How to write a killer musician biography

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by | Jan 28, 2023

Writing your biography is an essential step in building your musical career. It helps audiences and promoters understand who you are, what type of music you make, and why they should care. A great musician bio will leave people wanting to learn more about your work and ultimately come out to your shows or book you for events.

Knowing how to craft a compelling biography that gets audiences and promoters interested in your music can be daunting. Still, with some creativity and clear communication of who you are as an artist, you can create a powerful story that captures the attention of your desired audience. This article will provide a structured, well-proven formula that gets the job done every time.

Let’s begin!

The Musician Bio Formula

After many years of professional experience, we’ve devised a “recipe” for the perfect bio. Of course, we’re talking about music here, so there’s nothing definitive. Still, this formula is meant to give you crucial guidelines to create something that will resonate with your audience and keep them engaged, wanting to know more about you once they’re done reading it.

Here it is:

  • Summary of your act in a short sentence
  • Quote/Testimonial (optional)
  • Your background (your most valuable achievements, musicians you’ve played with, your musical education, etc…)
  • Quote/Testimonial (optional)
  • A significant story about your development
  • Quote/Testimonial (optional)
  • Upcoming projects (optional)

This will work for your Long Bio, which is meant to go on your website and social media accounts.

Whenever you’re asked to send a shorter bio for press purposes, this is what it should look like:

  • Summary of your act in a short sentence
  • A significant story about your development
  • Upcoming projects (optional)

This way, you won’t give up on any crucial piece of information, but you’ll be giving something much more concise to satisfy the needs of the press as well as your potential audience.

Now, let’s get deeper into how to craft every element of this winning bio formula.

Summary of your act (short sentence)

Like everything else, trying to make a great first impression is often the best goal to go after. So that’s why professional musicians always try to give a straightforward (yet concise) idea of what they do within the very first sentence of their bios.

If you don’t engage people from the start, they might lose interest, which is obviously something no artist would ever want. So, how do you do that? How do you craft one short sentence that summarizes your entire musical project? That’s a tricky question, I know.

Try to picture yourself as somebody listening to your music for the first time; what would they say? Or better: what would you want them to say? The reality is that you’re the only one that can do that. Nobody else can choose a few words to describe what you do without oversimplifying your work.

Here’s an example of what a good, powerful summary should look like:

“The Onironauts are oneiric astronauts, translating dreams into music.”

It makes you want to know more about this band, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the entire purpose of this section of your bio.

Short and simple, yet intriguing. Even if there’s no actual “music talk” in this sentence, it is written by the band (and their record label) to get people interested enough to go through the rest of the bio.

Do you want to fill your calendar with the gigs you really want and grow your audience as a professional musician? Apply to our Master Accelerator program here:

Quotes or testimonials

Nothing works better to be credible than what’s known as social proof.

If you have had articles written about you, it would be a good idea to sprinkle a few quotes here and there within your bio. Don’t worry: it doesn’t need to be from The New York Times or another high-profile establishment. This section of your bio is only meant to show all the potential fans that stumbled on your bio that you have positive testimonials from other people within the industry.

Here are a few examples of quotes taken from the same band bio as before:

“Will blow your mind completely” – Venture Magazine

“It’s new age and extremely entertaining.” – Sound and Motion Magazine

“The Onironauts have come to blow our minds with things we didn’t think were possible. Highly weird but so right.” – Showmesomethingdifferent.com

Showing somebody else values your work is a powerful tool to increase credibility. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a quote taken from an article. It can be something a relevant musician you played with said about you or a testimonial from one of your teachers.

It shouldn’t be too hard for you to find a couple of quotes or testimonials about you. Still, don’t panic if you’re unable to find one; it would be nice to have, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Your background

This next section of your bio should essentially list your achievements or most significant moments in your life and career. How you structure this entirely depends on what you want to include in this section.

You could list the musicians you’ve played with or any important venues you performed in. It’s up to you. Just try to be honest and include relevant information about the project you’re writing the bio for.

