How Long Should A Music Bio Be
Some agencies suggest writing three different bios, short, medium, and long. A quick rule of thumb is:
- Short 50 words
- Medium 100 words
- Long 5 to 6 paragraphs
Most visitors and bookers will only read the short version. As such, your short bio should be a part of your electronic artist press kit. However, the extended version works well on your website or concert promotional literature.
These three versions of your bio wont just help bookers, but youll use them throughout your own social media and various online accounts too. Having a single place where all your bios are kept current really helps streamline and make your self-promotion battle an easier one.
Bonus Step: Continue To Enhance Your Biography As You Evolve
When you write your artist biography you want it to be the best expression of your career, but dont forget that your career is continually developing. Make sure your artist biography progresses with you. Add in and switch out professional achievements as your success and knowledge grows. You might even need to rewrite it one or more times. This means you are evolving and maturing as an artist.
Need Inspiration and a Sample?Renee Phillips has graciously included a sample artist biography on her blog. You can find it here.
My 5 Step Guide To Writing A Musician Bio That Gets You Gigs
Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, our opinions are not for sale.
- Learn how to craft the perfect musician biography.
- Turn a boring, lifeless artist bio into one that captivates readers and gets you the gig.
- Musician bio examples Ive written are included. Feel free to draw inspiration from them!
Press shots, music videos, merchandise etc are crucial branding elements that form the building blocks of your successful music career.
However, one important pillar of all of these branding elements that I see many producers and bands neglect is their artist biography.
The musician biography is a core component of any self-respecting artists press kit, and is prime real estate for highlighting the 5 Ws of your artistry.
So why not spend the time to ensure that your artist bio is as perfect as it can be?
As a professional copywriter and someone who has written well over 100 artist bios over the years, Ive learnt a few tricks and tips along the way and Id love to take the time to share them with you in this article.
Without further ado, here is my step-by-step guide to writing an effective musician biography.
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Have Someone Write The Outline For You
If you find it hard to write about yourself, find someone you trust and hand over your sticky notes and ask them to write the artist biography for you using the templates as a guide.
You will find that someone who knows you well will remember to add other information about you that you may have forgotten to include or too embarrassed to include.
Once they have a draft, read through it out loud with them and see if it makes sense and look at areas for improvement.
What An Artist Bio Is Not
An artist bio is not an artist statement. While it can be tempting to use your artist bio to expound on the philosophical underpinnings of your specific style of acrylic painting or get deeply into the spiritual side of your art practice, an artist bio is not the place for it. Your devoted audience will love to hear about the deep why behind your art, but your artist blog and social media channels are the best places for those stories. You can also have a separate page on your website for your artist statement that goes more in depth. Use your bio to instead explain about who you are, how you came to create art and the best highlights of your journey so far.
And although you should include the best career/educational highlights in your bio, your artist bio is not your curriculum vitae . Potential clients and customers do not need to see an exhaustive list of every gallery your work has shown in and every school where youve studied. An exception may be including it at the very bottom of the page, or as a PDF download.
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Great Example Of A Short Artist Biography
Born: Budapest, Hungary, 1968
The New York Studio School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture , New York NY, 1992 1993Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary, 1989 1992
Resides: Lives and works in New York NY
2019 Hauser & Wirth, Rita Ackermann. Brother and Sister, Zürich, Switzerland
2018 La Triennale di Milano, Rita Ackermann. Movements as Monuments, Milan, ItalyVIEWING ROOM, Marlborough Contemporary, Rita Ackermann and Carol Rama: Body Matters, New York NY
Tell A Story But Keep It Practical
You want a bio to be vivid and engaging, says Baker, but theres no single way to achieve that goal. Some bio writers really bring across either the sound of a band or the content of a lyric, he says. Lyrics are important, and stories behind lyrics are important, too. One writer I work with is a former English professor. He really knows how to explain a lyric, get inside it, and find something in it to talk about. Thats a very different skill from a jazz bio writer, who will be able to better describe the confluence of influences, improvisational flow, and sonic appeal of an album.
Regardless of how you make a bio come to life, remember that the core of a bio is the information it presents. In other words, you want to do your readers homework for him or her, says Baker regardless of whether that reader is a journalist or fan-in-the-making. It should be the one place where a journalist in particular can look for reference on an artist, he says. Everything you need to know should be right there, and be easy to find.
