First impressions count. That’s why it’s uber-important to have a musician’s bio that cuts through the noise and manages to pique your potential audience’s interest, driving them to check out your musical wares.
For many artists, writing an artist’s or musician’s bio may seem similar to writing a CV. They often try and avoid this perceived “hassle” and make the huge mistake of sending tunes to radio DJs and promoters with a simple “Check out our music” email. Sure, this is effective if you know these individuals personally or if you’re an already-established artist with dizzying notoriety. However, for most of us, this just doesn’t work.
Therefore, when you’ve gone through the trouble of making a record, you should do your absolute best for it to reach as many people as possible. This starts with an effective musician’s bio that highlights your assets in the best way possible.
So, how do you write an effective musician’s bio? And what are the 5 steps of the bio writing process? Let’s break them down.
Step 1: The Introduction
Every great song has a memorable intro. Therefore, every bio should immediately showcase who you are as an artist in a few sentences. Introduce your act, where you’re based, your music’s genre and your influences. Think about how you would introduce your band to an industry professional at a networking session. Be clear and concise. Write in the third person and don’t waffle around.
E.g. Glasgow-based, punk rock 4-piece The Great Service are quickly establishing themselves as one of the acts that are shaping the city’s burgeoning punk scene. Inspired by acts such as Rancid, IDLES and The Stooges, the band have already received consistent support from BBC6, Radio X and Kerrang!
Step 2: Some juicy background info
Include relevant details such as a brief history of the band and any interesting titbits. The key thing is to keep it short and sweet, but still offer some juicy bits that can then be re-purposed by the PR agent when writing press releases etc.
E.g. The band has come a long way since meeting at a climate change protest in Glasgow. After releasing their debut EP Surveillance Capitalism, the band have joined Nigel and the Spacemen on a UK/EU tour and have also supported U.F.O, Anaesthetic of Silence and Label Curse.
Step 3: Describe your music
Writing about your own music is difficult. You can facilitate this part of the writing process by using key terms that both music fans and industry people are familiar with. In this section, you should give an overview of recent releases and you can also talk about where you’re currently at with your music.
E.g. The Great Service have just released their latest single Shame on You (February 2021), which has already been included on the Fresh Finds and Unleashed playlists on Spotify. This single revolves around police brutality in the UK and Scottish nationalism.
Step 4: Include any noteworthy achievements
Pick two or three noteworthy moments from your career so far. Again, don’t over-embellish and make sure that you cut to the chase.
E.g. Their earlier single, Shut Up, has already hit 1 Million streams on Spotify. Moreover, the band have also been nominated for the breakthrough act award at this year’s Global Punk Awards.
Step 5. Media Quotes
Media quotes are important as they give your act third-party clout. It’s a great way of showing that there’s a certain degree of hype surrounding your music and that the things that are mentioned in the bio can be backed up by verified sources.
In an interview with Spotify for Artists, professional journalist and bio writer Evie Nagy summed up what bio should be: “They’re called “bios” for a reason. They need to be clear about who this person or band is: This is what the music is like, this is the story the band is trying to tell, this is what you’re going to get out of it.”
Finally, update your bio regularly with the latest releases, media quotes and upcoming tour dates. Your bio should evolve alongside you as an artist – so make sure that you invest some time in updating it every few months.