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Learn how to craft the perfect musician biography.
Turn a boring, lifeless artist bio into one that captivates readers and gets you the gig.
Musician bio examples I’ve written are included. Feel free to draw inspiration from them!
Press shots, music videos, merchandise etc are crucial branding elements that form the building blocks of your successful music career.
However, one important pillar of all of these branding elements that I see many producers and bands neglect is their artist biography.
The musician biography is a core component of any self-respecting artist’s press kit, and is prime real estate for highlighting the 5 W’s (who, what, why, when, where) of your artistry.
Your artist biography will be displayed across all social media channels, your website, blogs, magazines and more. As a result, it’s one of your best chances to make an impact on industry professionals, media/blogs, and of course: fans/listeners.
So why not spend the time to ensure that your artist bio is as perfect as it can be?
As a professional copywriter and someone who has written well over 100 artist bios over the years, I’ve learnt a few tricks and tips along the way and I’d love to take the time to share them with you in this article.
Without further ado, here is my step-by-step guide to writing an effective musician biography.
My 5-Step Process To Writing An Effective Musician Bio (With Examples)
1. Establish your tone of voice
The tone of voice you decide on is crucial. So before pen even hits the paper, you’ll need to think about the style and writing personality of how you want to portray yourself. There is no one-size-fits-all here, so you’ll need to think about whether you want to come across as: relaxed/casual or formal/professional. Do you want to inject humor and wit into your biography? Or are you more of an introverted, self-deprecating force? Have a think about the characteristics that your music brings to the table.
An example of an opening statement from a casual/relaxed musician bio:
“Hailing from the humble streets of Port Arthur, Texas, USA, rap extraordinaire “Fresh Fred” is a force to be reckoned with. With a taste for the 808 and dominating yet groovy basslines, Fred’s sound is driving and sub-heavy, and guarantees to have you bouncing like a Caddy fitted with premium hydraulics.”
Artist Biography (Fresh Fred), written by Producer Hive.
An example of an opening statement from a formal/professional musician bio:
“Underlying any great success or accomplishment is a story of a tenacious struggle, an unyielding drive, and a passion great enough to persevere, to strive. This sentiment rings true for Buffalo rap talent, JReasn.”
Artist Biography (JReasn), written by Producer Hive.
2. Define your artist statement
Your artist statement defines the ‘why’ of your artistry. In other words, why do you make music? Is there an overarching mission that you or your band/project sets out to achieve? Are you fighting for any particular cause? Are you looking to reach out to and relate to a subset or particular community of people who share a common goal with you?
Having a strong artist statement with a clear vision is a great way to connect with your audience, and gain new fans who also share similar views with you.
Here is an example of a well-defined artist statement:
“One element which makes music so powerful is its capacity to take listeners for a ride. DJ Kosta expresses progression and movement in music, transporting listeners to a magical place where unity and freedom is realised.”
Artist Biography (DJ Kosta), written by Producer Hive.
Here is another example of a compelling artist statement:
“Damien’s humble beginnings growing up in a small town in Missouri inevitably shaped him to become the honest, driven and highly spirited individual that he is today. A firm believer in the strength of community, the sounds of Damien Gunn are charged by the electricity that connects people. It’s through his music that this power is realised, the capacity to bond people together over mutual passions for good times and equally as great music.”
Artist Biography (Damien Gunn), written by Producer Hive.
3. Describe your music
Along with your mission statement, a well-defined description of your sound is critical to a good musician biography. After all, an integral part of an artist biography is to paint a picture of what your music sounds like, in reference to its tonal characteristics, emotions, and vibe.
Grab a beverage, and sit back as you put on a few of your own tracks that you feel represent the sound of your artistry best. Now, note down any adjectives that spring to mind and go over the list when you feel you have enough to draw from.
A tip from here is to pick out some of the good ones and run them through an online thesaurus. Better yet, there’s a free online tool called Visuwords that lets you type in any word you like and it will spit out a beautiful visual representation of similar words that you could use to describe your music with.
