The do’s and don’ts of sounding good without showing off your sounds.
Posted: 8 January 2019
You may be mindbogglingly talented and making music that could change the world, but that means diddly squat when your first impression nearly always comes from your biography. Fans, promoters and labels will find your press kit / website / streaming pages and expect to discover who you are, what you sound like, and if they’re going to like you. After that, they may listen to your tracks. So how exactly do you sell your music without even playing it?
It not only looks more professional but also makes it easy for promoters and labels to copy and paste your bio when promoting your band.
Everyone wants to know who you are and what your music’s like. They don’t however want to know your favourite colour is and that you enjoy long walks on the beach.
Depending on where your bio is going to be used it’s worth having a short (one paragraph) statement for a quick pitch, a medium version (two or three paragraphs) that could work on your Spotify Artists page, and a long (one page) version that tells your full story on your website.
Every band is unique and has unique backstories and aims. This is your main selling point, and the reason why fans will invest both physically and emotionally. Did you form because you’re on a mission from god, to soundtrack an anarchist movement, or something else entirely? This sets you out from all the other bands and is where your bio comes to life so make the most of it!
The most important part of your story is the most recent chapter. Cary Baker, former VP of Publicity for Capitol Records says: “It doesn’t matter that a band started in Chicago in 1984. It matters that they have a new album coming out. Talk about the new album and get people excited about it.”
Keep in mind that your bio will sit across a number of places, including your own website, accompanying your demos and being pushed out to members of the press. This can be tricky, but your bio needs to engage potential fans and industry members alike.
These not only add an expert’s take to your bio, but they bring a bio to life and give it a unique feel and flavour. Just don’t go overboard, a couple of snappy comments will do.
Doing things right is only half the story. Your bio should be the one place where a fan or industry person can get all the information about you they need, but there's also pitfalls to avoid which could scupper your chances before you've even got going.
Make sure to include your bands name, where they can hear you and what you sound like. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to follow you or listen to your tracks, you’d be amazed how often these elements are overlooked.
After all your bio is going to be so good they’re going to be begging to hear you. Give the people what they want!
Every band says they’re brilliant but no one says why. If your bio includes the words great, genre-defining, incredible, amazing or anything similar then strip it out and replace it with something that shows you’re unique and not just a show-off.
But at the same time don't lie! While it’s important to include career high points, make sure you don’t overegg it. It’s easy to get caught out when you do hit the big time and being authentic is important to appeal to both fans and the industry.
It’s tough to write a bio so don’t rush it, or beat yourself up if it's not going your way. It’s better to take your time and get it right. If you're really struggling then it's worth considering getting a professional in to help out.
Make sure to include new releases, announcements and accomplishments. If you’re sending round an out of date bio then you won’t appear very professional.
Let's be honest, this is an unforgivable mistake. Put simply, spelling and grammar mistakes will stop you being taken seriously.
Rule 101 is to keep the information relevant and up to date. But if you’re looking to sell your band, then as musician and BBC Radio presenter Tom Robinson says: “The Golden Rule is don’t tell us how great you are. Tell us how interesting you are”. That’s how to make your band bio truly stand out.