deliver radio hits—which may partly explain why both those artists, and many of their peers, also work with co-writers.)

Noisey recently spoke to one UK pop manager who was unimpressed by this turn of events. "I saw a popstar on TV once going, 'I'm writing my new album myself', and I just thought, you stupid fool—you're a decent popstar, but you're not a writer. If you've got Max Martin writing you a song, why turn it down? The fact is that performing and writing are different talents, but they're both talents." He added, slightly presumptuously: "You're a journalist. You wouldn't claim to be able to crochet a duvet."

But pop's move towards a more rockist interpretation of credibility isn't open for debate: It's already happened, and you can understand why some artists are keen not to credit writers, or to insist that they are credited even if their sole contribution was managing to record their vocal while not falling over.

"You can have an instance where a backing track is played in a session, you'll write to it, then the person who played it goes, 'Oh, five people made this backing track'," explains Fraser T Smith, who's worked with Adele, Sam Smith, and Lily Allen, as well as a number of UK MCs like Kano and Tinchy Stryder. This is how, say, 21 people were involved in Kanye's "All Day." "You'll especially find that sort of situation in hip-hop and dance music. What was once classed as production is now classed as writing," Smith adds.

It's one thing to have a song like "All Day" where you quietly credit all your collaborators, but for it to truly be ghostwriting—there has to be some degree of misinformation. Depending on your definition of ghosting, adding your name to a song's credits can be as significant as taking someone else's name off. Both have the same purpose: passing off someone else's work as your own, which will benefit either your credibility, your bank balance, or both.

Fraser T Smith, our UK pop manager, and Austin from 1Xtra each told Noisey that ghostwriting was far more prevalent in the US than in the UK, so let's speak to someone in the US to find out what's going on. On the blower is Chris Anokute, an A&R executive who's worked at Island Def Jam, Capitol, and Universal Motown. He currently manages Bebe Rexha, the artist and writer responsible for the Rihanna hook in Eminem's "Monster". "Well," he begins. "I've never been in the position where we as a major label would hire someone to ghostwrite. That's just illegal! Nobody's going to do that!"

But—and this is a big but—he does talk of 'work for hire' arrangements, where someone's involvement in a song is bought out. This is roughly equatable to not having to give 20p to the plumber who fixed your toilet every time you take a dump.

"How it works is that we'd just pay you out for the songs, and we'd own the rights," explains Anokute, who's worked on music for Katy Perry, Rihanna, Joss Stone and many others. "It's a business transaction. I remember once there was a 19-year-old from Finland; they'd written an incredible song. We offered them $10,000 for the song and they signed the song over to us. It wasn't credited to them, because it was a work for hire arrangement."

Tracks like that can then be credited however one pleases. Anokute gives an example of how those writing and production credits you see on liner notes and Wikipedia, and which many take as gospel, are open to manipulation. "We don't have to credit any producer on any album," he states. "It's not the law, it's a courtesy. Imagine I'm Berry Gordy at Motown Records. I hire Smokey Robinson to produce a record, I pay for the master, I can put it out as 'produced by Berry Gordy'."

I ask Fraser T Smith what would happen if one of his songs ended up in the hands of—to pluck a name out of the air—Beyoncé. He's presented with a hypothetical scenario: She wants the song, but wants Fraser's name taken off. "No," Smith says. But is there room for financial negotiation? "No." How about five million cash? "No. Hand on heart. That sets a terrible precedent." But he does make a concession. "I'm in a very fortunate position, having earned money from songs over the years. If you're asking what I'd have done 15 years ago, that's a different question."

And that's a real question that faces a lot of producers, particularly in the electronic sphere, where ghostproduction is as problematic as ghostwriting is for the Drakes of this world. Chris Anokute explains: "There'll be some kid from Sweden who's a genius on Ableton Live, and some DJ will give them $50,000 for 20 beats. They want to get into the business, so they say yes. But nobody puts a gun to your head and says sign over the music. You do have a choice. You can say no."

When Martin Garrix was accused of using a ghostproducer on "Animals", he responded with a livestream that went on for nearly two hours during which he showed, in mind-numbing detail, every step of the song's creation. The plot then thickened when Garrix admitted that although he hadn't used a ghostproducer for his own tracks, he was signed to Spinnin' Records after he'd ghostproduced another hit on the label.

Chris Anokute is not a fan of all this. "DJs need to stop having ghost producers," he states. He says one huge DJ and "artist" is particularly shameless. "He doesn't even know how to operate the equipment. He'll have 3-5 ghost producers in the studio, every time I see him. Doing all the work. I know this for certain. For $5,000 a track he's taking all the rights; he makes one million dollars then none of the kids get paid. But he gets the credit because he's the face, the DJ, the brand."

That might sound lazy, but there's an even quicker and cheaper way for aspiring artists to fill up their SoundCloud accounts. Sites called things like EDMghostproducer , ProducerFactory , and Precision Writtens offer tracks and verses for prices ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. You can tell them what you want, and they'll make it. If your lack of musical ability is matched by a total absence of ideas, no problem: You can just buy an off-the-shelf track from their catalogue then chuck it on Beatport under your own name.

A couple of years ago Chicago-based house publication 5 Magazine ran a detailed story about ProducerFactory which opened with the line, "This is what rock bottom looks like"; a follow-up post delved even further into the company's offering.

"Buying an 'off the shelf' song—one which everyone can hear in advance, and thus knows was written by someone other than you—is so numbingly stupid," Terry Matthew, 5's Managing Editor, says today. "I would be shocked if they made any money off of it at all. I came across one of their file storage sites that they mistakenly let Google index and discovered that alongside the ProducerFactory contracts, they were making marketing materials for what appeared to be the family business selling farm equipment. I hope they stuck to their day job, too. There's no shame in selling tractors."

The website of EDMGhostproducer

Over at Precision Writtens, a professional ghostwriting agency who specialise in hip-hop, a chap called Alex King (whose emails, appropriately, have someone else's name in their signature) is almost endearingly bolshy. "We set up because we saw a chance to make money," he tells Noisey in one email. "Whatever people can do to beat out their competition and get ahead, they're going to do it. It's that simple."

It would be putting it mildly to say King doesn't have much time for naysayers. "Dumb people can argue all day about whether or not ghostwriting is right or wrong because it really doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that ghostwriting is the future of hip-hop because either you get a skilled team of writers behind you, or you get run over by another MC who does."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this line of argument doesn't impress everyone. "We should be wary," Fraser T Smith adds. "There shouldn't be a precedent where you can always get someone to write your verses. There should always be artists like Kendrick Lamar who are purist about what they do, why they do it and how they do it; who'll raise the bar and who younger artists can aspire to be."

Still, if someone's losing their shit in a club, does it matter who wrote a song? You're not going to go up to the DJ and demand hard copies of all pertinent legal documents before you have a little bop. Terry from 5 Magazine draws an analogy with doping in sport. "Many will say there's no harm other than what the player is doing to himself," he says. "Others will claim it disrespects the game, but more importantly has a corrupting effect on everyone that comes into contact with it. I don't like being sanctimonious but you just can't disrespect something people love like this and expect to walk away unscathed."

