Your biography is one of the most important pieces of your press kit and website.
Venues, promoters, booking agents, and even journalists rely on a bands biography to help them spread the word about music and write about performers. When you consider how important a great biography is, writing one for your band can seem like a daunting task.
Here are a few ways you can take your biography to the next level.
Put the most important and interesting information first
Realistically speaking, not everyone who sees your bio is going to read the entire thing. If your band has just released a record, is announcing a tour, or has something else exciting to share, that information should go near the top of the biography. The obvious details about the band should be placed further down on the page, as they are less likely to spark interest in new fans, and more likely to be something someone would go looking for.
Check out Pat McGee’s site for an excellent example of this style of writing. Notice how he calls attention to his latest record in the opening sentence, and places his personal details near the end of his bio.
Share highlights and media quotes
If you have them, third party reviews of your music can be extremely powerful. They help qualify your music through someone else’s ears, and carry way more weight than self-declared descriptions like “unique” or “awesome.” Mentioning career highlights such as awards or large shows are also a great way to build some credibility with the reader.
While you may not have Grammy nominations or have been touted by NPR, you can still learn a lot from the style in which Gretchen Peters’ biography was written.
Include brief details about the band and its members
You’ll want to include the obvious information that people will look for, but don’t drone on for paragraphs and paragraphs, you can save that for your memoir.
- Who is in the band
- Where the band is from
- How you got your start or how the members met
- What kind of style you have and who you may have been compared to
- If your band has something that makes it different — like all of the members live in different states (Birds Over Arkansas) — then say so.
Include at least one great photo
Promotional shots are a great accompaniment to a well written bio. Not only do people enjoy seeing who they are reading about, but photos also allow you to put a little personality into your biography.
Check out how well the city scape backgrounds in Tim Snider’s photos mesh with his globe-spanning sound. Or, how the wide open feel of Eight Dollar Mountain’s promotional photo represents the idea of Southern Oregon Bluegrass.
Write and rewrite
It’s easy to believe that once you finish your biography, you can leave it alone for good. However, as your career grows, odds are that you will have more experiences to write about, and you may even find the inspiration behind your music changing. Your biography should be kept current and include not only the obvious things like tours and records, but also small injections of emotion that can help readers connect with and understand your music. Get readers interested in your music by getting them interested in you.