If you’re here, you probably already know that having a solid musician bio is incredibly important.
It is! It’s how a lot of people get to know you before (for example, journalists who are sent your electronic press kit) or directly after first hearing your music.
Writing a musician bio for yourself sounds like the easiest thing in the world—that is, until you sit down to do it. It should be easy, right? After all, who knows your life, career, and vision better than you do? But let’s face it, a lot of us became musicians because we’re not always great at talking about ourselves and sharing our thoughts and ideas in traditional ways. And some of us come from areas and cultures where it’s just not considered polite to talk about ourselves.
In this article, we’ll explain the different types of musician and band bios you need (yes, sorry, you need more than one), what they should include, helpful tips for writing them, and a few examples of great artist biographies to inspire yours.
How long should a music artist bio or band bio be?
The length of your artist or band bio should depend on what you’re using it for.
Most artists should have three biographies, each with different lengths:
- A short bio for social media
- A medium bio for websites
- A long bio for journalists and industry professionals
Each biography serves a different purpose and should be crafted separately from the other. Don’t start with the long biography and try to chop elements down from there—otherwise it might end up, well, choppy. Instead, write each biography as its own independent piece.
How to write your short bio
The short version of your artist bio is for social media, like your Instagram bio, and should be under 150 characters long including spaces.
Getting all the important information you want to convey in so few characters is an exercise in restraint and brevity. (To give you a ballpark length, the previous paragraph is 141 characters.) Sure, it’s tough—but it’s not impossible.
Here are the important things you want to make sure are included in your short bio:
- Genre: A few words will do here, such as “Psychedelic indie-surf-pop.”
- Highlights: Mention if you’re currently on tour or promoting a record.
- Location: This is normally where you’re based, but it could be a few places with which you’re most associated, such as “Texas-bred, Tennessee-based.”
- Social media handles for band members: This is optional, but is a good idea if your band members are well-known for other projects.
- An URL: This is usually an online link hub (like Linktree) that allows you to share multiple links at once, but you can also just link to your website, BandCamp, or a streaming service.
The great thing about location and the URL is that you don’t usually have to try to fit those into your bio. Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and other major social networks have separate location and URL fields for you to fill out that don’t count toward your character limit. That means you can focus on describing your sound and shouting out your highlights, projects, and band members.
This musician bio from Sundae Crush takes full advantage of a few of Instagram’s features, including breaking out their Linktree URL and location so those two items don’t take up precious biography characters.
But most importantly, Sundae Crush leads with a description of their music, “psychedelic rainbow pop,” and a call to order their debut album. Remember, you don’t have a lot of space in your social media bios, so you need to make the most of it.
The band also employs emojis to show off their personality and grab a viewer’s attention, and they tag their record label and the location of an upcoming show.
How to write your medium bio
Your medium-length artist biography is going to do a lot of heavy lifting.
This is the bio that will live on your official website, and it’s also the biography that you’ll submit to venues and festivals at which you’re performing, streaming services and more. In other words, a lot of people are going to see this biography, so you’re going to want to put some time into it.
So, how long is “medium?” This and your long bio have a lot more leeway, but we recommend keeping your medium-length biography to around 300-500 words.
Here are a few things you should include:
- An engaging intro: Since your short bio is only a few words, you don’t exactly need to hook readers. This time it’s important. Treat the first lines of your biography like the first lines of a song and try to draw the readers in. Make sure your personality shines through.
- Information on your current project: After your intro, dive right into information about your current project. That’s probably your most recent record, but it could also be a collaboration or something equally exciting. Mention how it came together, where you worked on it, and what your inspiration was.
- Band member/collaborator info: Next, share some background on your collaborators. Focus on their biggest highlights and achievements. Remember, the project itself is most important, but it’s also essential to include some of the human element—it can help you and your project connect with potential fans.
- Career highlights and accomplishments: After you’ve talked about each individual collaborator and their highlights, now’s the time to brag on yourself or your band , with a focus on important things as they pertain to your latest album or project.
- What’s next: This might be controversial (and it’s completely optional), since what’s next for you is likely constantly changing, but consider adding upcoming tour dates or events on your career’s horizon to your bio.
- Any other important information: This is a little vague, we know, but there’s a lot of room here for whatever you might think is important. Are you donating a portion of the vinyl proceeds to a great cause?
