1. Make bullet points that tell the reader :
Who you are:
What you have done:
When you started
Why you want to be heard, seen, sold or the bio to be read.
Where you are from and where you are going.
2. Emphasize the positive! List the popular groups you have done shows with first. If you have yet to do many shows, do not even mention shows. Instead mention your recording experiences, and other music related experience. Never make any claims that are not true, Namedrop with out actually knowing the persons real name, and never exaggerate any ones popularity. You are dealing with an educated audience and they smell what your stepping in when you leave a pile of plop. The information that you provide on a bio will be talked about with other industry folks, and you will shoot yourself in the foot if you can not prove what you say.
3. Use your logo. Never submit a press kit or bio to someone with out your logo on it. Branding is what a label or venue looks for. If you are unprofessional now, money won’t help you get that way. Music is business to anyone reading your bio, if it is sloppy, unoriginal and thrown together, they are all going to laugh at you. Adam Sandler style.
4. Industry business is a formated and serious undertaking in which participation mandates playing by industry rules. If you do not know what type of music you produce, then ya betta ax somebody. If you do not resemble a current famous artist, sound like something famous, or get a crowd to respond to your music then an industry reader will not know what you do. RELATE TO SOMETHING FAMILIAR…
5. Never be a smart ass to your reader / audience. If you think you are already better then everyone else you will soon find out that the reader will understand that you do not need their participation in which to become better. Humility and Humor will take you much further than a hard personality. Don’t get me wrong, if you are street, then do not change, because Hard is a huge niche in this industry, but don’t make the bio all about how hard you are. Mention the fact that you do have street cred. and how you would use that to your advantage over those Vanilla Ice’s out there.
6. Never mention how great and wonderful your music is, and sure as hell do not say that you are the best ever. Follow me on this one, if you are the reader and you are trying to find the next best artist out there, and so and so comes along and thinks they are better than the huge name they currently work with, the first question they ask themselves is “If you are so great, then why am I just now hearing about you, I work with the greatest already.”
7. List your influences as if you are being judged on the talent you have and the talent you want. For instance, when naming Jimmi Hendrix as an influence the reader will automatically look for him in your music. If you are copying his style it is one thing, but if you perform like him, but sound nothing like him it will be obvious that influence vs. imitation won out when finding your niche.
8. When noting how the group formed, never dull the reader with “no names” and the several attempts to keep a band together, or how many names you went through to get the right one. Unless you have Bushwick Bill on your stage adding credibility to your music, do not list his manager’s cousin or what church that cousin saw you at to impress the reader. Keep It Simple & Stupid … KISS
9. List any and all awards, battle of the band type stuff that you can think of, and your recording experiences. Mention the style in which you record, written vs. freestyle, by your self vs. with everyone present, and even what you learned from the recording producer. Never under estimate the one doing the recording, just because he/she does not namedrop that does not mean that they do not know anyone. Most of us professionals know so many important people that we would be inundated by all of the nonsense (things that do not make money) that we would not have time to do our job, so we rarely can afford to name drop. This industry is about who you know, but it is more about what they know of you.
10. Briefly describe each group member, and thanks to myspace.com you should probably have a reference to each persons myspace page. ( yes you should have a page for each and a separate one for the group / band) Rather than listing each persons favorite music, list their shirt size, maybe a shoe size, favorite drink, or most embarrassing moment. Make the reader feel like they belong and want to find out more.
11. You need to have up to 3 different bios written and handy for the three main readers
Music Label / Industry: A group has to prove their longevity and worth in their music, and the group must agree that business will be taken care of with little liability, a fan base is existing and their are plans on how to make it bigger, that all of the songwriting has been done by current members of the band and would not have to be outsourced, and last but not least, A LABEL WANTS TO BE ASSURED THAT YOU CAN FOLLOW DIRECTIONS.
Club / Music Venue : clubs want to know if you can draw a crowd or are you going to bring a crowd that spends money? Usually they will be willing to go half on advertising / fliers if they can be assured that they will be delivered.
Advertising / Sponsors: Want to see proof of your fan base see potential in gaining a good response for helping you grow it.
12. All bio info is current and correct. All press kit info matches and is easily found:
Name: url: myspace info: address: contact number:
13. Spell everything correctly (except slang song titles and member names).
Make sure that someone who passed English class proofs your final copy. Read other famous bios and compare the format to yours. Never let form or how it looks overshadow what it is supposed to do, which is inform the reader.
14. Write your bio specifically for the intended reader, know your audience.