A different matter is how Drake will walk away from the recent accusations. "I don't think any of this should take away from Drake," says Austin from 1Xtra. "I mean I've heard the reference tracks, there's no doubt there's some similarity, but we don't know timelines, we don't know the studio process. There are people who'll look at him with a side eye but I think once the dust has settled, Meek will brush the dust off his shoulder and so will Drake."

At the heart of this topic is one question: Is it right, or justifiable, to mislead fans about what those fans should reasonably expect from an artist? But behind closed doors that sense of authenticity is often replaced by a question of believability. That's the difference between whether an artist is responsible for their output, and whether an artist can convincingly be portrayed as having been responsible. We'll never know how much music exists in the gap between those two points. Maybe, in ghostwriting as in so many other aspects of life, the only real rule is this: If you're going to do it, don't get caught.

You can follow Peter Robinson on Twitter .


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How to Become a Music Ghostwriter: A Comprehensive Guide

Do you have a passion for music? Do you dream of one day becoming a successful musician?

If so, you may want to consider becoming a music ghostwriter. Ghostwriting is a great way to make money in the music industry.

It can be a lot of fun too!

This article will discuss everything you need to know about becoming a music ghostwriter.

We will cover topics such as: what ghostwriting is, how to get started, what skills you need, and more!

So if you are interested in learning more about this exciting career path, keep reading!

Ghostwriter: What It Is & What They Do

How to become a music ghostwriter, challenges for music ghostwriters: how they can overcome, how much money music ghostwriters can make.

A ghostwriter is a professional writer who writes a song for other artists. The person who hires the ghostwriter is usually the one who will receive credit for the work.

The artist may not have the time or ability to write their songs, so they will hire a music ghostwriter to do it for them.

The credit for the song will usually go to the artist, not the ghostwriter. However, music ghostwriters can still make a lot of money from their work!

There are many different ways that artists can play a music ghostwriter . They may receive a one-time payment for each song they write or a percentage of the royalties earned from the song.

It all depends on the agreement between the artist and the ghostwriter.

If you are interested in becoming a music ghostwriter, it is important to discuss your payment options with potential clients ahead of time.

Now that you know a little more about what ghostwriters do, you may wonder how you can become one.

If you have a passion for music and writing , this could be the perfect career for you!

Here are a few tips on how to become a music ghostwriter:

Develop your songwriting skills. It is the most important skill you will need as a music ghostwriter.

If you can write catchy and memorable songs, you will be in high demand! There are many ways to develop your songwriting skills.

You can take classes, read books on the subject, or collaborate with other writers. The more practice you have, the better you will become.

Build a strong portfolio. When starting as a music ghostwriter, it is important to have a strong portfolio of songs.

It will show potential clients what you are capable of and help them decide to hire you.

Be sure to include various genres and styles in your portfolio to show that you are a versatile writer.

Promote yourself. Once you have developed your skills and built up a strong portfolio, it is time to start promoting yourself!

There are many ways to do this, such as creating a website or social media accounts. You can also attend industry events and meet-ups. The more people you meet, the better your chances of landing a gig.

 Music Ghostwriter

One of the challenges of being a music ghostwriter is that you may not receive credit for your work.

However, this should not discourage you from pursuing this career!

There are many other benefits to being a music ghostwriter, such as the satisfaction of knowing that you helped create a hit song, the opportunity to work with different artists, and the potential to earn a lot of money.

If you are passionate about music and writing, then becoming a music ghostwriter is a career worth considering!

Another challenge of being a music ghostwriter is that you may not have control over the songwriting process.

The artist or band you are working with may have specific ideas or requirements for the song, and you may need to make changes to your original idea to accommodate their vision.

It can be frustrating, but it is important to remember that you are being hired to write a song for someone else.

Their name will be on the credit, not yours, so it is important to be flexible and open to their ideas.

As a music ghostwriter, you have the potential to earn a lot of money!

How much you make will depend on the length of the song, the number of songs you write, and the payment agreement you have with your client.

For example, some music ghostwriters may receive a one-time payment for each song they write, while others may receive a percentage of the royalties.

No matter what payment agreement you have, there is potential to earn a lot of money as a music ghostwriter!

Although the current stats and industry standards for music ghostwriters show that a person can make between $10,000 to $50,000 for their anonymous contributions.

Final Verdict!

Becoming a music ghostwriter can be an extremely rewarding career path, both personally and financially.

It is a great way to share your talent with the world while helping others achieve their musical dreams.

It can also be challenging, but by following the tips we’ve outlined in this guide, you should be well on your way to becoming a successful music ghostwriter.

As with any other career, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies to continue providing high-quality work for your clients.

How has being a music ghostwriter worked out for you?

Let us know in the comments below!

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October 27, 2021 , articles

How to become a ghostwriter for music and start your new career

ghostwriter music meaning

Photo by Premkumar Masilamani on Unsplash

The music industry includes a wide range of professions. Over the last several years, an increasing number of people have gotten interested in learning how to become a music ghostwriter. Ghostwriting is an example of a career that is sometimes missed by those who want to work in the music industry. However, if you don't mind learning how to become a ghostwriter for singers, it may be a fantastic chance. You don't have to be a well-known artist to work in the music industry. Despite the fact that singers and rappers are the names and faces connected with songs, many of them hire ghostwriters to assist them to develop their ideas. If you have a talent for songwriting but don't want to publish your songs for any reason, ghostwriting is an excellent option.

Ghost writers music career specifics

Many ghostwriting jobs will not require you to use a pen, paper, or words. Ghostwriters may be artists of several musical styles:

Professional vocalists.

Mix engineers.

Surprisingly, but most professional ghost writer music creators can't just write a song, submit it to their favorite rap or hip hop, and then relax enjoying the rewards of their efforts. As with any other job in the music industry, becoming a ghostwriter songs requires lots of work and demands planting the seeds early in the hope to get a harvest later.

The initial step in your setup as a ghost writer music industry is to develop a portfolio of projects that you've already written. You might accomplish this by building a website and placing your work there in order to share it with others. Networking is the next fundamental step in your ghostwriting music career. In short, this is the process of contacting other industry professionals who can assist you in your endeavors or may be interested in your creative products.

It's essential to realize that everyone in the music business is in the same position. They must all network and seek out like-minded individuals who can provide them with valuable ghost write music services. The advantage of the digital world is that you can simply do it from the comfort of your own home. Searching the Internet for email addresses and contacts of individuals you'd like to work for is an excellent approach to do this. For example, if you admire famous hip-hop performers, try to search and find contact information of their management team.

Next, seek a vocalist with whom you'd want to collaborate and make contact with a representative from their record label. Continue this procedure, adding each contact to a list, until you become ready to contact them and offer your ghostwriter music industry services.

The definition of what is a ghostwriter in music

If you look at the creators of many well-known songs, you might be astonished to discover completely strange people. These individuals are known as ghostwriters, and they work behind the curtain to create songs for performers. Many successful musicians started their careers by ghostwriting hits for other artists, rappers, and bands. It's a terrific method to enter the music business while also being compensated for your talent side. In certain circumstances, ghostwriters may represent a team of songwriters who collaborate to create musical content. Also, ghostwriters may work alone and send their creations to publishers, record companies, or the singer directly.

