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How To Write A Music Bio

Updated: Jan 16


Like so many of the things indie artists have to do now as well as making great music - learning how to write a music bio might seem like another annoying time-consuming task. I don't claim to be great at writing myself and would probably get someone in if I could - but... if you are totally sure you don't want to hire one of the many freelancers who'll happily write you a professional musician bio, or can't afford it - it’s worth taking the time to think about how you want to present yourself and create something great you can re-use over and over whenever you need one.


Your band or music artist bio is often the very first thing everyone that you’re in contact with from fans to press contacts will EVER read about you which makes it a more important part of your DIY music PR tool kit than it might seem at first thought.


Of course, while the most important thing of all is always your music, and that’s what truly matters, your biography is another key first impression. Think about it - you need one every time you make a press release, when you drop a new music track, you have one on your website and you should probably have one on all of the artist pages from your Spotify Artist Profile to your Bandcamp page. So, all that said, let’s discuss how to write if not a perfect, at least a great musician bio!


Start with a plan


Let’s start with a plan - the structure, so here are a few basics we need to keep in mind:


  1. Like all good things - keep it simple.

  2. Keep your own artist bio short, to the point and easily understood. A handful of paragraphs is enough, perhaps a few hundred words in total will do the job. We’re not trying to write a book here, so avoid writing really long sentences too. We want to keep the reader interested.

  3. Get ‘em hooked - the first sentence a person reads is probably the most important, so try to sum up the key points you want to get across in the first 15 to 30 words. Asking musicians to describe their music is notoriously difficult - but can you do it? Can you knuckle down and describe yourself in just one or two sentences?

Structure


Now we have a few basics, let’s make a quick overview of how you could structure your bio. There is no one way, but here’s a suggestion:


The Intro: As above - introduce yourself. Make an impact.


The Tunes: Tell us about the music - what do you do, genre-wise, is it like anything else? how is it made, instrumentation, style, etc. Of course, we know the experience of what you do as an artist comes down to people listening to the music itself, but we kind of have to convince them to in the first place. Describe what you do as creatively as possible, use genre, influences, comparison to other artists as well as anything you can think of that might get someone’s interest. This can be difficult, I know, but push yourself. Get it done.


The Story: If you have an interesting back story tell it. If you don’t… perhaps make one up or create one?! If people can relate to you, or you have an interesting angle, people may relate to you better and easier. Where are you from? How did you start doing this? What happened on the way? Where do you want to go?


Lead the herd with Social Proof: Nobody wants to miss out on something great that all the other cool kids are into. This applies to the schoolyard, and to music journalists equally. See: “I liked them before they got popular!” - you get the idea. How can you make use of this? Use the nice things other journalists, your fans, bloggers, or failing that your Mom said about you to showcase your achievements, or alleged popularity. Even bad quotes work. One of my favourites was from a local London paper where a band re-used a press quote where they were declared “one of the best bands on their street” - if you have a fanbase, talk about it. If you don’t - be creative.



Finally, tweak it for the audience


Now you have a bio, consider making several versions depending on where it’s going to be to avoid repetition and to tailor it to the destination. For example, a press bio should probably be ready to go as some, not all…online publications and music websites are lazy and may just copy/paste your text. This is your chance to decide what you want to be said about yourself in print as part of your music promotion campaign. In other places, like Spotify for artists, for example, a shorter version might make sense.


I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. There are many others on the site, so feel free to have a look around!


One last thing - if you want to take that new killer bio and make the best of your efforts the next time you are putting out music why not go grab a copy of the Indie Release Plan to guide you through the process?


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