You absolutely need an artist or band bio.
No one will take you serious without one and you will not be able to promote your music effectively.
Your bio gives your audience a glimpse into the kind of music you make and how far you’ve come in your music career.
It shows potential collaborators, journalists, etc. that you are a serious artist or band. You don’t just play music; you approach it as a business and you are marketable.
This is important.
Take your time with your bio. You want to get it just right.
It should be written in a way that is consistent with your branding strategy. You want to tell a compelling, honest story without sounding like you’re bragging.
Artist bios come in a number of lengths, styles and configurations. You will probably need to create several.
For example, a common offshoot is the uni-document, which combines a bio with a press release. It reads like a press release but also contains information about your background and accomplishments as an artist.
We’ll cover some common types of bios toward the end of this article.
What’s important is to begin with a complete one that contains everything. This complete bio then serves as a master document from which you can easily adapt different kinds of bios for different purposes.
What To Include In Your Artist/Band Bio
The key elements of an artist or band bio are the following. Feel free to include more, of course, but you want these sections at a bare minimum.
Who You Are
Introduce yourself. Include your name or your band name. If you use a stage name, give your real name as well.
Say where you’re from and list your musical influences. You should also include a description of your sound. Your bio should include samples, but you nevertheless want to describe your music style in words, too. Think: how would you explain it to someone who has never heard you play?
What You Are Currently Doing
Anyone interested enough to read your bio will want to know what you are currently up to. So let them know what you are working on right now.
Are you planning on releasing a new track or working on an album? Let people know.
Do you have a regular gig schedule? Include it.
Make sure you come back regularly to update this section so that your fans can always stay up to date on what’s going on with your career.
Not only is this information important to your fans, but it also lets any potential business partners know that you are actively working as a professional musician. It lends you legitimacy.
The key here is: interesting. Fans and potential business partners are always interested in some background, but you need to make sure it is interesting.
“Interesting” does not mean you need to have a wild and crazy backstory. Some personal information that tells readers how you got where you are today is great. Explain how you got into your instrument and why you play the style of music you do. But don’t give a detailed year-by-year account of your life. Stick to the highlights.
You can try writing a few different draft and having your friends read it to see which version resonates most with them.
Begin by making a list of all your minor and major accomplishments, since you started playing making music professionally. Some of the things you should include are: collaborations with an established artist or band, awards, any chart-toppers you’ve had, nominations and so on.
Leave nothing out, no matter how small.
That complete list goes in your complete bio.
Then make a second list for your master bio. This is the one you want to include on your artist or band website. Include only the accomplishments from the first list that you want to highlight.
Every time you accomplish something new as an artist or band, like releasing a new single perhaps, remember to add it to your complete bio. If you feel it is significant enough, add it to your website bio as well. And, of course, any other bios that you feel should include this information.
Quotes Or Review About Your Music
You want to include anything good that people from the industry, such as a music journalist or another artist, said about you.
If you have any media quotes, ideally ones that can be verified, include them in your bio. If you have a lot, limit yourself to one or two (at least for the website bio; you can include them all in the complete bio). Use ones that further your brand, i,e. that help describe your sound or comment about your potential as a bankable artist or band.
If you’re just starting out and no one has given you any reviews or quotes yet, leave this section out of your bio for now. As you advance in your career, you will begin to accumulate quotes and reviews. Once you have some good ones, add this section to your bio.
Different Kinds Of Band/Artist Bios
As mentioned, there are different kinds of artist/band bios for different purposes. The most important one is your complete bio.
The complete bio is the longest version and it will include absolutely everything of significance. You should not put this bio on your site or make it generally available anywhere. Keep it handy, in case music journalists or bloggers want to know more about you, but do not make it public otherwise.
The reason this bio is so important is that it will function as the base to create all your other bios. Simply take the complete bio and delete parts until you’ve whittled it down to include only the information you want to convey for a given bio.
The first bio you want to create from the complete bio is what is often referred to as the master bio. This is the version that you will publish on your site.
It should include everything mentioned above, as a minimum. It will not be as long as the complete bio, because ti should only show your career and background highlights, not every little detail.
You should also have a uni-document. This is part bio and part press release. It provides information on your background and also shares the latest news.
It is very similar to the master bio on your website, but more concise and with more focus on your story: where you came from and, more importantly, where you are currently. The uni-document goes in every press kit you give out.
You also want to create a even more concise bio for things like social media posts, radio plugs, etc. This bio will only include the absolute highlights, since you have very limited space or time in which to present the information.
There will also be situations where you need additional bios that include or exclude specific information. This is why the complete bio is so important. You can always use it to easily create new bios as needed. It makes your life so much easier to always have that full bio handy and to keep it updated.