How to write the perfect artist bio

How to write the perfect artist bio for fans, press and A&R

Creating the perfect bio is a vital part of how you present as an artist. Many of us make the mistake of thinking “hey, why should I take time out of my busy schedule to draft a piece of copy hardly anyone is going to read? I’m far too busy crafting songs here,” right?

The truth is that a pitch perfect bio isn’t going to make you famous on its own but a bad one will almost certainly put some people off. And at this stage of your music career, you simply don’t have the luxury of risking that. Not even slightly.

To help you tackle the sticky topic, we’ve put together this quick and easy guide to writing the perfect artist bio (aka biography).

We’re going to cover the following topics:
  • How to approach writing an artist bio
  • What is the perfect structure for an artist bio?
  • The difference between writing for print and the web
  • Cool hacks, tools and tips

How to approach writing an artist bio

It’s vital to approach your artist bio with the same kind of professionalism that you would a recording session or photoshoot.

It’s one of the first points of contact you will have with new fans, demanding A&Rs and those busy, ‘heard-it-all-before’ music journalists.

In the age of streaming, people’s first introduction to you will often be via your artist page on stores like Spotify, Apple and Deezer. These pages provide little other information about you compared to say, your Facebook page, so the artist bio here is more important than ever.

All professional writers start-out by thinking carefully about who they are writing for; defining that all-important ‘target-audience’. This is the cornerstone of good writing.

Have a long think about who you would most like to read your bio. It could be a successful artist, a producer you greatly admire, or the boss of a particular label. Prepare to write your bio as if you are speaking to them personally.

One of the key things to keep in mind is that people who read your bio at this stage are likely to be real music fans, much more than general members of the public. So, it’s vital that you come across as authentic, genuine and deeply passionate about what you do.

Industry professionals and ‘early-adopter’ fans tend to know their music scene like the back of their hands. They’ll know their history, references, and have their own strong opinions about what’s going on out there.

They aren’t going to be impressed with silly jokes, big-headed claims about being the ‘best fookin’ band in the fookin’ world’ or loudmouthed attacks on other artists.

Keep it real and very focussed. Be prepared to spend time thinking deeply about what drives you as an artist, jotting down notes on a piece of paper.

Above all, don’t start writing until you are 100% clear in your mind about what you intend to say.

What is the perfect structure for an artist bio?

The key here is to keep it nice and short. Aim for 200 – 300 words, max.

Don’t preamble. Start off with a 25-word intro that gets everything you care about across. Think about it like writing your introduction as a summary of everything you are going to say.

Aim for one thought per sentence. One sentence per paragraph.

Get the most important stuff up first, least important last. And don’t forget to include all your key information at the end.

“For me, the most important thing is the story of your music: what does it mean, what made you create it, what are you trying to say or achieve? That is what people will want to write about.”

Joe Zadeh, a professional copywriter who has been enlisted by labels such as Universal Music, Warner, Sony, PMR, and Disturbing London says, “The best advice I would give to an independent artist writing their bio is to really think about what the story of their music is.

Quite often, bios become crowded in where someone grew up, how they learned to play music, who their influences are, and what genres they are. For me, the most important thing is the story of your music: what does it mean, what made you create it, what are you trying to say or achieve? That is what people will want to write about.”

Journalists want names, dates, places, and your bio is where they’ll look for these details if they are writing about you. It’s probably best not to irritate them by not including it at this stage (don’t worry, you can irritate them as much as you like once you’ve gone triple platinum!).

In short, think about it like this:
  • Intro/Summary – think who, what, why, where, how
  • A couple of short, snappy one sentence paragraphs
  • Core band/artist names, achievements, dates at the end

Try and make your intro stand alone. If all someone read were the first 25 words, would that give them a true sense of who you are as an artist?

The sentences that follow should be all about your music and what inspires you. Remember that influences don’t just have to be other artists – although this is important; you can be just as inspired by the people around you and the landscape where you grew up.

Try and give people an angle, something unique and interesting that they can hang their hat on. You have to show them why you are unique.

Pro tip:

“It’s a really good idea to start your bio with a great quote about you, if you’ve got one. No-one’s going to care if you tell them you’re amazing, but they might if somebody else does.”

