Ghost producing is a very controversial phenomenon in the dance music world. Sometimes the name on the track doesn’t match who actually made it. Dutch duo GLOWINTHEDARK got their start as ghost producers and continue to do it even while they tour and have hits of their own. They spoke openly about their experience – a true rarity in the EDM world today.
RS: You are doing something kind of unique today, you are a doing a writing camp, have you done this before?
Albert Harvey: Yeah we have done it a couple times; a writing camp is always an inspiration for us because you meet new people and you have to create a song in a certain amount of time. It’s always cool.
RS: Do you normally work with tracks and vocals back and forth?
Kevin Ramos: It depends on the work flow, we are on the road a lot of the year so most of the time it is sending it to topliners or vocalists back and forth otherwise we do something like what we did today.
RS: How did the track “Mug” with Danny Howard and T3nbears come about?
Albert Harvey: The night before we played at Pasha in Ibiza we decided we had to make a track. We went into the studio at 7am with T3nbears and we wrote the track “Mug” for that night. I don’t know why we called it “Mug,” maybe because we were drinking out of a mug. We finished it in the airplane and Danny Howard was in Ibiza and said that he loved the lyrics and wanted to do something on the track. He went back and forth on it at the hotel and that’s how it came about.
RS: You have a bunch of new tracks coming out, I know about Tommie Sunshine but what else is coming up?
Albert Harvey: We have a bunch of new solo tracks as well but we are on a new track with David Guetta right now and it’s going to be awesome.
RS: Is that going to be on his album or is that a track?
Kevin Ramos: No it’s not out yet, it’s really exclusive.
RS: Let’s get a little controversial here, there have been lots of talk about ghost producers and you guys are known for working behind the scenes a little bit. Have you ever ghosted before?
Kevin Ramos: Yes we have
Albert Harvey: Yeah we started with that and I think that it is a really positive thing. You learn a lot and can test and experiment with the music. If you have a lot of DJs playing it or it’s on the radio you can test it out and see what is working and what is not and you also develop as a producer. We still love ghost producing and I think that is where we are going to end up, you don’t want to stand in the club until you are 55 or 60 years old. You just want to make music and produce for movies or games or whatever.
Kevin Ramos: What do you think about it?
RS: I think about it two ways, I think it is a great way to learn your skills but it’s also kind of false advertising when you see a name on the track and the person who made it is not that same person.
Kevin Ramos: I think that there are some bad examples but in the end most of the time it is the sound that an artist came up with but perhaps they didn’t have the skills to push the buttons. If it works like that I don’t think that there is a problem because in the end it’s a creation of something that he had in his head and if he is involved in the process than it is still his record.
Albert Harvey: I think that some people are good in the studio and some people are better on stage so you have those kinds of things. What I learned in school was that the guys from Motown had five guys that were playing music and writing all the tracks for Motown and singers came inside and sang the tracks and they were big. You had the five instrumentalists that were playing the music and so that is a really good example and that is how it works and I think it is a good thing. As a DJ, I understand that the kids on the streets want to see the guy that pushed the buttons on stage but like with Rihanna and those kinds of artists it’s a different league.
RS: Being on the road so much how do you keep your lifestyle healthy with all the touring, the eating and the exercising?
Kevin Ramos: That is a good question I think that it is the hardest thing because when you are done with a gig you are hungry and there is nothing open to make a salad for you. It is hard but it’s also something that you have to do and you have to be disciplined and healthy enough to keep up with all of the gigs otherwise you won’t ever make it. You don’t have to be drunk every night and stay out late every night. Even if you do drink and stay out late you will feel better if you wake up in the morning and go exercise and that is what we try to do. You really have to listen to your body if you’ve had enough your body will let you know and if you need more sleep than sleep. I think that every promoter will understand if you can’t go to dinner because you need extra rest. Those are really the keys to staying healthy and in shape.
Albert Harvey: We sport a lot and we watch our food and have a schedule so we try and stay healthy.
RS: At the end of a gig ,which hurts more - your ears from the sound or your eyes from all the camera flashes?
Kevin Ramos: Albert doesn’t have the problem of the flashes because he wears his shades.
Albert Harvey: I always wear my shades and I always have my ear plugs in. My head is the thing that hurts because it bounces up and down.
Kevin Ramos: I think that it is also the adrenaline. People ask us if we still get nervous and excited to go on stage and I don’t think that we really have the nervous problem but we get ourselves pumped up for a gig which takes a lot of adrenaline. After a gig you still have to go to bed or whatever and you are too hype and that can give you headaches sometimes.
RS: If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself?
Albert Harvey: That is a good question. Start producing and start focusing on your life. I was always skateboarding and promoting on the street and I didn’t go to school. I went back to music school at age 21 and finished it in four years. It is about being focused because at 18 if you don’t know what you are doing you are just going to hang around with your homies and just do whatever. Nowadays it’s different but I would advise myself to go home and focus on my music and not come out of my room until I have a hit.
Kevin Ramos: I think that focus is really important and I would also tell myself not to let anyone tell me that I can’t make my goals or believe in what I believe in. Sky is definitely the limit and if you have the focus and have something that is really unique then you have a big chance and are already ahead of everyone else.
Albert Harvey: If I was 18 and would have known about Miami I would get on those cars outside and get my picture taken. Now we are a little bit older and it’s still good now but it would have been more amazing if we were way younger.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Albert Harvey: First of all thank you for supporting GLOWINTHEDARK. We are coming to America a lot now and we will try to give you the best shows as possible. We work hard every day to make the best songs possible, keep raving!
Kevin Ramos: Make sure you follow and believe in what you do. If you are into music and you are just starting up and you don’t know where to go make sure that you come up with something that is unique for yourself.
Albert Harvey: Keep glowing, keep partying and be safe.
Interview conducted during WMC 2015.