To give you an idea of what a great medium bio looks like in practice, check out this example from Side Piece, a collective featuring some of Nashville’s most talented hired gun musicians. The women in Side Piece have performed with some of the world’s biggest musicians on some of the world’s biggest stages. So what do they do on their time off? Perform together!
The musician bio on their website clocks in at just under 400 words and wastes no time grabbing your attention. “Nashville’s fiercest collection of female sidemen, banding together!” Already, the reader sees that the name is a play on words—the very term “sideman” implies men, but the band is made up of women.
The biography goes on to explain what sidemen are (the so-called “boys in the band”) before explaining that the mission of Side Piece is to “shatter the boys-only-backing-band statistic by coming together to form their own band while simultaneously helping to bring other women to the forefront of the world’s biggest stages.” And they do that by bringing together a few of the best sidemen in Nashville—who just happen to be women.
Next, the biography highlights the members: Annie Clements (bass/vocals), Megan Mullins (fiddle/vocals), Megan Jane (drums) and Nicole Lea (guitar/vocals). It also showcases a few of the impressive artists those musicians have performed without getting into the weeds.
Finally, the biography talks more about the project and what those who attend their shows can expect, which includes, three-part harmonies, “blistering” solos, and more. It also lets readers know where they can find the band and what types of songs they can expect to hear.
It’s a great medium-length musician bio that grabs the reader’s attention, keeps its focus, and delivers only the most important information.
How to write your long bio
After you write your medium bio, your long bio might seem pretty intimidating. But don’t worry, you’ve already done a lot of the work! You can start with the bulk of your medium-length biography and expand upon that—we recommend making your long bio around 800-1,000 words.
This version of your artist bio probably isn’t going to be seen by a lot of fans. It’s primarily going to be seen and used by music journalists and music industry professionals who receive your electronic press kit (EPK) and major promotional materials. Journalists in particular will want more details about you and your project so they can fill in more details for articles and coverage.
Here are some essential elements of your long artist biography:
- An engaging intro: Feel free to use the same intro as your medium-length bio, but you can also consider beefing it up, especially if you had to edit it down to get your word count down.
- Detailed description of current project: In your medium-length biography, you gave a little information about your most recent project, but this is the time to get into the nitty gritty of what drove the project. Talk about where it was created, what inspired it, who you recorded it with, what risks you took with the project. This is where you can really get into what makes this project so special to you. This is also a great time to discuss how it differs from previous projects and how you’ve grown as an artist.
- Band member/collaborator info: Next, dive into your collaborators. Focus on the high level of their backgrounds and their biggest highlights and achievements, but feel free to get into some detail about how they came to be part of the project. Remember, the project itself is most important, but it’s also essential to include some of the human element—it can help foster important connections. It can also spark interest for different types of journalists and publications, since no two are the same. For example, highlighting that your album was recorded completely by women and non-binary people could garner interest from outlets who like who highlight similar stories.
- Career highlights and accomplishments: Again, take what you had in your medium-length bio as your base, but feel free to bulk it up if you felt you had to hold back for the sake of keeping your shorter bio snappier.
- Media coverage: Did you get a great review from your favorite journalist when you released your last album? Did NPR feature you on All Songs Considered? Be sure to include those impressive write-ups.
- Any other important information: You might have had important information for folks visiting your website or your Spotify artist page, but what about journalists? Think about anything else journalists and other industry insiders might find interesting or that you just want them to know and make sure you include it!
Australia-based band Middle Kids’ long musician bio can be found not on their website, but on their publicist’s website. It’s the perfect place for it, because it’s where journalists and other industry professionals would go to find in-depth information about the rising rock band.
Coming in at over 1,000 words, it’s definitely a longer musician bio, but it’s an engaging read composed by Hilary Hughes.
The intro starts with a quote from singer and primary songwriter Hannah Joy that almost serves as a sort of artist statement, but the real musician bio kicks in with an engaging story of the band. Specifically, Hannah and her husband Tim Fitz (also the bassist in the band) started the album while expecting their first child. One of their ideas was to record a sonogram and incorporate it into a song on the album. It’s a deeply personal moment that quickly grabs the reader’s attention and gives the reader a wealth of insight into the heart of the band.
The rest of the biography is a deep-dive into both the album Today We’re The Greatest (which was the most recent project at the time, focusing on the new songs and the changes Hannah went through as a songwriter between the new album and the band’s previous work.
