How to Write a Musician Bio
Your musician bio or artist bio is often the first piece of information that media creators, i.e., bloggers, journalists, vloggers, event and festival organizers, and other key figures and influencers in the music industry will read about you.
Also, today’s streaming and social media platforms have a prominent area dedicated to your musician bio, which is often the first place a person goes to read more about you if you caught their attention with a song or another piece of content.
How to Write a Musician Bio – Table of Contents
- Why Write a Musician Bio? Who Is Your Musician Bio For? What Is Your Musician Bio’s Goals?
- Elements of a Musician Bio
- Summary of a Musician Bio
- Should a Musician Bio be Written in First Person or Third Person?
- How to Write Your Musician Bio for Social Media – Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Should You Write an Musician Bio By Yourself or Should You Hire a Professional Writer Experienced in Musician Bio Writing to Do It for You?
Why Write a Musician Bio? Who Is Your Musician Bio For? What Is Your Musician Bio’s Goals?
Writing a musician bio first needs to consider who the bio is primarily for, and what are your goals with regard to that audience.
The most common primary audience for a musician bio are media creators, i.e., journalists, bloggers, vloggers, and other influencers.
The most common goal for musicians sending their musician bio to media creators is that they take notice of the musician, and agree to some form of collaboration, e.g., that they feature the musician and their music on their channel/s.
Other audiences of a musician bio could be event and festival organizers and fans. Therefore, the music bios need to reflect what each audience primarily needs.
- Media creators mostly need content that would provide value to their respective audiences.
- Event and festival organizers mostly need to know that the acts they’re hiring will bring people to the venue.
- Fans mostly need the most important latest updates (e.g. new or upcoming releases and/or tours) from the musician in the bio.
Therefore, initially, musicians should create a musician bio for each respective audience in the places they will visit. Media creators and event and festival organizers would read the music bio either sent to them in an email, or on the musician’s profile pages on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music, as well as on the “About” page of the musician’s website.
Fans would interact more with the music bio in social media sites’ bio sections.
The way I recommend writing musician bios is that you start with writing your short music bio aimed at media creators and/or event and festival organizers, then fill out a longer one for the first audience, and then write a music bio per social media platform to better suit your fans (or potential fans if you’re starting out).
Elements of a Musician Bio
A musician bio used for sending to media creators commonly includes the following elements:
Elevator Pitch First Sentence
The first sentence needs to be hard hitting. It needs to catch the reader off guard, making the reader want to keep reading to find out more about the musician.
If you think of yourself as a scriptwriter who wrote a film script, and now has to approach a production company that receives hundreds of scripts each day, what would be the one-sentence pitch you would say to them in order for them to want to continue listening to you?
The first sentence needs an incredible amount of scrutiny in order to pinpoint the specific amazing, unique and/or relatable aspect of the artist, without using hype language and clichés, and communicate it in a way that emotionally impacts the reader, leaving them hungry for more.
In terms of approaching the writing of a musician bio, it is good for the musician to think about this sentence themselves—that they think hard about what is the most unique point about them, something that could be said about them as an artist that cannot be said about anyone else. And remember, avoid clichés that are heard often in these descriptive situations, i.e., phrases like “one of a kind,” “set to blow up,” and common descriptive words like “mysterious.”
YouTuber Outerloop Group created a very good video that stresses these points, the importance of the first sentence of the music bio, and gives additional insights than what I wrote here. I recommend watching it in order for this point to really sink in…
In short, no matter how good your music is, and no matter how professional your photos, cover art, and the rest of your music bio is, if you fail to garner readers’ interest in the initial sentence, then they will likely pass over all that work you put into your music and other content you’ve prepared.
Especially in an era where anybody can upload their music to a distributor and pitch it to blogs, radio stations, and other influential channels, your music bio’s first sentence is crucial in order to make you stand out from the noise!
No matter how interesting and attractive your music bio is, there is essential information that media creators almost always seek about an artist they’re interested in:
- Where is the artist from? Where does the artist live?
- What is the artist’s sound, genre, and style?
- What are the artist’s biggest 1-3 achievements? What is the artist’s relevant education?
- What does the artist represent? What is the artist’s philosophy, the “why” behind what the artist creates?
A musician bio needs to provide that information. It is often written plainly, sentence after sentence. However, a more attractive musician bio is one that weaves those details into the artist’s enveloping story.
The story is the enveloping context within which all the aforementioned aspects come together.