You may have a professional future as a successful ghostwriter for singers and rap artists if you have a clear understanding of what is a ghostwriter in music, devoted to your work as a composer, and ready to invest your time and efforts. The essential thing is to first ensure that your product is of extremely good quality. When you've completed a work that you're proud of, apply all your abilities to networking. There are no correct or incorrect ways to sell your skills, as long as you stay in touch with individuals who can help you get a job.

Why and how to find a ghostwriter for music

As strange as it may sound, musicians sometimes become too famous for their own benefit. Here are several examples:

Publishers put pressure on them to put out more songs.

Extreme writer's block.

They travel far too frequently.

Creativity diminishes as a result of lifestyle changes.

Investing in a ghostwriter music service is a wise decision causing them to seek ways how to find a ghostwriter for music. This can be done using special online services, as well as other network tools available.

Famous ghostwriters music benefits

Working as a ghostwriter, your goal will be to create a product that satisfies the customers' requirements, which can be a difficult task at times. If the work you've previously spent hours building isn't up to their requirements, you may need to modify it or even recreate it from ground zero. Is this work even worthwhile?

However, you might be amazed to learn that ghostwriting labor can be quite fulfilling and satisfying in a variety of ways:

Ghostwriting may be lucrative. If you have the proper contacts, you can make some serious money.

This is a career that provides you with a lot of flexibility. You can accomplish your job from almost any place if you have a laptop and a stable Internet connection.

Another factor why you could pursue this career is if you enjoy writing and like music but singing or playing musical instruments is not your strong side. Although, if such is the case, you will definitely need to join forces with other composers and musicians to create your tunes. Make sure your business is organised from the day one. Professional website and appereance, invocings, contracts and templates, client management system.

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What Is Ghostwriting and What Does a Ghostwriter Do?

  • by @amy.mcgregor

Everything you need to know about ghostwriting and a few tips if you're interested in becoming a ghostwriter yourself

If ghostwriting conjures up haunting visions of phantoms armed with pen and paper, fear not! There’s nothing scary about it. Ghostwriting is simply the term used to describe any text that is written by one person, but officially published under the name of another. In other words, the real author is invisible, or a “ghost”, whose name won't appear next to the piece of writing in question.

As a profession, it is surprisingly diverse. Wherever there is a need to create high-quality written material, there may be a ghostwriter behind the scenes, whether it’s literary or journalistic works, autobiographies, speeches, or memoirs. In fact, ghostwriting also occurs in other creative fields, such as music. One example is Mozart, who was famously hired to ghostwrite music for wealthy patrons.

Ghostwriting conceals the name of the author (illustration credit: Maja Dabek for Domestika).

Why do we need ghostwriters?

There are many different reasons why you may need to hire a ghostwriter. The most obvious one is to achieve a higher standard of writing than you alone are able to produce.

Perhaps the most common example of this comes in the form of celebrity autobiographies. While a celebrity may be extremely talented in their own line of work, be it acting, dancing, or singing, they're not necessarily born writers and may find it a challenge putting their thoughts onto paper. They may turn to the aid of a professional writer to tell their story, while still keeping their own name on the book cover for marketing and publishing purposes. A skilled ghostwriter will be able to adapt their voice to whoever they are writing for, as well as know how to write what sells.

Another reason is time. Imagine, for example, that you're the busy CEO of a company or even a politician. With such a packed agenda, it’s unlikely you’ll have the time to write all your own material such as speeches, press releases, or other official correspondence, so you may hire a person or team of people to do it for you.

Even authors do it...

Believe it or not, even authors hire ghostwriters. This may be because they have a great idea, but need help developing the plot because they are still relatively inexperienced writers themselves, or due to time restrictions. Ghostwriters are often skilled and talented authors in their own right, so will be able to give valuable input and expert opinion as well as bring the discipline needed for such a large-scale project.

Some professional authors will also use ghostwriters (illustration credit: Maja Dabek for Domestika).

Are you interested in becoming a ghostwriter?

If you are a talented writer and thinking about becoming a ghostwriter, here are some useful points you may want to consider before deciding if it's the right profession for you:

Taking credit for your work While some patrons are happy to mention their collaboration with another writer, you must be prepared to accept that you will not be able to take the credit for most - if not all - of your work, no matter how many hours you have spent on it or how proud you are of the outcome.

Finding your area As writing is such a varied discipline, it is unlikely you will be skilled in every single field, so narrowing it down to the areas you have experience in is a key consideration. For example, if you're not a published author yourself, it’s unlikely that you will be commissioned to ghostwrite a novel. Instead, choose an area where you already have plenty of examples to build an impressive portfolio and reach out to network with potential clients.

Ghostwriters generally aren't credited for their work (illustration credit: Maja Dabek for Domestika).

Payment As a general rule, the more experience you have, the more money you are likely to make, especially if you have worked on some high-profile pieces. But no matter how big or small your commission, you should always do your research to find out how much you should be charging as well as make sure that there is some kind of written contract in place specifying what you are expected to deliver and how much you will be paid for it. (Remember: you are not getting any credit for this work, so there must be a financial reward.)

Self-discipline Any freelance creative is expected to meet their client’s expectations in terms of timing and quality, and ghostwriting is no different. You will be hired because you have the skill and expertise in a given area, but do you have the self-discipline and stamina to stick to an agreed timeline and meet your deadlines? Bear in mind that some projects, such as a novel, may take years to complete.

Ghostwriting can be a lucrative business, but it takes time (illustration credit: Maja Dabek for Domestika).

A business mindset To be a successful ghostwriter, you need to think and act with a business mindset . This means dedicating time to building a network of contacts who will help you get your next gig, researching the kind of prices you should be charging, managing project timelines, and marketing yourself and your skills in the right way to the right people.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a ghostwriter, it takes time and effort to perfect your craft, establish yourself in the field and gain a reputation in the world of ghostwriting, but there are lucrative projects out there and opportunities to make a successful career in the field if you are ready for the challenge.

You may also like: - 7 Online Writing Courses for Crafting Great Stories From Scratch - 7 Free Online Tutorials to Help You Reinvent Your Creative Career - 10 Essential Online Creative Writing Courses for 2021 - Memoir Writing: Write a Personal Story for a Universal Audience , a course by Courtney Maum - Creative Writing for Beginners: Bringing Your Story to Life , a course by Shaun Levin

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Musicians Who Got Filthy Rich Ghostwriting Other People's Hit Songs

When it comes to making it in the music industry, it's not about who has the most talent -- it's about who hustles harder to get noticed.

The talent comes after, just ask Drake.

Unless you started at the top as a child actor or Usher discovers you in a parking lot, you're going to have to work your ass off.

That means dedication, sacrifice and, sometimes, other people are going to take the credit. It's called ghostwriting.

Some of the biggest hit songs of the past couple decades are a result of hardworking, lesser-known acts taking a backseat to more popular artists, only making the rich richer.

These hit songs were ghost written by artists, for other artists.

Controversy swirled when Meek Mill called out Drake for using a ghostwriter named Quentin Miller for his part in "Rico."

ghostwriter music meaning

But you'll find out that ghostwriting songs for other stars isn't anything out of the ordinary in the music industry.

