The Rise of Cookie-Cutting in Filipino DJ “Producers”

A growing trend in the Philippines showcases an increasing number of DJs transitioning to producers through cookie-cutting methods. The question arises: is this shift driven by the pursuit of clout or a genuine desire for artistic expression?

The world of music production has changed drastically in recent years. Thanks to the rise of digital streaming platforms, short-form video platforms, people’s attention span and affordable music production software, even crack copies, anyone with a computer can now create and share their music with the world. This has led to a boom in the number of independent musicians, including DJs turned producers in the Philippines.

However, this accessibility has also led to some questionable practices. Some DJs have been accused of using “hacks” to streamline the music-making process and gain quick recognition. These hacks can involve anything from cookie-cutting, where DJs attach their name to a project without actively contributing, to sacrificing quality for rapidity, where DJs rush into collaborations before they have fully mastered the craft.

The “Cookie-Cutting” Hack

Amid this surge of accessibility, an intriguing yet concerning circumstances has surfaced – the art of “cookie-cutting.” Some DJs, perhaps driven by the desire for recognition or a shortcut to the title of “producer,” have adopted tactics that streamline the music-making process. For instance, an individual who recently dabbled in a digital audio workstation might join forces with a seasoned producer, attaching their name to the project without actively contributing. This cookie-cutting approach often leads to a shallow artistic experience.

Sessions Academy is a music production and DJing school for beginners and experienced producers. They offer courses from music theory to mixing, taught by industry professionals in Manila. Learn from the best and start producing today!

Artistic Integrity vs. Clout Chasing

Some people try to boost their portfolios and get the title of “DJ-producer” by using questionable practices. For example, they might speed up a song’s tempo and call it a “remix.” This might not violate copyright laws if they have the proper licenses, but it raises the question of whether they are preserving the original composition’s artistic integrity. These actions, which are often done for clout or to improve a press kit, unintentionally dilute the rich fabric of music creation. Can they swallow their pride knowing that they are essentially cookie-cutting?

Jezrelle, a prominent DJ-producer from Cebu and artist of Gigahertz Music and Dreamify Records, shared his thoughts on sped-up remixes. He does not think that sped-up remixes are a great way to promote new music. He believes that there are better ways to get people’s attention, such as creating original content or collaborating with other artists.

“I wouldn’t really consider it as a great way pushing music, but it is effective for the boost of sleeper tracks and bringing the reconnaissance of great tracks that were charting years ago. I could say these sped up tracks would fit more on TikTok, and nothing more. Profiting from the sped up edits would be a different story (not in a good way, in my opinion) because it’s common sense to not use stuff that is not even yours just for your own gain.”

Similarly, Florence Amoroso, a budding music producer hailing from Dipolog City, echoed this sentiment on his Facebook profile which ignited a thread of discussion among local DJ-producers.

“You know, that whole gig of messing with song speeds and calling it a remix, then droppin’ it on Spotify? That’s a major disrespect to those hardworking music producers who pour their heart into their art. You’re just tryna ride the wave without bringin’ any real talent or originality to the mix!!!”

The comments of two DJ-producers have ignited a thread of discussion among local DJ-producers. Mostly people agree with their assessment of sped-up remixes and cookie-cutting techniques. While a kid from Cebu named Driean poked fun of the topic, made a functional plugin dubbed as “Tiktok Knob

To be posted on a later time “Filipino DJ-Producer Creates TIKTOK VST Plugin” 

cookie-cutting - midnight rebels

Some terms to describe.

  • Greenhorn. A greenhorn is someone who is inexperienced or naive. In this case, the DJ would be a greenhorn music producer who is claiming to be more experienced than they actually are.
  • Me-tooer. A Me-tooer is someone who arrives on the scene late and tries to claim credit for something that they didn’t actually do. In this case, the DJ would be a Me-tooer music producer who is trying to claim credit for a release that they didn’t actually produce.
  • Hack. A hack is someone who is incompetent or unskilled. In this case, the DJ would be a hack music producer who is not qualified to be making the claims that they are making.
  • Poser. A poser is someone who pretends to be something they’re not. In this case, the DJ would be a poser music producer who is pretending to be more experienced and accomplished than they actually are.

As the music landscape continues to evolve, artists must grapple with the balance between accessibility and integrity. While the idea of a shortcut might be tempting, it’s crucial to recognize that true artistic growth takes time and dedication. A quick release might momentarily attract attention, but it can also overshadow the authenticity that makes music resonate deeply with listeners.

Our thoughts on the matter

The lines between DJing and music production have been blurring for some time now. This is due in part to the rise of digital technology, which has made it easier for any DJ to create and distribute music. As a result, there are now many people who are able to DJ and produce music without having any formal training.

Some people argue that this blurring of the lines is a good thing, as it allows more people to participate in the music industry. However, others argue that it is compromising the integrity of the craft. They believe that DJing and music production are two distinct skills, and that people who are not trained in both should not be able to call themselves “DJ-producers.”

Whether or not the blurring of the lines is a good thing is a matter of opinion. However, it is important to consider the impact that it is having on the music industry. On the one hand, it is opening up the industry to more people. On the other hand, it is making it more difficult for those who have worked hard to earn their stripes to stand out from the crowd.


Hey, I'm a music producer, DJ, and event curator for BASS N' BACON, and run a record label. I can speak English, Tagalog, and Bisaya, and I enjoy writing about music and culture. Whether it's through my music or writing, I bring a unique perspective and lots of experience to every project I do. Thanks for checking out my work!


Subscribe to our newsletter

    Follow us