The story is unique solely to the artist. It can point to one or many factors that have interwoven the specific phenomenon that is the artist: the artist’s…
- Surrounding environment and culture,
- Experiences, and
One way to check whether the artist’s story is unique specifically to this particular artist is by replacing the artist’s name with another artist name, and checking whether the bio truly communicates the particular artist’s uniqueness, strengths, and motivations, or whether it fits with other artists as well, and thus would need further refining.
The story should naturally follow on from the elevator pitch, link through all the essential information, and end with the artist’s “why”—the vision and purpose of the artist.
Summary of a Musician Bio
- The first sentence is the elevator pitch that needs to have a killer angle, making the reader want to continue reading.
- The second sentence starts situating the artist into a familiar territory of genres and styles, while doing so within the context of a story that gives broader context as to why and/or how the artist fits into that territory.
- The following 1-3 sentences communicate essential information about the artist that anyone interested in finding more out about the artist would want to know, i.e., the artist’s background, location, influences, surrounding environment and culture, relevant education, experiences, and philosophy.
- The last 1-3 sentences should discuss the artist’s “why”—philosophy, vision, and purpose.
- All of the above points should ideally be enveloped into a story that provides a bigger context that all the elements fit within, unique to the artist.
Should a Musician Bio be Written in First Person or Third Person?
If it’s a musician bio aimed at media creators (e.g. journalists, bloggers, vloggers, etc.), then it should be written in third person. The reason is simply that third person writing lets media creators easily copy/paste the bio into their posts, whereas first person writing forces media creators to work more in order to edit the bio in order to make it third person.
If it is a bio aimed at fans or other musicians, then it can be written in first person in order to establish a more personal affiliation with them.
Again, it all depends on who the bio is written for, and what its goals are.
How to Write Your Musician Bio for Social Media – Instagram, Twitter, Etc.
Once you have your extended musician bio, you should then have a well thought-out expression of who you are, what you do, your strengths, motivation, uniqueness, social proof that boosts your artist self, your biggest 1-3 achievements, and that it is all tied together in a compelling story that is unique to you.
That bio is essentially for media creators, and it can exist on emails that are sent to journalists, bloggers, music directors, playlist curators, and event organizers. It can be on your EPK, and it also might suit the “About Me” page of your website.
However, it is too long for the bio section in all your social media accounts.
What, then, should you put on your social media profiles?
First, as mentioned in the beginning, the question should be: Who is your bio on your social media profiles for?
On your social media profiles, your bio is more for your fans and potential fans than it is for media creators.
Also, there are technical limits on most social media bios that require the social media bio to be much shorter than your extended bio, so it cannot be the same bio. It can use elements that you plotted out in your extended bio, but in a shorter form, and in a way that better communicates to your target fan audiences.
Your Social Media Musician Bio Has the Same Basic Components as Your Main Musician Bio… But With These Differences
Your social media musician bios essentially have the same structure as your main musician bio, but instead of expanding at length in a few paragraphs, the social media bios are much more concise, and they fit into each platform’s profile page as integrative parts of an experience that includes:
- Your profile picture – what works best for a profile photo is a high quality facial close-up shot, or one that uses eye-catching colors.
- Your username – make sure your username is customized, and that it is the same as your artist name, or includes your artist name if your artist name is taken, e.g. “ArtistName,” “OfficialArtistName,” “ArtistNameOfficial,” or “RealArtistName.”
- Your profile name – your profile name doesn’t have to be the same as your username. It could be your artist name, or you could use it as a headline that aims to attract more attention to what your artist self stands for.
- Pinned posts – your pinned posts are the first posts that a person sees on your profile page, at the top of your content feed. It’s important to keep your pinned posts relevant with the most current update you want to say or show.
- Latest posts – under your pinned posts are your latest posts. It’s important that you have a few posts on your profile page, otherwise people reaching your profile page will see that you’re inactive and will think that there is nobody there to engage with.
- Follower/following numbers – “followers” are the accounts following you, and “following” are the accounts you follow. The general rule of thumb is that you have more followers than accounts you’re following, and also that if you want to be taken seriously, that you have at least 200-to-300 followers on your profile page. This gives your account social proof to a person visiting the page for the first time. If they see only 5 or 13 followers, then they are less likely to follow you as you will seem socially irrelevant to them.
- Your cover image – your cover image can add significantly to the image you’re trying to convey, as well as offer the most important information you want to communicate to people, e.g. your latest or upcoming release or tour.