Nas is a hip-hop pioneer and queensbridge legend..., ...who also wrote "gettin' jiggy wit it" for will smith..

Not many rappers were hotter than Nas in 1998, but he might've handed out one of his best verses of the year to his homie, Will!

"Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" is just one of those timeless classics that'll turn up any situation or mood. It all makes sense now.

Christina Aguilera has been in the game for decades now...

...she also made the hit "miss independent" for kelly clarkson..

Christina Aguilera has really been out here for nearly three decades now, and she's been dropping bangers for a good part of it.

She even passed a quick torch to "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson, which is pretty much the only song I remember her by.

When Run DMC was at the height of their game in the 80s...

ghostwriter music meaning

...they also penned "Paul Revere" for Beastie Boys.

Run DMC is one of those signature musical groups of the 80s, and if they weren't killing it for themselves, they were probably killing it for others.

The trio often wrote plenty of material for Beastie Boys and, in 1986, they blessed them with this gem.

Before R. Kelly became an R&B sensation...

ghostwriter music meaning

...he wrote "You Are Not Alone" for Michael Jackson.

Say what you want about R. Kelly, but he's one of the greatest R&B masters of all time.

Not a lot of people know Kellz once wrote one of the King of Pop's most touching songs ever.

Drake does a bit of ghostwriting himself...

...he's even responsible for "unthinkable" by alicia keys..

This song sounded a little too emotional even for a singer like Alicia Keys, but now it all makes sense.

Drake was the man behind the lyrical direction, and we can all picture him singing it.

Ty Dolla $ign is a lot like this generation's Nate Dogg...

ghostwriter music meaning

...he wrote the song "Loyal" for Chris Brown.

Ty Dolla $ign is one of the most talented young musicians out there today and just seems to make everything hot.

He's written for a lot of rappers and singers, but he definitely put Chris Brown on with what's turning out to be the hook of his career.

We all remember Jermaine Dupri from his glory days...

...he wrote "confessions part ii” & “u got it bad” by usher....

...and "We Belong Together" for Mariah Carey.

Jermaine Dupri used to be one of the realest. Unfortunately, the time and taxes caught up to him, but he's still the man.

If your contribution to society includes "Confessions Part II," you're on forever.

Before Bruno Mars was making millions playing the Super Bowl...

...he was writing "right round" for flo rida....

...and "F*ck You" with CeeLo Green.

Bruno was making hits before anyone knew he was making hits. His production group, The Smeezingtons, is one of the most accomplished in the game.

But before CeeLo Green was saying "F*ck You"...

...he was making "don't cha" for the pussycat dolls..

CeeLo Green is one weird dude, but there's no denying he has the hits on deck. When you get this nice at music, you just trade tracks with your homies. Why not?

We haven't seen Roscoe Dash since he did the hook for "No Hands"...

...but he has more hits under his belt, like miguel's part in "lotus flowerbomb.".

Roscoe Dash is actually one of the most prolific ghostwriters in the game.

He's also worked for artists like Wale and Kanye West but can never seem to get the credit he deserves, like the time Yeezy didn't add him to his production credits .

Jessie J is a talented singer and songwriter from England...

ghostwriter music meaning

...of course, she wrote "Party In The USA" for Miley Cyrus.

It is ironic one of the most patriotic songs to come up since "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written by a foreigner. That's the most American thing I've ever heard.

Before Jay Z was one of the richest rappers in the world...

...he wrote dr. dre's verse in "still d.r.e.".

This one still doesn't make sense to me, but Hov lended some bars to his fellow Forbes List member, Dr. Dre.

Otis Redding is one of the most soulful and first R&B artists of our time...

ghostwriter music meaning

...did you know he wrote "Respect" for Aretha Franklin?

Otis Redding would later be sampled and remembered in Jay Z and Kanye West's "Otis," but his legacy stretches way further than that.

He also wrote the most go-to karaoke song of all time when he made "Respect" for Aretha.

Before Ne-Yo decided to peace the hat...

...he blessed beyoncé with "irreplaceable.".

Ne-Yo must've been pissed when he realized he made a banger he couldn't sing. When in doubt, just swing to Beyoncé.

Before The-Dream and Christina Milian split up...

...they wrote "baby" for justin bieber together..

This sh*t has over a billion views on YouTube. A BILLION.

ghostwriter music meaning

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Last updated on Feb 20, 2023

What is a Ghostwriter? An Insider’s Guide to Secret Co-Authors

A ghostwriter is a professional hired to write something credited to someone else. From celebrity memoirs and speeches to query letters and blog posts, a ghostwriter can either complete an entire project solo or work collaboratively with the text's credited author. And, much like ghosts, these writers will avoid being discovered.

In this post, we'll dust off our Ouija board to learn more about ghostwriters — what they do and how they can help you.

They work on projects credited to other people

iQmyCgrsR0A Video Thumb

Ghostwriters are not to be confused with authors who choose to publish their work anonymously, authors who use pen names , or co-writer teams where both authors are credited. As the name implies, ghostwriters work away from the spotlight to bring other people's ideas to life.

If you've been struggling to write a book, a blog post, or anything else involving words, your solution might be to hire a ghostwriter — someone who has the writing chops to turn your book ideas into reality but who prefers to work in the shadows. 

Typically, readers don't know a ghostwriter's involvement in a writing project. This may sound suspicious, but it's actually a pretty transparent business once you bust the myth:

  • Party A brings the ideas and the knowledge; and
  • Party B transforms it all on the page without taking credit for the final product. 
Curious about a ghostwriting career?💡Check out our guide to becoming a ghostwriter , complete with insights from professionals. 

There’s nothing shady about ghostwriters

It might seem strange that ghostwriters don’t take any credit for their work and you might worry that they’ll resent you, but rest assured: contracted ghostwriters are perfectly content with their jobs. Ghostwriting collaborations are as rewarding for the ghostwriter as they are for the person hiring them, and they've helped countless people fulfill publishing goals they could previously only dream of.

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in The Shining. He is wearing a green sweater and sitting at a desk working on a typewriter.

Ghostwriters complete clients' assignments and are compensated fairly for their work — just like any other freelance writer. The fact that they don't receive public credit does not mean they are financially exploited. 

In fact, they often make more money than other types of freelancers, and they get to work with all sorts of exciting clients, learning a lot of new things along the way. Many ghostwriters also publish under their own names, so ghostwriting doesn't deprive them of a credited writing career.

Want more insight into how ghostwriters feel about their career? Check out Barry Napier’s account of ghostwriting for a living .

Hiring a ghostwriter is a perfectly reasonable choice if you have insights to share with the world but not the skills to translate them into words. As long as you're bringing the ingredients to the table, there's no harm in having someone else assemble them into an appetizing experience. 

ghostwriter music meaning


Find a ghost you can trust

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They bring other people’s stories to life

Ghostwriters bring other people's stories to the page in both fiction and nonfiction. They are versatile, the chameleons of the writing world, and can effortlessly switch between styles and genres. 

Ghostwriters are perhaps best known for writing memoirs and other autobiographical texts. No one knows your life story better than you, but you may lack the know-how to tie it all together in a way that is easy to follow and that the average reader will appreciate. Enter the ghostwriter, who can synthesize all your memories and anecdotes into a moving autobiography or entertaining memoir  with a little distance from the topic!

