Part of an Artist’s promo kit involves the biography of the Artist. There are actually two styles of an Artist bio that may need to be developed: A short, one-paragraph bio and a full, more extensive bio.
- Who is the Artist?
Some questions to answer right away in an Artist’s bio:
- What’s the Artist’s name?
- Where are they from?
- What do they sound like?
- What are their influences?
An Artist’s bio may be the first impression that people have of the Artist, so this first paragraph is really important. Make it interesting, engaging and as unique as possible.
- Career Status
Has the Artist just released a new recording or album? Is the Artist in the studio? Is the Artist currently on a songwriting retreat? Make sure to include some information about what the Artist is currently doing in their bio.
Include some pertinent background info about the Artist. Find an interesting way to explain the Artist’s musical history without necessarily spelling out each step from childhood until now. If the Artist has more than one member, provide some background on each member.
- Career Highlights
Take the time to write down all of the successes the Artist has had in their career, big and small. Did the Artist collaborate with a well-known musician? Has the Artist won any awards/contests? Has the Artist charted on radio? Once that’s completed, choose the most unique/eye catching stories and include at least one of them in the Artist’s bio.
- Media quotes
If the Artist has any quotes from media or industry people, definitely include one or two in their bio. Maybe have one in the opening paragraph to help describe the Artist’s sound, and maybe a quote to end their bio talking about their potential as a band. If the Artist doesn’t have any industry or media quotes, that’s fine, better not to have any than to make something up.
Tips for an Artist’s Bio:
- Have several versions ready
It’s a good idea to have several versions of the Artist’s bio ready: Long (1 page), Medium (2 or 3 paragraphs), short (1 paragraph) and an ‘elevator pitch’. An elevator pitch is a way to quickly describe an Artist’s music in 30 seconds, so it should only be a few sentences.
Music conferences, festivals and media outlets have different needs and criteria, so having different versions ready beforehand will save the Artist time and potential panic in having to edit their bio in situations where they need to submit it right away. Be prepared.
- Be Honest
It might be tempting to say that an Artist showcased at SXSW or the World Café on National Public Radio, or to add a quote from a major news outlet talking about the Artist’s music, but if it isn’t legit, don’t write it. People will eventually find out, and it’s not worth the backlash or the risk of being blacklisted by media.
- No typos
Seriously, NO typos. Proof the final version more than once.
- Keep it current
And last but not least, always keep the Artist’s bio current. The moment something significant happens in the Artist’s career, they should update their bio with this new information. If the Artist has gone from being in the studio to releasing an album, update the bio. If the Artist has released their album and is now going on a national tour, add that to the bio, etc. An Artist’s bio should be continually updated as their career moves forward.