Muze allows you to write a short bio of yourself that other musicians who might want to connect with you can read. Most users will readily upload video/audio prompts of their music without a shred of hinderance, but they tend to freeze up when it comes time to describe themselves in “X” number of words. It’s okay though. You’re not alone. This is totally normal, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t encountered the same trepidation at times throughout past.
For some of us, stage fright is entirely a thing of the past. Standing before a massive crowd under a beaming spotlight is the dream after all, isn’t it? Over a long enough timespan, anxieties associated with the public eye seem to fade into the shadows behind the stage and stay there. All the same, musicians are still human beings, and human beings are sensitive. We get self-conscious at bizarre times, sometimes totally caught off guard by rampant worrying that seemingly arises out of nowhere. I’ve personally observed this in one particular realm of performance arts pretty consistently: writing your own bio.
It seems fickle and almost laughable, but the truth is that musicians who struggle with writing about themselves are a dime a dozen – unless it’s through the prism of a song, of course. Maybe it’s narcissism, maybe it’s just comfortability, but I happen to love writing about myself. I know me better than anyone else, so there is little difficulty in the way of writing a bio about Luke Holden. However, I humbly realize that this doesn’t always come easy for others, and that’s totally fine. In all fairness, it’s inherently not easy:
- What are you supposed to include?
- What’s irrelevant?
- How do you not sound like an egomaniac?
- To whom are we trying to appeal?
Here are a few things to consider if you’re having a hard time writing about yourself.
Read Other Musician Bios
Skim the Muze app and read what others have to write about themselves. It’s that simple. If you have to borrow someone’s general format, do it. There’s a good chance that person did the same thing. In either case, reading others’ bios can enrich your awareness of what yours should look like.
Definitely take a look at higher ranking musician bios as well. Most everything comprising their image is professionally constructed, so it’s a solid reference point to model a lot of your stuff after. If this sounds snaky and borderline plagiaristic, I promise you it’s not. Unless you’re copy/pasting someone else’s bio and supplementing your own information with theirs with the same wording, you’re not scamming anyone’s work.
If you write songs for a living, you know full well what it’s like to listen music written by an artist you love and derive a few ideas from them. It’s how art is made, and make no mistake, writing a bio is a big part of the art.
What Your Bio Should Include
If you happen to be a good writer and have no problem producing your own bio, that’s great. Let her rip. Be careful though. You CAN get too wordy and shift focus away from what really matters. This is never good. If you’re self-admittedly not a good writer prose-wise and need some pointers on what exactly you should include, this section is also meant for you. Here are a few things I typically like to include in my own bio if I’m ever summoned to write it:
- Where I’m from
- Where I live
- What I play (guitar, vocals, etc.)
- What I sound like (maybe compare yourself to other artists that you think you resemble. You can ask your friends for help here)
- What I’m currently engaged in/what I’ve done (singles, EP’s, albums, upcoming shows…)
These should be the primary tenants of your bio. Sure, there are other things you could add as well. If you’ve ever had a review written about you by a producer, critic, magazine, etc., definitely include a quote if you have room for it.
Tip: How Long Your Bio Should Be
Depending on the forum (Muze bios are generally on the shorter end), you should keep it around 250-400 words in my opinion. That may seem like a lot of words, but it’s really not. As long as you have those fundamental bits of information in there, you’re off to a good start.
Why Wording Is Important
I won’t mince words when I say that I have read some pretty terrible bios. Descriptions that are trying to be too wordy or are clumsily organized by people who have probably never even heard of a dictionary are more common that I’d like to admit.
For instance, chicken is chicken. It’s eaten in various forms. Sometimes it’s deep-fried, sometimes it’s oven roasted by artisanal chefs. Bottom line is that you can deliver the same substance in one way that is more pleasant than another. No, your bio doesn’t need to be the linguistic equivalent of a five star plate of gourmet chicken, but it shouldn’t be undercooked nuggets either.
There’s a chance that someone is going to read your bio before they even hear your music, and if it’s poorly delivered or feels awkward to read, odds are that person isn’t going to take you seriously.
Ask Someone To Write It For You
If you have trouble compiling information about yourself into a digestible and cohesive format, ask another person to do it. Maybe you just CANNOT write bios the same way you write songs. If this is the case, again, it’s okay. You probably aren’t your own best manager either, which is why you asked someone else to do it.
I’ve personally been asked several times by different people to describe them and their music in a way that they can present to the world. Sometimes I’ll do it free of charge and other times I’ll request a small fee. You probably have a friend or someone you know who is better with the written word than you are, so don’t hesitate to reach out to that person and ask for a relatively simple favor. I happen to have a lot of fun doing it.
Muze, EPKs, Instagram, and any other website/digital exhibition of your music will require or offer a bio, so it’s best to make sure it’s the best it can be. That sometimes involves asking for help.