The difference between writing for print and the web

It’s worth thinking about this. In general people read much slower on the web than they do in print.

This is because of the way our vision has evolved. We are used to seeing things with light projecting onto the surface from behind us, rather than having light coming from behind the words into our eyes.

This is why reading on a laptop or mobile device makes people feel tired faster, giving them much shorter attention spans online.

A good way around this is to break up your text with short sentences, quotes, sub-headings and bullet points.

Above all, just remember that nothing puts online readers off more than seeing a huge block of text.

Cool hacks, tools and tips for writing your bio

1: Hemmingway App

Named after the famous writer who pioneered a minimalist style of writing – paste your article in here and it’ll show you where you are going wrong.

2: Answer the Public

Another great free tool. Stick any topic you like in and see what people all over the world are asking about it.

3: Friends and bandmates

A newspaper article is typically read by at least three different people before it gets published. Ask a few people to read through your bio before you publish it.

4: A good night’s sleep

Always have a break between finishing any writing and publishing it. It’s always best to come back to it with fresh eyes to spot any typos or mistakes.

5: Read old record sleeves

Back when records generated vast sums of money, a record sleeve could be a thing of majesty. Get into some old sleeves of artists that inspire you and see if you can recapture that unmistakeable tone of voice.


It may seem a small thing to write a few hundred words on your bio page, but to industry experts and real music fans these are the small things that build a picture of you. They matter.

Of course, it’s your music that has to do the talking but don’t let that stop you from using this space to tell your story and really put across what it is about making music that makes you different.

Be passionate, be earnest and show you care. It’s your chance to pique some interest and could be the difference between a journalist or A&R hitting the back-button or getting in touch.

Read more

Introducing: Mako Road

This week we introduce you to some of New Zealand’s South Island’s finest lads, Mako Road 

The four-piece from Christchurch, New Zealand comprises of Rhian Ward, Connor Jaine, Connor McErlich and Robbie Day. They first got our attention with their snazzy artwork for their latest EP The Green Superintendent and their music is just as colourful. 

maxresdefault (2)\

They’ve certainly established a New Zealand sound, similar to bands such as Marlin’s Dreaming and Albion Place. Mako Road provide us with folk, ska and reggae infused tunes with Tash Sultana-esque guitar riffs throughout.  

They have released two singles: The Sun Comes Up and Brodie Street/Daiquiri. Their five track EP The Green Superintendent, was released early February this year. “The name came from a sign found at our flat when we all moved in together at the start of summer”, the band told George and Harry of Sunday Best Radio.  

(Evidence below)


The EP was inspired by their month-long bender beforehand – sounds like these guys certainly know how to have fun! (check out their photos on Facebook for some of their crazy antics!) 

Track ‘Ride’ from their EP makes us want to take a carefree road trip along the coast with its sun-soaked tranquil vibes, whilst the groovy guitar hook on ‘The Green Superintendent’ is in our head for days. 

You only need to watch their videos to see what a fanbase they’ve already built. They have reached over 29,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and last year made Spotify’s New Zealand Viral 50 playlist. 

The band told Sunday Best Radio, that they’re laying low for a bit but will be back in June with some new stuff. Exciting. 

If you want to give Mako Road a follow, listen or a watch (we strongly recommend you do!) then head to their Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and YouTube channels

Read more

Introducing: FRAUDS

This week we’re hopping over the channel, introducing you to Parisian, trio FRAUDS (not to be confused with Frauds, the Croydon punk duo!)

They recently released their single ‘Nobody’, which has received over 100,000 plays on Spotify. It’s a very catchy synthpop number (trust me, I’ve had it in my head for weeks!), with a Chvrches style synth progression surrounded by lighter, fluttering synths.

It really creates a dramatic and intense soundscape. Think Chvrches meets PVRIS’s new stuff, meets London Grammar, but with the eerier and mesmerising vocals of lead singer Anaïs. Honestly, if you haven’t heard it already you just need to listen to see what I mean.

“This song is about the feeling of being a fraud, an imposter in certain situations. Do you know that feeling?” The song captures the emotion of pretending to be someone else and feeling out of place. It is about taking a step from feeling like nobody to be somebody. A song I think we can all relate to.