The best-known iteration of this is the celebrity memoir, often commissioned by publishers who understand the appeal of a household name. For example, not-so-anonymous ghost J.R. Moehringer helped Phil Knight tell his story about how he founded Nike in Shoe Dog , and he's the pen behind Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare . 

Three book covers displayed side by side. On the left is Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, in the middle is Spare by Prince Harry, and on the right is Open by Andre Agassi

But a ghostwritten memoir isn't solely the reserve of celebs — anyone who's lived a full and interesting life can benefit from a nonfiction ghostwriter, especially if you've always wanted to write a memoir but have never had the time.

ghostwriter music meaning

Ghostwriters can help your business

Being seen as an expert in one's field is a significant asset, and perhaps the best way to achieve this is by publishing a relevant book. But running a successful business doesn't necessarily mean you can articulate how you've done it — that's where the ghostwriter comes in. 

This type of nonfiction is often self-published and used as a point of authority for entrepreneurs . In addition to creating content for a book, the ghostwriter may also help shape the branding and tone of the client's other marketing materials (website, social media, etc.) to ensure consistency across all platforms.

What will it cost you to hire a ghostwriter?

Or synthesize your ideas into a book proposal.

Ghostwriters are also invaluable partners for putting together a book proposal .

Proposal writing is an art form all of its own and can be tricky, especially if you're a debut author submitting for the first time. So if you're confident in your writing skills but not your proposal-penning, you can hire a ghostwriter with a history of working with publishers — someone who knows precisely what acquiring editors want to see. 

Does this sound like you? If so, learn more about how a ghostwriter can help you nail your book proposal .

Ghostwriters can contribute to book series

To keep up with demand, publishers of popular series can hire multiple ghostwriters to churn out books under a single author's name. This is especially common with well-known children's series such as Nancy Drew , Animorphs , and The Baby-Sitters Club , probably because young readers devour them so fast!

What is a ghostwriter: a pair of ghosts

Similarly, publishers also hire ghostwriters to continue an established author's legacy. For example, have you ever wondered how Robert Ludlum, author of the Jason Bourne series, has managed to write 32 books since his death in 2001? 🤔 Publishers frequently do this when a deceased author leaves behind piles of unpublished drafts and ideas.

You might not be at that level of publishing success yet, but if you just want to keep up a high rate of writing output while publishing a series, you too can consider bringing in reinforcements in the form of a ghostwriter. Any ghostwriter worth their salt will know how to meet you where you are in style and voice, ensuring that your work stays consistent over time.

If you want to find out more, check out our list of popular novels you never knew were ghostwritten !

BONUS TIP: if you're a blogger looking to turn your blog into a book , a ghostwriter will ensure you don't lose that voice your readers fell in love with. They will adapt to your brand like a chameleon.

They can write short-form content for you, too

Besides turning your blog into a long-form book, ghostwriters can also help you pen the content for your blog or any other short-form content that you may be too busy to write yourself or want to make sure to get just right.

Blog writers

One growing source of work for ghostwriters is the blogosphere. Have you ever browsed a public figure's blog and wondered if they wrote all the content themselves? If they're prominent, there's a good chance they didn't. Instead, they'll have a few dedicated ghostwriters who write content on their behalf. These ghostwriters will research, plan, and churn out numerous posts on subjects that appeal to that figure's audience, a model used by many businesses to run corporate blogs.

This is probably the most common type of short-form ghostwriting because people don't always label it as such! Many bloggers and business owners outsource their posts to freelance writers but may think of it more as uncredited guest blogging than bona fide ghostwriting.


Another arena where ghostwriters excel is in speech writing. Ghostwriters are a godsend for anyone lacking the time or skill to craft a memorable speech. Nowadays, it's a given that something like a presidential speech will be mostly another person's work. But you don't have to be the POTUS to turn to a ghost for your next public speaking opportunity: some people even hire them to ghostwrite their wedding speeches !

If you're sold on what ghostwriters can do for you, check out the next part of this guide, which will show you how to find a ghost that suits you and your story.

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Cambridge Dictionary

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Meaning of ghostwriter in English

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  • A growing number of professional ghostwriters are widely available .
  • The authors could not reveal their identities as ghostwriters.
  • It's not unusual for a prominent political figure to employ a ghostwriter for a memoir .
  • autobiographer
  • correspondent
  • scriptwriter
  • Shakespeare
  • speechwriter
  • stenographer

Examples of ghostwriter

Translations of ghostwriter.

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Word of the Day

be spoiling for a fight

to be very eager to fight or argue

Vast, mahoosive and monstrous (Words meaning ‘very large’)

Vast, mahoosive and monstrous (Words meaning ‘very large’)

ghostwriter music meaning

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ghostwriter music meaning

Ghostwriter: Spooky, Scary Writing Industry 😱!

Have you ever wondered how some writers manage to produce so many books? It seems like Tom Clancy never eats or sleeps. Or is there something else afoot? Something suspicious or spooky? Something like a ghostwriter. Ghostwriters write content for other people. There are ghostwriting companies that offer their services to the world, from music to emails, saving everyone time and even money. If you’ve been wondering how all this works, you’re in the right place. Come in and read on!


Ghostwriting – Definition and Meaning

If there’s somethin’ strange in your written world …

Don’t call ghostbusters. It’s not really ghosts producing all this written content, although sometimes, when I look at my thesis and it looks back at me with a disapproving look, I do wish a ghost would appear (or not appear) and take over. So far, no such luck. Maybe because ghosts expect a good payment, and I am working for free.

The point is right there, although not as supernatural, only slightly surreal. Ghostwriters are people hired to produce written content for somebody else. They do not get the credit for their work – that goes to the person hiring them – but they do get to charge extra. The important thing to remember is that ghostwriters do not create the whole thing and someone else hogs the credit. No, the original author/creator/hirer has the idea, explains it to the ghostwriter, and then the latter writes it down. Typing can be tiring, I guess.

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Who Needs Ghostwriting Services?

We have assembled inside

This ancient and insane theater

To propagate our lust for life.

It may seem a bit fraudulent, but hiring a ghostwriter is a perfectly legitimate way of getting content churned out at a fast rate. There are people who are simply too busy to sit and write tons of pages and letters, which is why they delegate this to others. For instance, CEOs of massive corporations often send ghostwritten emails, especially around holidays or, as we’ve seen, pandemics.

Similarly, a lot of celebrity/politician (auto)biographies are not written by themselves but by a ghostwriter. Thus is it really an autobiography if you haven’t written it yourself? Yes, if you pay a great sum for someone to give up the credit.

You’d be surprised how many famous authors don’t write their own books. Ian Fleming’s James Bond series, for instance, was almost completely ghostwritten, as are many novels from James Patterson, Robert Ludlum, and numerous other authors who seem to be producing at least three novels per year. I mean, there are some mind-blowing authors out there, but no one is that good.

Most business owners, big corporations, and large marketing campaigners use ghostwriters at some point or other. As I said, life gets busy, and there are many people offering their skills and talents, so why not capitalize on that?

What Are Reasons to Hire a Ghostwriter?