For other perspectives and tips, check out these bio-writing articles:
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Own The Relationship With Your Audience
ConvertKit helps you build a relationship with your followers and own that connection you make with them through your email list.
Emily grew up in the rural outskirts of Cincinnati, OH before moving to Nashville, TN to study Music Business at Belmont University and work in live events and ticketing. In 2015, she moved to the Pacific Northwest where she writes SEO-driven copy during the day and works as guitarist, guitar podcaster and music gear demo artist for Get Offset at night.
Pay Attention To How You Talk About Yourself And Use Those Words
My advice on How to Write An Artist Statement holds true for your bio as well. I encourage everyone to record themselves verbally answering the basic questions, and then actually use those words. If you dont like what you said, try again until you do, and then just write it down in complete sentences.
Not only will this process liven up your writing, it will help you hone your elevator pitch to help you talk more easily about your work with new acquaintances.
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So How Do You Start Writing An Artist Bio
Everyone has a story, even if it isnt filled with awards, press quotes and Spotify playlist placements . Think about what got you to this point. Start with your WHY. Why are you passionate about music? Where did the passion come from? Who has inspired you to become an artist? What struggles have you overcome to make your career possible? Has something in your past motivated you? Who do you look up to? Your bio is your opportunity to create a rapport with your fans . Find a way to create an emotional connection with them.
If youre still having a hard time or need some extra help, you could also ask your closest friends, family and industry contacts to write 1-2 sentences about you and your strengths. This will spark creative juices within you, invoke confidence and/or you can even reword those testimonials and use for your bio.
Career Highlights And Achievements
Think about everything youve accomplished with your music. Have you opened for a well-known band, or played a big festival? Have you charted on the radio or had success on streaming music platforms? Been nominated for an award?
Make a list of your achievements. Then pick two or three of the most impressive items, and include those in your band bio. Also include something recent, to show that youre an active musician.
Dont exaggerate or embellish in this part of your bio – stick to the facts, and present them in a positive way.
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Keep The Structure Simple
Keep your bio brief and easily digestible. Two or three paragraphs and around 200 – 300 words total is enough.
Your first sentence is arguably the most important, so try to sum up the most important points in the first 20 to 30 words. How would you describe yourself in just one sentence?
Avoid writing really long sentences too. You need to keep the reader on the hook.
Keeping the advice above in mind, hereâs a quick overview of how you could structure your bio.
< p style=”padding-right: 100px padding-left: 100px padding-top: 50px padding-bottom: 50px color: #5934E8 font-size: 1.5rem font-weight: 400 background-color: #FFFFFF border: 3px solid #5934E8 text-align: center “> Intro: Try to sum yourself & your music up in one sentence.< br> < br> Your Music: Genres, instrumentation, comparisons, etc.< br> < br> Your Story: Where you began & where you are now.< br> < br> Social Proof: Quotes, social following, achievements.< /p>
Remember, you could change up the order of this structure, depending on the message you want to relay at the very beginning or very end of your bio. You know your music better than anyone, so it’s up to you!
Do you have any questions or advice about writing a band or artist bio? Let us know in the comments below.
How To Write An Artist Biography Using A Template
You can follow this simple template if you want to skip the sticky note exercise from the previous steps.
As I do not like referring to myself in the third person I will move away from your typical artist biography examples and make it a little more personable.
My name is , I was born in in . My first experiences as an artist was when .
My influences were .
It was here that I realized that I wanted to pursue my career in this field.
I went on to study where I earned my qualifications in .
It was here that I furthered expanded on my knowledge in , where I .
I work primarily in and I currently work from and .
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How To Write An Artist Biography About Yourself
The best way to write an artist biography is to start looking at the artist biography examples found on the internet.
The hardest thing I found was collating all the information I wanted to include in my bio. What I found was when I just did a brain dump without putting my thought into dates etc it was easier.
The first things you should do, using sticky notes:
Once you have these noted down, you actually have the key points required for an artist biography. All we need to do now is start writing the artist bio.
How Do You Start A Biography
Grab those sticky notes we just wrote. Put them in this order:
Now that you have put all the raw data into some meaningful order, you just need to pad these out into properly worded paragraphs and ensure that they have a natural flow to them.
