One of the most difficult parts about preparing your artist portfolio is writing a biography. It looks like a very simple task, but in reality it is so easy to write a boring bio without getting notice past the first two sentences. You want to keep it simple, yet provide details; you want to tell them your story, yet not like you’re writing a book, you want to stand out; yet you have to sound professional.
A biography is the ultimate dilemma or trilemma package out there, and for this reason many artists go about hiring a professional writer. I don’t think this is necessary as long as you organize the information well. So in this blog post, I would like to provide insights about how to organize your biography well.
In your introduction or your first paragraph, obviously you should state your artist name and your role (performer, producer, composer etc). Then give us the style that you fit into, doesn’t have to be a genre, but can be something like “my music is where Daft Punk meets Ariana Grande”. It’s also good to talk about your current home base, and maybe to use a cultural element of where you’re from. Quotes from reviews of publications are usually great for giving a first impression for the reader as well.
The second paragraph should be about your journey until today. You can start talking about how you first started making music and how this led you until today. This should be in a few sentences, so that we’re not oversharing with the reader, as our space is limited.
The third paragraph is where you would talk about your success in your career so far. This doesn’t have to be Grammy level, but give us your highlights, such as an important show you played, a chart success, an award, collaboration with someone you know, something that has been your most successful moment in music so far.
The last paragraph is where you should tell us what are you doing now (recording, touring, producing, teaching…). Are you a part of a social organization, or something that’s outside of music, such as a charitable cause? This could also tie into your music. Or maybe you are teaching at a school or university, these are the things that you can really get into.
So this is a basic outline for your biography. My further suggestion is to go to your favorite band or artists’ websites and look into their biographies. You will notice that everyone has a slightly different format in their biography. However, the basic information does not change. You can certainly shift Paragraph 1 into 3, or 3 into 2 and 2 into 1, but what matters is that the biography reflects your personality and gives a quick snapshot as an artist. If a journalist should look at your bio to write something, they should be able to obtain all of this information in less than 400 words. If they need something more, they will contact you for more details, but the trick is to give them as much as information in as little words as possible. So get out there and start writing your biography!
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Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. His new album ‘Aurora’ was be released on October 19, 2018 and his debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists is available on Spotify. In addition to being a musician, he regularly teaches workshops and masterclasses internationally. You can follow him on Instagram or Twitter, and for more information you can visit his website www.alpertuzcu.com