Apart from an extremely busy schedule, people have several reasons to hire a ghostwriter. Take authors, for instance. People underestimate how long it takes to write a good novel. Think about the first draft only, then countless hours of editing, and even more going back and forth over details with your beta readers. Instead, ghostwriter – BOOM – novel written, and you only have to clean it up.

Some other reasons why people need ghostwriters:

  • Ghostwriters know SEO (search engine optimization). They know how to produce content that will generate engagement using keywords, catchy titles, or internal linking.
  • They are extremely skilled. Ghostwriters are highly versatile in their writing; they can produce novels, sure, but also case studies, blogs, biographies, letters, or any other kind of document.
  • They are affordable. Ghostwriters charge a good fee; I’m not gonna lie. But considering the benefits of saved time and the return one gets (especially with novels), they are cost-efficient.
  • Ghostwriters work quickly. In fact, they are far quicker than most actual authors due to the amount of practice they get by offering their ghostwriting services. I wonder if anyone has informed George R. R. Martin or Patrick Rothfuss about the existence of ghostwriters …
  • They know how to make personal brands. Ghostwriters are good at promoting a particular brand, bringing out its most striking qualities and framing it in a way that makes content attractive, which is not always the case with the creators of those brands. Not everyone is born with a silver tongue.

Highly professional and easy to work with, ghostwriters make people’s lives easier. While some may question the ethics of it, there are good reasons to hire a ghostwriter, and the process is completely legal and acknowledged as a decent profession.


Ghostwriting Companies

Since we’ve cleared up the legality and ethics problems, here are some of the best ghostwriting companies around the world. These guys have a long-standing tradition and great reviews, testifying to their professionalism.

  • Vox Ghostwriting . US-based, this well-established company offers a variety of ghostwriting services from nonfiction to fiction, as well as book editing and formatting. There are people, like yours truly, who despise editing and formatting their work, which is when companies like this come in handy.
  • GhostBookWriters . This company specializes in book writing. If you have a great idea for a novel but can’t seem to bring yourself to execute it, you can contact them for an offer, no strings attached.
  • BookWriting.Inc . Similar to GhostBookWriters, this company focuses on all sorts of longer texts. In addition to fiction, they also have writers who produce business books and memoirs. An extra benefit of working with them is that they help with the publishing process, which is a nightmare on a different level. On the whole, good value for money.
  • Ghostwriting Services . In addition to the wide array of services offered, these guys have a good sense of brand-creation as their own logo is a ghost 😊. They’ve been internationally acknowledged and awarded as the top ghostwriting service. Of particular interest are their grant-writing offers. However, I would like to warn you of such offers: Grant applications should always be personalized, and no ghostwriter can know you better than you know yourself. (Before you spend your money, you can learn all about scholarship applications from us 😉.)
  • Delta Ghostwriting . What I particularly like about this company is their transparency with who writes for them. You have an overview of their writers’ work experience and the type of texts they specialize in. This ensures that you have agency in who you want to work with and get to choose an expert that suits your needs.

Before you go off to hire a ghostwriter, I would like to inform you that ghostwriters usually don’t and shouldn’t write any sort of university tasks or assignments for you. This is illegal and can result in your expulsion. If you’re struggling with writing scientific papers or unsure how to conduct research , you can check Vaia’s guides on these topics.

Need explanations on all things English lit?

Poetry, essayists, the classics, literary devices, and important movements in literature, we have free teacher-verified explanations to help you make maximum progress with your English literature studies.

Name a Famous Comedy Ghostwriter! You Can’t Because They Get No Credit for It!

Hang on; I have another one:

What’s a ghostwriter’s favorite play? Romeo and Ghouliet.

OK, I’ll show myself out.

Jokes and ghosts aside, many famous comedians use ghostwriters to create their scripts. Despite what they want people to think, there’s no such thing as impromptu genius humor – at least not for extended periods of time. One may be clever and talented enough to rip a great one-liner occasionally, but for the most part, stand-up shows, various talk series, and similar comedy-based content is often produced by ghostwriters.

Is There Such a Thing as a Music Ghostwriter?

You already know that most famous singers don’t write their own songs. Sia made quite a career by writing songs for other artists before she decided that she had one hell of a voice and started singing herself. Bruno Mars wrote “Right Round” for Flo Rida and “F*ck You” for CeeLo Green and THEN went on to catch grenades all over town.

Of course there are music ghostwriters! Writing a song may be different from writing a book, but it’s still fundamentally writing. From lyrics to notations, there are specialized companies and services that help people create music. It is a bit more difficult to keep everything under wraps in the music business, and sometimes we find out who has written certain songs, but nevertheless, it’s a profitable way to work behind the scenes in the music industry.

Become a Freelance Ghostwriter with These Easy Tips

In case your attention was grabbed by that little hint about making good money, you may be wondering how one actually becomes a ghostwriter. I wasn’t lying when I said that ghostwriters earn a great deal, but before you start dreaming of untold riches, you have to make yourself known in the world. The income comes from royalties and the extra cash one gets by giving up the credit for their own work, but if the spotlight is not of interest to you, the trade-off is worth it.

Here’s how you can become a ghostwriter:

  • Practice. Firstly, you need to be good at what you’re doing. And to get there, like with everything else in life, you have to practice. Write as much as you can, try out different styles, and experiment with genres.
  • Read. I cannot stress this enough. Writing is not some divine talent. You should have a talent for it, but you won’t get far unless you work on honing it. Reading is the best way to improve your writing skills, alongside regular writing practice. Read every book that comes your way, explore different genres, and read good reviews of books that’ll point you towards their key aspects. Check out our LGBTQ+ reading list for a great insight into queer literature.
  • Learn about literature. Take a literature course and go deep into the structure of famous books. Check out our literature explanations and do some snooping around the internet for good recommendations (I suggest joining Goodreads). You cannot write well unless you understand how literature works.
  • Build a website. Or hire someone to do it for you. You need a good, SEO-optimized website where you’ll promote your services.
  • Create a portfolio. Show off your writing samples. You don’t need to put up whole stories or essays, but you won’t attract customers unless you show them what you can do. Protect your writing by giving your website anti-copy-paste features.
  • Be present on social media. Like any freelance work, you must promote your skills and services. Get ready to spam your friends across various platforms in order to gain attention and get customers.
  • Join freelance platforms. Places like Upwork , Contena , and FreelanceWritingGigs are a good place to start. You can offer your services to people looking to hire ghostwriters.
  • Deliver on your promises. Do your work well, be cooperative, and build a base of regulars before you take off to the world. Stay consistent with the quality of work you’re producing.
  • Stay consistent and keep an eye out. While you’re working, always check whether a good opportunity may appear. You’ll get your lucky break eventually!


Being a Ghostbuster Doesn’t Pay Off – Ghostwriter Does!

To recap, ghostwriters are people producing content for another person. People hire ghostwriters to write books, emails, letters, or business proposals for them as it is time efficient, affordable, and guarantees quality content. Ghostwriters can produce any type of content, from celebrity biographies to music lyrics or compositions.

To become a good ghostwriter, you should:

  • Always strive to improve your skills (through reading and writing).
  • Make your own brand.
  • Promote your services.
  • Seek opportunities.
  • Deliver on your promises.

