Words by Kavina.
This year we have witnessed the power of the internet to connect artists to the world in its full capacity and we reckon it’s going to change the face of the old school gig hookup game forever. Having a killer artist bio is so important to your portfolio and electronic press kit (EPK) because in this evolving swipe left or right world, it provides an instantaneous snapshot long before potential venues and fans may get the chance to hear your music in person.
In keeping up with the pace, the convenience of finding and booking artists will become more instantaneous than the order and delivery of your favourite slab of beers from Stomping Ground to your doorstep in less than 24 hours. And to think you used to leave the house for a six pack before all this COVID stuff went down. That’s why you need to make sure your bio game is on point, provides all the relevant facts and showcases your killer repertoire in a concise but engaging way.
That’s what they’ll be saying after they read your bio and are totally convinced that you’re the musician for that next event or venue gig. If you thought there were heaps of fish in that big internet ocean before, consider the fact that the other half of the less savvy population has now had to find its way online to continue to thrive and stay connected while they can’t play live. During this downtime, word of mouth or event networking techniques have been replaced by visibility and web presence. That internet ocean is no joke. But it’s cool we’ve got life jackets a.k.a ‘how to’ articles.
Whoever you associate with, whether they are your favourite authors, fellow musicians, comedians or even your mums linkedin page, even finding inspiration in adapting a certain voice for a different genre can be a unique way to stand out.
When in doubt look to those you admire the most then follow their lead. Check out their writing style, length, the voice, whether they’ve used a lot of color or humor in the writing or how they’ve adapted their bio to specific web outlets. You’ll notice how that changes over different mediums too. From instagram to spotify, their website EPKs, bandcamp and soundcloud profiles will have varying lengths with specific info to fit the relevance of the viewers search intentions.
Your hometown or current base, if you’ve moved around for your music or how long you’ve been in the game if it shows an accumulation of experience - ‘since I was two years old’ isn’t really that cute. Everyone loves a good backstory, and it’s a great way to very succinctly show your individual personality as you describe the meaningful parts of your music journey so far and your passions as an artist.
Now that the audience gets a feel for who you are as an artist it’s time to talk about your music. Here’s the part where you can describe your sound, your major influences, affiliations with acts you love and where you’re currently at in your music journey. Whether you’re recording an album or focussing on touring or experimenting. This is the space to add some magazine reviews or publication descriptions about your works. Once you’ve nailed this section you’ve just got to polish it off with some experience.
As with any resume, you’ve got to list your experience to back up everything you’re about. It’s difficult to know where to place this, at the end of your bio or at the top for impact, but it’s up to you and the flow of your writing. Pick the best of your career highlights and the offerings you’re most proud of and give the audience your greatest capacity as an artist and musician. You can include radio shows, support acts, festivals or headline tours. The sky's the limit.
This is a riveting short story of a young artist with the dream to rock. Not an epic novel so we can probably save that for the netflix documentary once you’ve made it.
I really wanted to head this point with something quirky about “you’re the voice, try and understand it” but we’ll move past that.
As far as your tone goes, this is the part where you get to have some fun. Your voice should express or complement your artistic works. For example if you dig the punk rock, don't be afraid to be flamboyant and punchy if that’s the way your music and performance style flows.
Always keep in mind the kind of audience you want to attract and whether you come off as professional and assertive or obnoxious and aggressive. While we’re all for voicing our musical opinions, there’s definitely a right and wrong way to do this in our music careers.
Something easy to forget if you’re giving this bio-writing thing a crack for yourself is to use the third person narrative. Consider how future agents or venues/publications/promoters will use your bio when showcasing you for an upcoming gig or feature.
*Pro-tip. Do not say please and thank you and we hope to hear from you. You’re awesome, you are a performer and you can say thank you after the show.
**Pro-pro-tip. Keep it classy and hold the cheese. You know what I mean.
Once you’ve patched together all the relevant info, it’s a matter of watching that word count, checking that flow and ticking all the boxes. You’re creative, you’ve got this, and if you need any help, Muso App is here to help. Check out some of our already established artist profiles for some extra inspo, or feel free to chat with us if you need some feedback. If you’re adding a bio to your EPK or just starting to create one, we’ve got you covered with an article for that too.