As a musician, writing a biography for yourself or your musical group should be the first step you focus on in order to effectively promote your music. It is a genuine prerequisite, as it is the first descriptive link between you, media outlets, and your audience; the biography is often difficult to write – and sometimes can be difficult to read, if not written with care!
Here are a few tips to write a good biography as a musician.
1. Don’t forget the key info inside your biography
We recommend that you include a few essential elements in your biography:
- Where you/your group originated from
- The general music style/genre you play (with potentially other sub-types for more precision)
- The names and roles of the artists/musicians
- When the band was formed (incl. number of albums released)
- Important news (e.g. concerts, an upcoming release party, EP/album releases, music videos)
It can be wise to quote music journalists, especially when they are highlighting distinctive aspects and qualities of your artistic universe.
2. The more concise and effective you can be, the better
Many media outlets are inundated with emails and demo submissions. They want to focus on what’s essential: listening to your music. It is therefore better to add ten short, effective sentences about your background and music than a drawn-out essay of credentials or musings.
A short and factual biography shows an immediate sincerity that can be more convincing to music industry professionals than one that’s all over the place. Putting your streaming links before your bio when contacting professionals can also help demonstrate that you’re leading with your music rather than just your personality.
3. Mention influences and references wisely
Mentioning who has influenced you is a great way for others to understand who you are and where your musical roots lie. In supplying musical references, it is always better to focus on 2 or 3 artists who are very close to you (independent of whether they’re well-known) than to create a never-ending list of musicians you love. Music professionals are more likely to remember you, and better understand what your vision is, if you limit your bio to containing just a few names.
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4. Avoid writing mistakes
An artist bio is often addressed to media outlets or journalists — people whose daily work is to write! Thus, they know when time and care has been put into a biography.
A well-written biography can be a good way to keep your audience engaged, and show that you’re willing to put effort into something that will help your career. If you feel confident in your writing, you can certainly write it yourself, as that will bring more of your character and personality to the bio (if this is the route you take, we still recommend asking at least one other person to review it). However, if writing isn’t your strong suit, you can always enlist the help of others to write it. In this case, you’ll want to provide them with all the key info listed above, and you’ll want to re-read the bio when they finish writing it to make sure it’s still reflective of you and your musical endeavors.
5. Avoid writing a Marcel Proust novel
An artist bio should be easy-to-read. You don’t need to pepper your bio with words like ‘elegiac’, ‘ethereal’ or ‘oneiric’ — words strangely now more common in artists’ biographies than in 19th century French romantic poetry. Instead, try getting straight to the point. Introduce yourself/your group and background, highlight your key info and news, and mention past and future concerts and album releases. If you do this in a concise and effective manner, and enlist at least one other person in the review process, you’ll likely have a solid biography.