If you have a writing talent and a desire to write, you should give ghostwriting a chance – it’s a good freelance opportunity that will teach you a lot about writing and publishing. While ghostwriters cannot write your papers for you, you can write books for other people. Cheers! 😉

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Ghostwriter Returns With an A.I. Travis Scott Song, and Industry Allies

The anonymous artist, who stirred conversation with the A.I. track “Heart on My Sleeve,” has been quietly consulting with executives, while also gunning for a Grammy.

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Two photos of rappers: on the left, Travis Scott, wearing sunglasses and braids; and on the right, 21 Savage, in a black hoodie and tight dreadlocks.

By Joe Coscarelli

Earlier this year, when the anonymous musical creator known as Ghostwriter released an unauthorized track that used artificial intelligence voice effects to mimic the pop superstars Drake and the Weeknd, the fallout was immediate and far-reaching.

The mostly original song, “Heart on My Sleeve,” was promptly removed from official streaming services, even as experts acknowledged that its use of A.I. fell into a rapidly expanding legal gray area . But while the major record labels sought to protect their intellectual property and scrambled to prepare for disruptions to come, the track also proliferated on social media, earning millions of listens and helping to inspire a wave of similarly novel compositions .

Throughout the aftermath, Ghostwriter stayed silent — at least in public.

Behind the scenes, however, the shadowy act and its team were making overtures to the very industry figures “Heart on My Sleeve” had unnerved. In the months since, those behind the project have met with record labels, tech leaders, music platforms and artists about how to best harness the powers of A.I., including at a virtual round-table discussion this summer organized by the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammy Awards.

“I knew right away as soon as I heard that record that it was going to be something that we had to grapple with from an Academy standpoint, but also from a music community and industry standpoint,” Harvey Mason Jr., a producer who is the chief executive of the Recording Academy, said in an interview. “When you start seeing A.I. involved in something so creative and so cool, relevant and of-the-moment, it immediately starts you thinking, ‘OK, where is this going? How is this going to affect creativity? What’s the business implication for monetization?’”

Mason said he had contacted Ghostwriter directly on social media after being impressed with “Heart on My Sleeve.” He added that Ghostwriter attended the meeting in character, including using a distorted voice.

On Tuesday, Ghostwriter returned with a new track, titled “Whiplash,” this time using A.I. vocal filters to sound like the rappers Travis Scott and 21 Savage and deliver a message to the industry: “Me and Writer raise a toast,” the A.I. version of 21 Savage raps. “Trying to shadowban my boy/but you can’t kill a ghost.”

The song — which was posted to social media platforms like TikTok and X, formerly known as Twitter, instead of Spotify and other proper streaming services — came accompanied by a statement that called on both Scott and 21 Savage to collaborate on an official release. “The future of music is here. Artists now have the ability to let their voice work for them without lifting a finger,” Ghostwriter wrote. “If you’re down to put it out, I will clearly label it as A.I., and I’ll direct royalties to you. Respect either way.”

Representatives for Scott and 21 Savage did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A representative for Ghostwriter, who requested anonymity to not expose those behind the project — acknowledging that much of its marketing power comes from its mystery — confirmed that “Whiplash,” like “Heart on My Sleeve,” was an original composition written and recorded by humans. Ghostwriter attempted to match the content, delivery, tone and phrasing of the established stars before using A.I. components.

They added that the Ghostwriter team had recently submitted “Heart on My Sleeve” for Grammy Awards in two categories at next year’s ceremony: best rap song and song of the year, both of which are awarded to a track’s writers.

“As far as the creative side, it’s absolutely eligible because it was written by a human,” said Mason of the Recording Academy.

He added that the Academy would also look at whether the song was commercially available, with Grammy rules stating that a track must have “general distribution,” meaning “the broad release of a recording, available nationwide via brick-and-mortar stores, third-party online retailers and/or streaming services.”

Ghostwriter’s representative said they were aware of the commercial availability requirement.

The Ghostwriter team noted in a statement that it hoped to raise awareness about the creative and business possibilities of A.I. voice filters, comparing the technology to the early days of hip-hop sampling or user-generated content on YouTube. It offered examples like the ability to do karaoke in the voice of one’s favorite artist; at-home creators making original music à la fan fiction; or artists’ estates using the filters for posthumous original releases.

With guidance from Mason, the Recording Academy and its partners in the industry, the team said it hoped to work with stakeholders to build a platform that ensures artists who choose to license their voice can control how it is used and make sure they get paid when it is.

“Ghostwriter really has played an important role here to bring awareness and attention,” Mason said. “We know A.I. is going to play a role in our business. We can’t pretend to turn our back on it and try to ban it.”

He added, “I’m not scared of A.I., but I do believe work needs to be done to make sure that things are in place so that the creative community is protected.”

Joe Coscarelli is a culture reporter with a focus on popular music, and the author of “Rap Capital: An Atlanta Story.” More about Joe Coscarelli

Explore the World of Hip-Hop

Over five decades, hip-hop has grown from a new art form to a culture-defining superpower . In their own words, 50 influential voices chronicle its evolution .

Many of today’s rappers don’t write down their lyrics. Instead, they turn to an improvisational studio technique known as “punching in.” Is it good for the music ?

In just 50 years, rap has transformed the way the world speaks. Here are five words that tell the story  of the genre’s linguistic power.

We asked Mahogany L. Browne, Lincoln Center’s first poet-in-residence, to write a love letter to hip-hop , composed entirely of lyrics both beloved and obscure.

Hip-hop mixtape websites offering up free — and not always legal — music flourished in the gap between the fall of the CD era and the rise of streaming. Keeping those archives intact is proving difficult .

Battle rap is an art form and a sport, as well as an industry that has been slowly growing over the last decade. While there are proving grounds all over the country, New York City is its epicenter .


About ghostwriter music.

ghostwriter music meaning

Ghostwriter is an independent music library with locations in Los Angeles, CA and Nashville, TN.

With a staff of in-house custom composers as well as a network of trusted out of house composers, we create original music under the Ghostwriter Music label for all forms of advertising. Our music has been placed in some of the most anticipated film campaigns, advertisements, promos, video games, TV shows .

Along with serving our client’s custom music needs, we focus on producing premier industry releases.

Our Solutions

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Music Catalog

Ghostwriter has a catalog of close to 3K unique tracks across all different genres of music that are perfect for your project. 

Working with some of the best independent artists and composers around the world, Ghostwriter has cultivated an impressive and talented roster to create unique tracks with the guidance of the GW production team. 

ghostwriter music meaning

Custom Music & Sound Design

One of the staples of Ghostwriter’s unique music agency offerings is its years of success in creating custom music for media. 

The biggest trailers, advertisements, or PSA we’ve made it. With an army of talented composers being shepherded by a talented staff we can create the perfect track to bring your project to life. No genre is too difficult and hell we’ve even covered an album full of Kiss tracks. 

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Music Supervision

Let Ghostwriter bring your project to life. With our staff of music supervisors and custom music producers, we can assure your project will stand out from the rest.

 From hand selecting songs from our catalog to customizing a track, the music will bring your project to the forefront. 