Here’s an example:

“The French-Italo-Russian quartet formed in 2010 in London where Filippo Dall’Asta, Dimitri Stocchi, Evgeny Sukhotin, and Nano Sigo were studying at Tech Music Schools. From the very first day they shook hands, they knew it was love.

The band started jamming in a West London pub, developing an eclectic sound: a mix of rap, heavy guitar riffs, funk bass lines, crispy saxophone melodies, elements of gypsy jazz and electronica, using spaceship-pedalboards and crazy effects.”

After reading this section, you know how and where the band members met and the origins of their unique musical style. This is what the background section is for.

I’m sure they could have included many personal highlights for each band member, but that wouldn’t have been relevant to the project. You don’t need to brag here. Remember that you’re writing this for the audience. Leave your ego at the door.

The Story

This section will probably take you the longest time to write. But believe me: it’s worth it. If you’ve followed our recipe, at this point in your bio, you want to connect with the people reading it on a deeper level. Yes, that means you should be a little more personal now.

You need to find a story that will make your audience relate to why you want your music to be heard. Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve with your music? Why do you even play? One of our students managed to write a perfect story that perfectly answers these questions.

She’s the daughter of a musician, so she grew up with many musicians around the house, constantly jamming with her father. As a result, she felt a sense of community with those people, even if she wasn’t playing with them.

After a while, during one of those jam sessions, she found the courage to get up on stage and sing for the first time. You can imagine how nervous and anxious she must have been. Well, the sense of community she felt years earlier must have been real because all these musicians she had around the house growing up were incredibly supportive and loved having her sing with them. Many years later, her “mission” is to make the audience feel like a part of this community she holds dearly.

Do you see how powerful that is? It makes you want to experience what she’s talking about. And that’s the entire point of this story: what’s in it for your audience? Why should they come to one of your shows or listen to your music? Try to find a meaningful, personal, and relevant story from your own experience that answers these questions.

You don’t need to be Shakespeare to write it. Here’s an example:

“All four Onironauts grew up in families of musicians who lived and breathed gypsy jazz, electronic party music, dirty metal, and old hip-hop. Rich and diverse musical backdrops provided an ideal breeding ground for these musical hunter-gatherers.

News of this “musicians’ band” traveled to The Animal Farm, who, having seen the band tear the roof down at the Dublin Castle in Camden, offered to make a record on the spot. The first fruits of their collective labor come in the shape of four singles that flout every rule of what is acceptable and admissible.”

Once again, these are a couple of great stories about this band. The first one is more personal and establishes a relationship with the readers, while the second story answers the question: what’s in it for the audience? Well, their live shows are so powerful that they were offered a record deal on the spot. That’s not something you see every day! And that’s highly valuable to an audience that wants to be entertained.

Upcoming Projects

We’re nearly done here. All you’ve left is to tell your readers what you’ll be doing next.

Are you going on tour? Are you releasing a new single or album? Maybe a new video? Let them know! If you’ve managed to write a good bio following our recipe, there’s a fair chance that the people reading it will want to catch one of your live shows or listen to your music. You should give them an easy way to do that.

Here’s an example:

“The Onironauts will release their debut single “Chinese Tales” on 31/08/2015 on The Animal Farm.”

Once again: short, simple, and concise. Now the readers know when their first single will come out. They also know the song’s name and the record label that will publish it. If they were engaged enough to read the whole bio, the band has now given them a clear chance to check out what The Onironauts are all about.

Conclusion

By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you now have the formula to write an engaging musician bio. It is important to remember to keep your bio concise, showcase your personality and highlight the most important information about yourself that will get people interested in your music.

Creating an engaging musician bio is a great way to draw new potential audiences to your songs and live shows. You now have the tools to craft a bio that stands out, captures people’s attention quickly, and leaves them wanting more. So what are you waiting f

Do you want to fill your calendar with the gigs you really want and grow your audience as a professional musician? Apply to our Master Accelerator program here:

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