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The Basics: Writing a Biog for Your Band with The Unsigned Guide

The Unsigned Guide new series The Basics helps you tackle the fundamentals of promoting your music and communicating with the music industry.

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The Unsigned Guide launched The Basics blogs to help you tackle the fundamentals of promoting your music and communicating with the music industry.

For many bands and artists, their main focus is on making music (and rightly so!). When the time comes to book gigs, apply for festival slots, get radio airplay or try to get a review on a music blog, you will need the necessary tools to promote your music effectively. So, let’s start at the beginning…with the biog.

Why you need a biog

If you want a music blogger or journalist to write about your track they will need some current information to work with. You need to be able to provide a straightforward biog detailing your background and achievements. Likewise for radio DJs who want to play your track, gig promoters or festival bookers, A&R contacts at record labels – all will want to know more about you and why you’re so great. A biog allows them to do this in one convenient place.

As the mighty Tom Robinson of BBC Introducing explains “I’ve lost count of the times I’ve loved a particular tune, decided to play it on the radio – and then found the artist’s Facebook or SoundCloud contains no information whatsoever”. Don’t be that band!

What should be in good biog

The first thing to remember about writing a biog is that, whilst it should obviously touch on the music you make, it is primarily to tell people more about you as a band or artist and your journey so far, rather than an in-depth breakdown of the style of music you create. Have a look at band websites and check out their biogs to get a feel for what is required.

You will need to include:

  • Who is in the band (breakdown of band members)
  • When you formed/started playing music
  • Where you’re based
  • Details of releases so far – mention if they were released through an independent label
  • Influences – your musical influences can pique someone’s interest but keep it brief
  • Stand-out achievements – airplay, blog/press coverage, festival slots, great gigs & support slots, award nominations or namechecks
  • Do you have an interesting back-story? This can be compelling and will help you stand out. As Barney from Sonic Boom Six says: "The fact that an indie band met at school is not particularly interesting. The fact that a Rock ‘n’ Roll band met in detention at school could be very interesting indeed."
  • Good quotes from reviewers & links to coverage

How long should the biog be?

There is no definitive answer to this but aim for 500 words, give or take (just less than a typed side of A4). You don’t want your biog to be too long and overwhelming so try and be as succinct as you can. Remember, if the biog is available on your website you can break it up with imagery, headings or quotes from reviews to make it look inviting.

When you have a first draft it is a good idea to ask someone outside of the band to read through your biog to make sure it is clear, and to point out any spelling or grammatical errors.
Another top tip: if one of your friends is a great writer, ask them nicely to write the biog for you to give it some flair. A great example of this is Hey Bulldog’s biog here.

How to use my biog

It’s usually good practice to avoid copying and pasting your whole biog into an email when contacting gig promoters, bloggers and so on. Send it as an attachment or include a link to where your biog can be viewed on your website. (We’ll be covering the basics on emailing music industry contacts about your music in the coming weeks).

Where possible, don’t forget to include your biog on your social media profiles as well – whether it be Facebook, SoundCloud, Bandcamp or YouTube.

Finally, make sure your biog is kept up to date with details of any new releases or exciting developments with your music.

This blog was first published by The Unsigned Guide and is republished with permission. Find out more about who they are and what they do via theunsignedguide.com


Published: 20/07/2017
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