Recent Work

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Spirited — Official Teaser | Apple TV+

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Sneak Peek | Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law | Disney+

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Till (2022) – U.S. TV Spot (‘history’)

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Andor | Official Trailer | Disney+

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What is Gotham Knights?

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Meet Cute | Trailer

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The Greatest Beer Run Ever — Official Trailer | Apple TV+

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Robbing Mussolini | Official Trailer | Netflix

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Barbarians: Season 2 | Official Trailer | Netflix

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Blue’s Big City Adventure | OFFICIAL TRAILER | Paramount+

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WENDELL & WILD | Official Teaser | Netflix

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Violent Night – Official Trailer

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Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler Season 3 | Official Trailer | HBO Max

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WENDELL & WILD | Official Trailer | Netflix

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ANDOR | A Disney+ Day Special Look

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American Songwriter

American Songwriter

The Meaning Behind “This is America” by Childish Gambino

Donald Glover came up in the television industry, first as a writer for 30 Rock and later as a member of the cast of Community. He’s gone on to direct the acclaimed show Atlanta and act in movies like Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse. But he’s also known for his rap music under the moniker Childish Gambino. His work as a hip-hop artist is often outwardly lighthearted but usually harbors a more serious meaning.

Glover debuted the project in 2011, with the release of the mixtape Camp. While it was met with mixed critical reception, Glover was quickly able to amass millions of fans. In the years since, he’s released five albums, which have also explored melodic styles like funk and R&B.

One of the most notable Childish Gambino songs is “This is America.” The single was released in 2018 and quickly made waves because of its honest, yet provocative video. The song’s lyrics are in line with its memorable visuals.

The Meaning Behind “This Is America”

“This Is America” opens with an uplifting chorus of voices. As an easygoing acoustic guitar riff enters, Glover sings lyrics about just wanting to party, dance, and spend money. At the end of the hook, a gunshot sound effect plays and the beat kicks in.

Suddenly, the song takes a sinister turn. This is America / Don’t catch you slippin’ now, Glover repeatedly raps, as a bass-heavy beat churns beneath him. The lyrics that follow grapple with the atrocities of gun violence and the historical injustices of being a Black person in America.

Over the course of the song, Glover spits bars like: Police be trippin’ now (woo) / Yeah, this is America (woo, ayy) / Guns in my area (word, my area) / I got the strap (ayy, ayy); and I got the plug on Oaxaca (woah) / They gonna find you like blocka (blaow)

The song is underlined by a sense of cheerful cynicism. Glover raps in a chipper voice, even when the subject matter is as grim as racial violence. The video mimics this energy, featuring Glover dancing shirtless in gray sweatpants while Black people get casually shot in the background. The theme of angry resignation is especially strong in the song’s final verse:

You just a black man in this world

You just a barcode, ayy

Drivin’ expensive foreigns, ayy

You just a big dawg, yeah

I kenneled him in the backyard

No, probably ain’t life to a dog

For a big dog

The song has stayed relevant in the five years since its release, as hate crimes and bigotry continue to plague the United States. Glover frequently explores similar themes in episodes of Atlanta.

Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage

The post The Meaning Behind “This is America” by Childish Gambino appeared first on American Songwriter .

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The Meaning Behind “This is America” by Childish Gambino


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    Nazir Baloch - 0 Advertisement Do you have a passion for music? Do you dream of one day becoming a successful musician? If so, you may want to consider becoming a music ghostwriter. Ghostwriting is a great way to make money in the music industry. It can be a lot of fun too!

  8. What is a Ghostwriter & What Does a Ghostwriter Do?

    The film and television industry often hires ghostwriters to write music and lyrics. The music ghostwriter receives payment for their contribution, but the "composers" listed on television cue sheets receive royalties every time an episode broadcasts. Ghostwriters also get involved in the popular music industry, often to help inexperienced ...

  9. How to become a ghostwriter for music and start your new career

    The definition of what is a ghostwriter in music If you look at the creators of many well-known songs, you might be astonished to discover completely strange people. These individuals are known as ghostwriters, and they work behind the curtain to create songs for performers.

  10. What Is Ghostwriting and What Does a Ghostwriter Do?

    In fact, ghostwriting also occurs in other creative fields, such as music. One example is Mozart, who was famously hired to ghostwrite music for wealthy patrons. Ghostwriting conceals the name of the author (illustration credit: Maja Dabek for Domestika).

  11. How To Become A Ghostwriter For Music Artists

    A ghostwriter is someone who writes lyrics or music for another artist. This can be a great way to get your music out there and to help other artists create new music. Here are a few tips on how to become a ghostwriter for music artists: 1. Do your research.

  12. The Meaning Behind The Song: Ghostwriter by Rick Ross

    Ghostwriting in the music industry refers to the practice where a songwriter or producer creates lyrics or music for another artist, who then performs the material under their own name. Ghostwriters help artists who may struggle with writing or lack the time to write. It is a common practice that has been around for decades. 2.

  13. Musicians Who Got Filthy Rich Ghostwriting Other People's Hit Songs

    Roscoe Dash is actually one of the most prolific ghostwriters in the game. He's also worked for artists like Wale and Kanye West but can never seem to get the credit he deserves, like the time ...

  14. What is a Ghostwriter? An Insider's Guide to Secret Co-Authors

    Ghostwriters bring other people's stories to the page in both fiction and nonfiction. They are versatile, the chameleons of the writing world, and can effortlessly switch between styles and genres. Ghostwriters are perhaps best known for writing memoirs and other autobiographical texts.

  15. Everything You Need to Know About Ghostwriting

    A ghostwriter is someone who writes something for someone else and allows them to claim authorship of it in exchange for payment. Often, the ghostwriter agrees to keep their work confidential and does not receive credit for writing the work.

  16. How to Become a Ghostwriter: 5 Steps for Finding ...

    A career in ghostwriting—or writing text on behalf of others—has several benefits, including writing for a wide audience and covering interesting topics. Learn how to become a ghostwriter with these six steps. Learn From the Best Community & Government Wellness Food Design & Style Arts & Entertainment Music Business Sports & Gaming Writing


    ghostwriter definition: 1. someone who writes a book or article, etc. for another person to publish under his or her own…. Learn more.


    ghostwriter meaning: 1. someone who writes a book or article, etc. for another person to publish under his or her own…. Learn more.

  19. A Beginner's Guide to Ghostwriting: All the Facts (w/o the Fluff)

    Benefit #1: Being a Good Ghostwriter Pays Exceptionally Well. One huge reason to get into the ghostwriting business is money. Ghostwriting tends to pay better than regular freelancing. After all, having your name attached to your words is valuable for you as a writer.

  20. What Is a Ghostwriter?

    A ghostwriter is hired to write works that officially credit another person as the author. Typically ghostwriters sign a contract with the credited author that requires them to keep their work confidential, often through a nondisclosure agreement. Usually, a ghostwriter won't be credited at all.

  21. Ghostwriter: Definition, Services and Reasons

    Instead, ghostwriter - BOOM - novel written, and you only have to clean it up. Some other reasons why people need ghostwriters: Ghostwriters know SEO (search engine optimization). They know how to produce content that will generate engagement using keywords, catchy titles, or internal linking. They are extremely skilled.

  22. Ghostwriter Returns With an A.I. Travis Scott Song

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  23. Home

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