Artist Bio — What Makes A Great One
First you need to read as many other artists bios that you can find all over the web before writing one for yourself.
Back to the original question — does a good Bio matter? Well, yes it matters. It’s like the point in the ’10 Key Steps…’ guide where we talk about you needing to be able to condense a description of your band and their sound into a few sentences. You’ll be needing the Bio on all your social networking sites and your own website. It’s the first thing that someone coming to you fresh is going to read (they may well be listening at the same time), so it had
better be interesting enough to hold their attention. But I don’t want it to over-egg the band I don’t want to see a load of fluff.
Keep it straightforward, accurate and interesting.
What should it say? Well, it’s more a case of what shouldn’t it say! Every Bio of every average band on Facebook or their own site pretty much follows the same path.
“Bob, Terry, Mike and Steve met at school and did this, then that and now they are it. Their music is a colossus of type A with soaring (natch!) vocals and blah blah blah.” Do NOT write a bio that does this and feels like every bad one that you yourself have ever read.
Once you’ve got a good feel for what not to do, follow these steps:
a) The Intro: This should explain who you are, where you’re from and what’s going on for you at that moment — a tour, album release etc. It’s where you need to plant a hook that makes you as an artist more interesting to read about than the next artist.
Find the nugget that makes the reader need to go on to the next paragraph. Somewhere in the intro you should find a way to cover a basic description of your sound, which you’ll expand on below make sure there is a flow and a reason for the reader to read on.
b) Background Info: A few paragraphs are enough in this part. Right at the start of this section is where it is essential to describe your music. It’s fine to compare yourself to other known artists for stylistic references. If there is anything noteworthy to tell about your previous achievements then stick it in
here. Add in the bit interesting back story for sure especially if you can tell it like a compelling story.
c) Quote yourself: This feels weird the first time you do it, but it’s really important as it engages the reader. It gives the Bio your voice and your point of view and makes the reader feel like you are talking to them — e.g. Bob recalls, “When I first became aware of music, I was ten years old. I’d been learning violin under protest for a while at school — but that day I ditched it and started to do every job around the house until my Mom gave in and bought me acoustic guitar!”. So, make it personal and real for your reader.
d) Accomplishments : Tell us what you’ve done so far. Don’t self-deprecate and don’t self-aggrandize — just be matter of fact. Cover prior releases, touring history and any worthy anecdotes.
e) Detail the new thing: If it’s an album or a new tour, smoothly move into discussing it from halfway through. Use quotes from the yourself talking about the overall tone of the record and to look at specific songs. Focus on a few key tracks in detail.
Try to make a statement about the album or tour — something that you believe you can achieve with it.
f) Conclusion: You need to wrap it all together and give your reader a sense that there is an exciting future for you as an artist. A reference that brings the start in touch with the end is great too. In our little example, something like this…..“Who’d have thought that a guitar case spilling out of the back of my old Volkswagen Beetle would have give me the inspiration for the songs on this album”
Remember always make it all about you and as personal as you can after all whether you like it or not who you are in the brand your building.
Until we talk again…