While this biography doesn’t delve into career highlights or previous media coverage, it is a stellar example of a detailed description of a current project and showcases the immense growth the young band has seen in a short period of time—an impressive feat.
Other ways to use your bio
You work hard on your bio—or, rather, bios—so you want to make sure you get that most use out of them. The good news is, there are a few other ways you can use the elements from your bio for your marketing.
Notable press coverage doesn’t have to live in your bio. Your press coverage can have its own page on your website, or you can mention and link to press coverage from your blog.
You can also use a free tool like Canva to build graphics featuring press quotes to share on social or in emails.
When you were organizing your band’s history, you hopefully pulled up some great old memories—and maybe some photos and videos, too. Those are great assets for sharing on Twitter and Instagram, in blog posts or even in emails for fun non-salesy content that will engage your fans on a personal level.
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Sometimes you gather older assets for reissues, as is the case with Kathleen Edwards recent reissue of her debut album Failer. Images via Kathleen Edwards.
Even if you don’t have a ton of photos, just sharing those stories with your fans via TikTok or on Instagram live is a great way to connect with your fanbase. Your older fans might share some of those memories and your newer fans will develop a deeper relationship with you. And if you’re a skilled writer, typing up some of that throwback content for your blog, email or even a standalone publication might reach farther than you’d expect, like when Jessica Dobson from Deep Sea Diver shared her experience (and history) of being in a band with her husband on Talkhouse.
Meet the band (or collaborators)
Another way to use the information you’ve already gathered for your biographies is to create a little meet the band (or collaborators) series through your social and email platforms. Just like the throwback content, sharing stories, accomplishments, and photos of the people who help make the music happen helps fans feel closer to the music they’re listening to.
General artist biography tips
We’ve talked a lot about how many artist bios to write, how long they should be, and what you should include in them, but we haven’t given you a lot of tips on how to write a remarkable musician bio. Here are a few tactics that should help you while writing your bios.
Draft an artist statement
While an artist statement should be separate from your musician bio, drafting an artist statement can help guide how you discuss your career as it relates to your most recent project. An artist statement is your way of putting into words the “how,” “what,” and “why,” of the art you create.
Don’t include your whole life story
There’s probably a lot that’s happened in your life that led you to become a musician and create your art. That’s a beautiful thing. However, your bio should focus on the most important elements of your life and career. The rest can wait for your memoire.
Keep your audience in mind
As we noted above, each type of biography has a different audience in mind—social fans, fans who heard your music and searched for your website, journalists and music business industry professionals respectively. Make sure you’re writing with them in mind.
Try to write an attention-grabbing first sentence for each paragraph
You already know that your first paragraph should try to grab the reader’s attention, but try to keep that same energy for each paragraph. It’s hard to do, but worth the effort. It will help ensure that readers stay focused throughout the entire bio rather than skimming the first section and bouncing from the page.
Know what to leave out
Don’t include things like number of website visitors or social media platform metrics or social proof—you’re not trying to sell to a label here, you’re trying to appeal to fans and journalists.
Use free writing tools
Like we always say, work smarter, not harder. The internet is full of great free writing tools to help you fine-tune your bios. We’re big fans of Hemingway Editor, which helps simplify your language by pointing out overly complicated words, passive voice, overlong sentences, and more. Another great and free tool is Grammarly, which (you guessed it) highlights grammatical errors in your writing and suggests fixes.
Know when to hire a pro
Sometimes, it’s best to know when to hire a professional. Even if you don’t want someone to write your entire musician biography for you, you might want to hire a copywriter or editor to do a final pass for a small fee. Upwork and Fiverr are just two examples of places to find freelancers who can either write your bio from scratch or do a final editing pass for you.
So, what’s the perfect bio?
How do you know when your biography is perfect? There’s no such thing as a perfect musician bio, just like your own songs are never absolutely, 100% perfect. You can always tinker here and there, but as long as what you’re trying to convey gets across, you’re golden.
Ultimately, your musician bio should tell your story. It should be a reflection of you. If you read it and the voice doesn’t feel right or you feel like it’s missing something that will help readers understand what makes you tick—what makes you a musician, then keep at it until you feel like it has that. But once you can read your bio and feel like it conveys you, ship it.
Did you know that ConvertKit has tools that can help musicians like you succeed? From easy-to-use emails to ecommerce features and free landing pages builders, check out some of ConvertKit’s tools for musicians.
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