If you find that hard to do then take a look at some real artist biography examples to draw inspiration from. Find a few you like and experiment.
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Your Music Bio Is Not A Long List Of Credentials
Great. You were a finalist at such and such contest. You played at XYZ festival. You shared the stage with Gene Simmons. You got a bit of radio airplay from that station down the street.
If I was a publicist or media person looking to cover you in a blog or magazine feature, I would be horrified to find your bio read like a long list of credentials. Even as an event organizer, I would be at a loss as to how to promote you.
Why? Because I wouldnt be able to tell a story.
Now, dont get me wrong Im not saying your credentials shouldnt be a part of your bio. They can lend credibility to your name and boost your profile. If you can get Jay-Z to write a great quote for you, go for it!
But dont make your bio read like a resume. You can always create a section under your bio called Career Highlights or something like that and share your accomplishments in point form. First and foremost, your bio should tell a story. About you.
Recognize that your bio isnt for you. Its for your fans, event organizers, venue owners and media people. Its a tough balancing act, but there is a way to satisfy everyone.
I have an example of an artist whose bio reads like a list of credentials. But Im not going to link to his site. Im also going to blur out his name to protect his anonymity. Still, its a good example of what not to do, so Im going to show you. This is not a bio. It is a resume.
Working On A Musicians Bio
With the above in mind, lets take a look at a bio that was sent to me recently as a rough draft by one of my subscribers.
Im going to print it verbatim, and offer my comments and suggestions for some improvements.
My general thoughts appear below the bio, and specific comments are in red throughout.
The RUCKUS JUICE JUG STOMPERS have been bringing their old-time, good-time jug band music to audiences in western New York since 2008. Hailed as Americas happiest music, jug band music has its roots in the country blues, old-time folk, and early jazz traditions of American music. The bands captivating, high-energy performances transport audiences back in time as RUCKUS JUICE blends musicianship, creativity and tradition. Its a bottomless barrel of musical ear candy in the words of one eloquent fan. Fans tell the band time and time again that they loved dancing, stomping, singing and kazooing along, too!
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How To Write An Artist Biography Sample
Here are some real examples of artist biographies to draw inspiration from. Note: One take away from all the examples I researched is that they were all badly formatted and hard to read.
So please take some time to ensure that your artist biography is formatted so that it is easy to read on a computer and also on a smartphone.
Cuban, born 1989
An Award winning photographer, Evelyn Sosa Rojas was born in 1989 in Havana, Cuba, where she still lives and work.In her practice, since 2008, Sosa specializes in amazingly soulful portraits.Sosa shows the power of femininity through photos of women in different familiar or intimate settings.In 2016, Sosa was the winner of the Herman Puig Prize, awarded yearly to the best artist of the Body Photography Salon in Havana.In her powerful series Womens portraits, Sosa captures the very essence of each subject in a simple, sensual and compelling way. Sosa has an ability to capture the depth of the eyes and gaze, showing the subject soul and deep thoughts.In 2019, Uncommon Beauty published a photo-book , HAVANA INTIMATE, through the lens of Evelyn Sosa.In a scholarly essay written for the book, Grethel Morell Otero, the recipient of the 2019 Cuban National Curator Award, and a published authority in Cuban photography wrote: her work represents something of a vanguard movement in contemporary artistic photography.Website
Put Your Best Foot Forward
You only get one chance to make a first impression and the bio is often this chance. If you are posting online or including it as part of your EPK, make sure you pay attention to the visual impact.
As with designing a resume or writing a cover letter, this includes fonts, colors, use of headers , layout, spacing, and other design elements that serve to unify all your materials. You might also consider the search terms you want people looking for to find you online and use those terms in your bio to make it easier to find you.
Theres a subliminal judgment readers make even before they start reading, based on the initial visual impression they get from your materials. So make the effort to get it looking sharp and of course avoid obvious errors such as misspellings, grammatical mistakes, wrong use of capitalizations, etc.
It might make sense to have a friend or professional Graphic Designer or Editor take a look before you go public with your artist bio. They might catch some mistakes you have missed or have suggestions to make it look and read better.
Think of your artist bio as the first point of contact most people will have with your brand. While its a requirement to have some sort of bio for promotional purposes, its also a tool for developing the story behind your brand and your music.
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