An artist biography describes information on who you are, and what you do. It allows the reader to get a firm grasp of you as a musician, or band, and what to expect from your music. It should interest and entertain the reader enough to read more about you, and ultimately check out your music.
Where and why would you need a biography?
Artist biographies can appear on artist websites, press kits, CD or vinyl liner notes, and may be required when applying for funding or grants. A biography is needed to provide valuable and fundamental information about yourself, or your band. The biography will give the basic information, but it can also give the reader a sense of your personality through the style of writing and tone you take. The biography should engage the reader, and encourage them to listen to your music after reading about you. You do not want to bore them!
What you should include?
– A concise description of your band
– What your music sounds like / what listeners can expect
– Unique and personal stories about your band
– Any quotes about your band – these can be from blogs, press, venues, bookers, or other artists you have performed or collaborated with
What style and format of writing should you use?
An artist biography should always be written in third person. Remember to keep your biography up to date, recording any progress or milestones you have with your career. You should think about having a long and short version of your biography. The long version can primarily be reserved for your artist website, and the short version used everywhere else. It is recommended to keep your biography to 250 words.
The artist biography do nots
– Do not lie in your biography
– Do not use cliché phrases
– Do not bore your reader with stories of how you got into music, or how you met your band members
– Do not be negative
Industry advice on artist biographies
We asked advice from two people with experience in writing and reading artist biographies.
Sophia Moon (SM) and Aidan Rush (AR) work at Presskit.to. Presskit.to specialise in electronic press kits and services for the creative industries.
What are the three most important details to include in your artist biography?
AR: “Description of sound, notable accomplishments, current initiatives.”
What do you particularly like to know about an artist or band?
AR: “I can’t pinpoint one thing in particular, but it’s always nice to see a band’s personality shine through in a biography.”
SM: “Where the inspiration for the music comes from.”
How much of an impact does a biography make on your decision to listen to the music?
AR: “I rarely read a biography before listening to music (and I think that’s standard for most people), but when I do, it can have a significant impact on whether I stay interested and listen to the music. In my opinion, biographies are more about converting new fans to passionate fans. Give them more to like about you than just your music, help them become more interested in you.”
SM: “I agree with AR, I usually listen to the music before I commit to reading a full bio. That is why I think it is extremely important for artists/bands to have a short tagline that succinctly describes their music or something unique about the band. If the tagline and music pull me in, I’ll be more compelled to read a longer bio. For the full bio, I like to feel the personality of the band through some compelling story.”
What is your absolute pet hate in artist biographies?
AR: “Ridiculous descriptions of your sound – keep it simple. Also no one cares about your childhood and when you started taking piano lessons until you’re huge.”
Getting your biography on your artist profile on online retailers
Some online retailers take artist biographies from exclusive sources. For example, iTunes and Spotify take their content from the AllMusic Guide. To find out more about submitting your biography to AMG, read our blog ‘How To Get Your Artist Biography On iTunes And Spotify.’
Blog Author: Suzie McGee | Artist Relations & Marketing Manager, EmuBands
POSTED: Wednesday 23rd October 2013
Letters Alphabet Affixed To Ball: Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Coffee With Newspaper: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Microphone And Musical Instruments: nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net