- Your stories – your stories reflect the various strands of your content marketing strategy. For example, as a musician, your recorded music is one component out of a few in your content marketing strategy. Others could be content where you speak directly to your audience, live performances, videos and photos of you in different life situations that serve to express who you are, what you’re about, and the person behind the music, funny content, or educational content, depending on what you stand for. Your stories then act like categories pointing out the different strands of your content marketing strategy.
Understanding this landscape that your artist bio resides within, and the particularities of each social media platform, is essential to planning your presence throughout the various social media channels.
Now, when we finally get to the bio part of your social media presence, it should essentially have the same elements as your extended artist bio, but in a more concise form that suits the platform it resides in. Those elements are as follows:
- The elevator pitch that needs to have a killer angle, making the reader want to continue reading. This can be either the first line of the bio, or it could even be made into the profile name, which can act like a headline for your account.
- Your story that answers who you are, what you do, and what you’re about with only a few words and emojis. This is a different way of presenting the story than in the above-mentioned extended artist bio, one where with a single sentence of keywords, you say something that can relate emotionally to you, either by presenting your struggle, or by presenting a funny aspect of your artist self, depending on the image you aim to communicate.
- Your location that lets people geographically position you, and which opens opportunities for collaborations, local live shows, and meeting other people on a physical basis.
- Your biggest 1-3 achievements that aim to add credibility and social proof to your artist profile.
- Your links to your other social media profiles and/or to your most important current page (e.g. a current release, or a pre-save link to an upcoming release)
Then, there are a number of tactical do’s and don’ts of weaving together the above points into various social media bios, including the following:
- Use emojis together with text to give more life to your bio, making it more fun and engaging.
- Don’t use hashtags in your bios. There has been no conclusive research showing that hashtags in social media bios increase traffic to your social media profile pages, and also, hashtags are links in your bios that direct people to the respective social media hashtag pages, lessening the chances that they click on the links that you want them to click. Also, hashtags simply make your bio look ugly (especially if there are more than one of them).
- Use a call-to-action – the call-to-action can be used to get people to click on a link that you direct people to click. It is commonly used to enable people to click on the artist’s latest release, or to click to pre-save an upcoming release. Emojis can further emphasize call-to-actions by pointing directly to the links.
- Don’t be boring. There are plenty of bios that have had little to no thought going into them. Don’t make your bio the same.
- Sound human. Contrary to the extended artist bio, which is good practice to write in third person, your social media bio is good to be in first person, speaking directly to your fans and potential fans. In the same line, avoid corporate jargon and making it sound too “professional.”
- Don’t take example from established artists. A common problem with upcoming artists, not only with bios but also in many other areas, is that they take example from established artists who have millions of fans, who live in “mansions” distanced from the public and from the thousands of comments that their music and content gets on a daily basis. When you’re an upcoming artist, you don’t want to artificially separate yourself from others thinking that you’re so hot. You should rather use the fact that you’re not flooded by the masses, and that you’re approachable on a personal level, as an advantage. Use it to build meaningful connections with fans, with other musicians, to find collaboration opportunities with other upcoming artists, to value every person who is willing to make time for you, and grow together with them.
Should You Write an Musician Bio By Yourself or Should You Hire a Professional Writer Experienced in Musician Bio Writing to Do It for You?
Using the guidelines above, you now have the tools to not only write a solid musician bio, but a killer one!
Since the musician bio is one of the first pieces of information that most people will go to find out more about you, and especially considering that it is often sent out to people with a good mastery of written English, like journalists and bloggers, then if a musician bio is written badly, or even has some slight amateur signs like some incorrect grammar, spacing, or punctuation, then since there are so many musicians fighting for attention, and since these influencers’ inboxes are already overloaded with emails, then the lack of professionalism in your bio is also often the first and only signal to a prospective industry contact to scrap you and move on to the next one.
Therefore, while I’ve given you the guidelines, if you feel that you don’t have a mastery of written English, or that you need a hand to optimally extract those crucial points that will emphasize your strengths, uniqueness, and motivations—and especially, the angle for your first sentence—then it is recommended that you turn to a professional writer experienced in artist bio writing to help you with this.
For this purpose, I have created a service at a reasonable price to write your musician bio. In the service, I’ll take you through the above-mentioned process toward any musician bio goals you wish to achieve, from a short bio and/or extended musician bio to send to media creators, and to bios for your social media profiles. You can use the link below to use this service. Good luck!