Do producers ever get the recognition they truly deserve?

Just though about posting this question the other day as the majority of people I know on the site are producers themselves. I’m not sure if I’ve missed this topic elsewhere on the forums but I thought it might be an interesting one to post as it’s a question every seems to take to differently depending on their own experiences.

I’d be curious to know how people would answer this question if it was ever put to them. (I’d be interested to see the guys at SA answer this one as well).

As above, do producers ever get the recognition they truly deserve?

In case anybody wants to ask where I stand on the subject, my own opinion on the subject is 50/50 as I look at both sides of the argument. I’ll quote a few articles which I have come across in the past which balance things out a bit.

You could argue… the ‘superstar DJ’ culture quickly diverted the vast and deserved attention away from the people out there who actually make the music and deserve the praise, and shifted it almost entirely towards DJs who in some cases, produce very little in comparison, are seen as ‘overpaid’ to play other artist’s records, and then take all the credit for the hard work actually gone into making them. Despite new producers having ten times the production output then most DJs, you could easily understand the frustration some of them show when they fail to get the recognition they deserve.


The other side of the argument is that these DJ’s are as they are, almost household names who command large fees and more per gig, travel the globe to play, and can influence on clubland music trends through the various media resources. In effect, upcoming and struggling artists need these people to play, play list and promote their material to the market in order to gain exposure, sales and eventually get them the credibility and status they deserve.

I don’t agree with some comments made there.

DJ’s only charge a certain amount because they pull the punters. If a DJ has ram packed out the club and the club’s making £10-£20 per head, why should the club get all the money? After all the punters have paid good money to see the DJ, so why should the DJ only charge say £150?

ie: £15 x 2000 punters = £30,000

If it wasn’t for the DJ normally, that club may not have packed out or have been able to charge that much on the door, so it’s only fair that the DJ makes a large cut off that.

Also on another note, it’s pretty hard pressed to ever make it as a well known DJ these days unless you produce music, yes there are a small handful who have, ie: eddie halliwell, james zabelia, etc. But it’s rare.

Then at the same time you don’t want to see a DJ playing all his own tracks, it’s good when a DJ will play not only his own productions but a whole host of other producers tracks too.

Todays era of the DJ isn’t just DJing on it’s own, you need to produce good tracks too.

Whilst at the same time, you could argue ‘just because you can build a car, doesn’t mean you can race it’. Meaning, just because your a good producer, doesn’t make you a good DJ. DJing is a skill, good DJing is an artform.Playing one tune after another on the dancefloor simply isn’t enough, there are other factors to consider:

READING the dancefloor (VITAL!!! I can’t stress this enough), working the crowd as well as entertaining. Not to mention some form of creativity during your sets.

To answer your question though, yeah i do think produers get the recognition they deserve. Do you think any of the swedish house mafia (axwell, sebastian ingrosso, eric prydz) would be as big DJs as they are now if it wasn’t for their productions?

Hi Roben

Thank you for the input on the subject. :slight_smile:

My own opinion on the superstar DJ side of things was that it presented both positives and negatives for the club-scene on a whole. On one side it bought underground/club music more recognition and put clubland where it is today.

The downside to me was that with the superstar DJ culture that it also introduced too many people to the scene who were simply in it for fame and money and showed very little interest in the club-scene or music itself.

Because of that, a lot of genuine dedicated people who were - and many still are, struggling to find a break in the industry were being viewed in the same light, which is something I’ve always hated because I really feel for people who find themselves in this position, and on some occasions give up perusing a career in music completely as a result.

I’m sure as a DJ yourself you’ve met your fair share of negative people along the way as well.

Based on my own opinion on it, and as I agree with the last part of your reply, I might have worded the original question better - not do producers, but maybe do enough producers receive the recognition they deserve?

Credit dude, I can see you still DJ and your dedicated to it.

Although I no longer do it myself, I do recognize DJing is an art form as you say and is not simply about mixing two records together.

It’s good to hear your opinion.

Thanks again :cool:

No worries mate, i love debates like this! I’m so opinionated, i just love expressing my thoughts haha :smiley:

Yeah you know what, the only ‘negative’ sht i’ve ever really had was when I was single, i’d struggle finding a decent girl because girls always thought as i was a DJ that MUST mean i was a player… wtf??

Anyways it kinda helped with my current girlfriend as she’s always found DJs attractive, so i guess it swings both ways.

The music industry, like all other areas of the media industry including entertainment and fashion are all full of bullsh
t and bullsht people, it’s just the way it is, and always will be.

Fake people spouting bullsh
t all the time, cliqués, fashion following, bitching, two faced people, etc, i’ve got pretty used to it now.

I still think that a lot of producers do get the recognition they deserve though, producers who’ve never DJed before in their life are always getting offerered gigs through their producions.

In fact thats exactly what happened with Ferry Corsten in the 90s :slight_smile:

Likewise, what makes the topic interesting to me anyway is the fact that100% of people will never agree on the answer, so there’s always different opinions put on the table. It’s what makes good debate and in honesty these same questions will be debated years from now because of it.

