How to Write an Effective Music Bio: The Musician’s Guide
Writing an artist bio is one of the hardest things to do as a musician. It’s hard enough to write—let alone write about yourself!
But your music bio is one of the most important parts of your musician press kit. Especially once you release music, you need a solid promotion plan. So a good bio is your starting point.
A great bio will create a first impression of you to many of your website visitors, so make it a good one! It will help convert your visitors into fans, as well as give bloggers and media a sense of who you are. Let’s look at a few ideas that will help you craft an effective musician bio.
You need an ‘about’ blurb for all your social channels, gigs and festival applications because people crave the stories and context behind the music.
So here’s your step-by-step guide to writing your best artist bio possible with tips from seasoned professionals.
Hot tip: If you’re intimidated about writing your bio or if you want a seasoned professional to write it for you, connect dozens of professional music writers on WMR Music Group and get a professional bio written for you.
1. Take Notes
Open up a blank document on your computer. Write down all your basic info and everything you consider a milestone in your music career. Point form is fine!
Need some help? Answer these questions:
Where are you based?
When did you start making music, releasing music and/or playing shows?
What was the ‘aha’ moment that made you start making music?
What genre can people expect to hear?
How do you describe your sound? Get specific.
What are your influences?
What are your releases so far? (EPs, albums, mixes, remixes, etc.)
What are the most notable shows you’ve played?
2. Start Simple
Once you’ve filled out the bullet points above, you’re ready to start writing.
Begin by fleshing out your notes into full sentences. Write in the third person (i.e. “He/She/They” instead of “I”). Start with a factual, neutral tone.
Avoid opinion based phrases like: Incredibly influential, critically acclaimed, wickedly talented, etc. Leave that up to journalists and fans.
In the editing phase, make your music bio more writerly. Think about how the sentences flow one after the other. Read it out loud to see how it sounds—it’ll give you a good idea if it reads well.
Write everything you need to, then edit ruthlessly. Cut out 50%.
If it’s too hard to even start, ask someone else to help you write it. Pick someone with writing experience. Give them the bullet point notes and your music for reference. Ask for an honest draft—and compensate when necessary!
3. Edit and Style
Structure is Key
Split up your text into 2-3 easy to read paragraphs.
The first paragraph should be the most important one—journalists might copy-paste only that part when writing about you. It should give a good picture of who you are as an artist, what kind of music you play and your top achievements (shows, releases, collaborations).
Go more in depth in the second paragraph. Give some background. But no need to go too far back either… “Sandra became a music lover at age 9 when she first heard the Beatles…” That’s unnecessary!
The last paragraph should be about what you’re currently working on.
Once you have that, rewrite three versions of your music bio:
The ‘Tweet’ version (one-liner)
The short one paragraph version (150-200 words)
The longer 3 paragraph version (max 300-400 words)
Even if you aren’t an international touring artist, find the thing that makes you special and focus on that.
Don’t over-embellish or distort the truth. Even if you aren’t an international touring artist, find the thing that makes you special and focus on that. You don’t need to have a won Grammy to write an interesting bio.
Don’t name drop too much. You’ve opened or played with famous artists? Name 1-2, those that matter the most and best match your stylistic affinities. Even better: describe your musical aesthetic without falling back on other artists.
Hot Tip: Train yourself to become specific at describing music and sound by reading a lot of good music journalism—for example The Quietus, The Wire or the book How to Write About Music. Also read record descriptions on online stores like Beatport, Hardwax, Bleep or Boomkat. You’re a music fan anyways, so it’ll be fun!
Get a few writer friends to thoroughly spellcheck and edit your bio. The spellcheck again!
Where to Put Your Music Bio
Now that you have a killer bio it’s time to make sure it hits home.
Here are the places you should put it:
Your artist website and/or electronic press kit (EPK)
Your social media profiles (Facebook, Resident Advisor, Instagram, etc.)
Your streaming profiles (SoundCloud, Mixcloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, Spotify*, Apple Music*, etc.)
*You may need to request access or get verified to edit these.
Don’t forget to make sure you keep it updated!