Ultimately, think of this writing exercise as an elevator pitch, i.e. you’ve got less than 30 seconds to pitch to someone how your music sounds. What do you say to them? Here are some questions to consider when approaching this section:
What kind of stories do you tell with your music?
What emotions do you bring to the table?
What do you hope your listeners to feel/take away from your music?
What makes your music unique?
Here is an example of a biography that utilizes strong adjectives and imagery to evoke a compelling description:
“InternalEye’s music is a melting pot of deep and emotionally-charged soundscapes, lush, ambient textures and new-age grooves. His productions are undoubtedly enchanting; a sensory delight capable of transporting listeners to surreal territory bound only by one’s imagination.
While his music spans a range of contemporary styles, one thing is for certain – that his auditory expeditions will take you on a journey of meditative sound and light, releasing harboured tension from within and gently easing the mind towards a state of tranquillity.”
Artist Biography (InternalEye), written by Producer Hive.
Need more inspiration? Here is another example of a well-written artist summary:
“Asterus’s music encapsulates a brooding and mysterious energy that is intent on surfacing the listener’s deepest, most profound thoughts. A purveyor of haunting atmospherics, lush textures and silky-smooth beats, Asterus’s music is honest and implacable.
While relentlessly dark by nature, he is however, not one to shy away from letting his lighter side shine through. Elements that suggest a hopeful resolve are often utilized, which, when blended together – creates his unique style of bittersweet Trip-Hop.”
Artist Biography (Asterus), written by Producer Hive.
4. Tell your backstory
Somewhere in the body of your biography, should be a brief and succinct paragraph or two about how the artist/band formed. Not everyone has an ‘out of this world’, or mindblowing backstory to tell, but don’t worry.
Here are a few pointers that you could think about to start off this paragraph:
Mention where you grew up, the cities/areas you’ve lived in, and where you currently live today
How have those cities/neighbourhoods shaped the sound of your music?
If there are multiple members in the project, try and think of something interesting about how you met.
How did you start getting involved in music? How long have you been at it before you started taking it seriously? Is there an interesting story to tell about your musical journey?
Was there a certain ‘Aha!’ moment or record/song that sparked your desire to become a musician?
Here is an example of an artist biography that illustrates the backstory of an artist in a compelling way:
While only a newcomer to the rap scene, Rane has always been a creator at heart, boasting a musical development grounded in the flute and bass guitar.
Dabbling in hip-hop in his mid-teens, it was only until last year that Rane was introduced to the mechanics of fluid rhymes, wave sampling, and sequenced electronic beats.
With his dear friend ‘Keith’ riding shotgun, Rane took the wheel like a natural, immediately grasping the concept of satirical flippancy through this poignant lyric: “Shoot him in the foot and have him walking with his shell toe”. Finding this superbly comical, Rane has injected his own music with this unique sense of humour.
Artist Biography (RaneRaps), written by Producer Hive.
5. Include your released work and future plans
This paragraph should be relatively straightforward. Make a note of all the releases that have come out, and include any impressive statistics such as:
the number of plays
whether it did well in the charts
won an award
whether you collaborated on the song/release with anyone notable
Be sure to also tease in any new material that you have upcoming, and when people can expect that music to be released (if applicable).
Here’s an example of a musician biography in relation to releases and future plans:
The Fox & The Hounds have so far released two albums. Their latest album, entitled Peachy Keen, is a screaming six-song odyssey through the satin-and-smoke-filled world of love, loss, betrayal, and revenge in which the band makes its home.
It hit the shelves in 2015 and went on to release 2 music videos for the singles ‘Panic’ and ‘How The Other Half Live’. They were awarded the ‘Top Up-And-Coming Band’ by CBS, as well as ‘Best Song’ for ‘How The Other Half Live’.
Artist Biography (The Fox & The Hounds), written by Producer Hive.
If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re ready to launch your music career to the next level. If you’re hard-pressed to find the time to write your own artist bio or design a musician press kit, why not check out our musician bio writing and electronic press kit design services by clicking here. We’ve written and designed press kits for over 120 happy musicians worldwide.