The response you get from somebody on topics like this depends not just on the person your asking, but their own experience, background and their position within their scene/career, past and present- and everybody is different when it comes to this.

Some will say yes, we need big name DJs to pull in crowds and sell out events by displaying pure skill and creativity behind the decks. Others will say no we don’t need them, the people who produce music should come first and DJing is simply mixing two records together and nothing more.

It’s the same as when you look at topics like “are real DJs the ones who only use vinyl” or a favourite of mine; “if it ain’t got hoovers it ain’t hard house.” One person will say ‘yes,’ guaranteed somebody else will jump in and say ‘well actually…’

OK, your the only person to post on this topic but maybe the next person who posts in will have a completely different take on what we both are saying, which is what makes debates like this interesting…

Regard to music industry, yes that’s the negative effect of DJ culture, which unfortuantly a lot of people adapt and is another thing that will never go away. I think if your a DJ, like you said you have to accept this as being part of the industry, no matter how much you hate it.

My gripe is watching talented people who deserve a chance themselves give up everything because of experiencing too much of the above.

maybe back in the early nineties the djs were the superstars and the producers where left in there shadows but thats all changed now the vast majority of dj’s these days are producers in fact a lot would not be doing dj’ing was it not for there production and got there early bookings of the back of there records

i’ve read many a interview with “mr big name dj” and when asked there advice to aspiring dj’s on how to make it they all say the same thing…get a record released

i think its a really interesting time for dance music theres so much competion for dj’s producers alike everyone has to up there game and push the boundries to get noticed and in my opinion that can only be a good thing :smiley:

in answer to your question though yes i do think producers get the recognition they deserve:cool:

The producer/songwriters role is traditionally in the background. They need other people to be the face of their music otherwise they'd do it themselves.

It's only that the music industry is in such a bad state that producers have been forced out of studios to make their money live.

Generally I think the best music comes from people sticking to what they're good at. Writers writing and performers performing.

That’s an interesting point and one that reminds me of the commercial market. Most of these pop artists dont write OR produce any of their tracks, all they do is turn up to studio and sing the words that have been given to them. It people behind the scenes that are doing all the hard work but the singer/s who are getting all the recognition and credit.

For an example, does anyone believe for a second that any of ‘Girls Aloud’ wrote and produced their music? And who could tell me who writes and produces their tracks? How many people do you think could answer that question if i was to ask random people in the street? Girls Aloud are all millionaires now due to basically… performing other peoples songs, as well as merchandising and media coverage.

Again, look at all the singers from Xfactor etc, making £££££ from performing stuff that they didn’t write or produce.

So should a DJ who doesn’t write / produce but also play other peoples songs get any less credit?

I mean some could possibly argue that playing a record is different to actually singing it, however, pretty much everyone can open their mouth and sing albeit be it any good or not. Not anyone can pick up DJing from the get go.

It's reaalllly rare that you find great performers who are also great writers. Each is a lifelong discipline. People like Mariah Carey come to mind, she's written something like 14 number ones and has a 5 octave range.. nuts!

Xenomania wrote and produced most of Girls Aloud's hits, same with the Sugababes if I remember correct. Like a modern day Motown almost.

I guess with writers and producers it's only the industry that knows who they are but that's all that matters really. It's the writers who make the bulk of the money from pop artists...

Big hits rake in millions in publishing money.. all of that goes to the writers. Performing royalties are much, much lower. Most writers probably don't care that no one knows who they are when they're making most of the money lol.

In terms of DJing vs Singing I think it's easier to blag it as a DJ if you absolutely have to. Most people could probably pick up enough to fake it in a few weeks. As a singer you can't really blag it, since you're carrying the melody, either you can do it right with good tone or you can't!

I think theres difference between producers performing as artists and the traditional role of a DJ. As an artist people are there to hear tunes by that artist and that artist alone, it doesn't matter if they can mix or not.

Since electronic music is so beat focussed the producer is automatically the artist whether they like it or not. Who else is going to be credited? Ableton? lol

Good thread!

Cheers for the input guys. :slight_smile:

I think another factor that sometimes gets overlooked on the DJ’s side of things as well is that they may not be able to find time to get into the studio.

In the case of a lot of big name jocks, once their DJ career has kicked off in full swing it’s hard to have a massive production output and maintain a strong constant presence on the club circuit at the same time, especially on a global scale.

As much as they want to they can’t due to constraints, such as constant bookings, traveling, hectic schedules, (or having to spend time with family).

[quote]costa093 (11/3/2009)[hr]Cheers for the input guys. :slight_smile:

I think another factor that sometimes gets overlooked on the DJ’s side of things as well is that they may not be able to find time to get into the studio.

In the case of a lot of big name jocks, once their DJ career has kicked off in full swing it’s hard to have a massive production output and maintain a strong constant presence on the club circuit at the same time, especially on a global scale.

As much as they want to they can’t due to constraints, such as constant bookings, traveling, hectic schedules, (or having to spend time with family).[/quote]

This is true and is why many big producers either hire their their own technician, and / or bring their laptop along with them.