As well as this track, the band have three other singles one EP titled Ellipse. Their first single was an atmospheric electronic driven cover of Foal’s Spanish Sahara, I might even go as far as to say I prefer it to the original!

They are among the 20 Spinnup artists who won a spot playing on the Spinnup stage at Le Printemps Dans La Ville festival this week in Bourges, alongside bands such as Mezzanine (who we introduced you to earlier this year). We can certainly see from their live videos that they’re definitely an exciting band to see live, and can’t wait to catch their set at the festival tomorrow.

Their bio on Facebook reads: “What if you were in a different reality?” and the emotions and atmosphere in their music captures the essence of being in a new reality, almost in an M83 sort of way – especially if you listen to their EP Ellipse. Even their photography and artwork, which is very modern art-esque, captures something different, unexpected.

With a growing social media audience and over 8,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Frauds are already gaining a following, and we’re sure they’re only going to get bigger!

Follow the trio on Facebook, Spotify, Soundcloud and their website to stay up to date with their latest news and music.

Read more
DJ smoke red white

Building your Team – Live Agent

If you’ve watched any music award show ever, you would have most probably heard a crying artist thank their ‘team’ whilst tightly clutching their award. But, who is this ‘team’? What do they actually do? From the biggest stars to the most DIY artists, your team will be THE most important people who should work to guide and support your career. In the first of a multiple part series, we are going to breakdown the key members you should start to think about making connections with (in no particular order).

This week, we will begin with live agents:

Who Are They?

Sometimes called a Live Agent, Booking Agent, Music Agent or Talent Agent, your ‘agent’ will be the person who is in charge of booking shows for you. Alongside making the show happen, they can also work with a promoter to make sure you have everything you need at the venue (e.g. equipment, sound check, backstage rirder etc). Often, these guys work closely with you as an artist, your management and/or the event promoters to confirm your availability/schedule, book shows in the gaps you have and then accommodate your show/s, leading onto the collection of monies from the promoters for your slot (i.e. the people paying for shows).

Some examples of well known booking agencies are:

Coda Agency
Primary Talent
ATC Live
13 Artists
And many more…

What do they do?

Agents approach promoters and negotiate your live contracts, working to ‘put on’ your live show or tour. Depending on what you have going on as an artist, the roles of a live agent differ. At its most generic, live agents work out the logistical requirements of a tour or show, pitch you to promoters, venues and bands for slots and arrange your contracts, riders, equipment and any quest list you may have. Agents also represent artists for specific territories which are usually split into Europe (EU), Asia, Australia, New Zealand (ANZ), North America (NA) and South America (SA). Therefore, depending on how big you are, you will often need more than one agent.

When should I get one?

Live agents may approach you quite early on in your career, usually following on from you hiring PR or management, as often (but not always) artists are referred to live agents through management. Sometimes, you will have an agent way before any type of deal. It’s quite uncommon for an artist to approach a live agent and it is therefore advised that a live agent should always approach you first, as the agent will have more of a vested interest in you and your music, and showing promising signs of being active and engaged when working for you. If unmanaged, you should think about getting a lawyer before an agent, which can then aid the process especially when it comes to contracts. Also, for our international Spinnup artists, it’s actually illegal for managers to act as agents (and vice versa) in California and New York etc.

How much do I pay?

Live agents take a 10%-15% cut/commission of your live earnings (if you make any). These live earnings are limited to the actual fee for your slot and no other income like merch sales. Notably, many agents work on a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ (i.e. no contract), but we’d strongly suggest getting everything you can in writing, and restrict the duration of your deal to at maximum two years whilst setting some form of bench line goal during your working relationship. For example, the agent has to secure a set amount of shows or, has to secure certain types of shows/bills.

Do I need them?

If you want to effectively promote your music whilst having increased chances of performing live, then yes, you will need a booking agent. You may not need a live agent now, but, if you get a good one, you have a better opportunity to play in front of bigger audiences than you would booking your own gigs (as some venues and festivals won’t even look at artists without these on your team). Often, these members of the team can be difficult to secure, but it’s worth is as building your fan base through live shows can be much more fruitful if you have a good booking agent on hand to make sure to maximise the output of any live opportunity.

There you have it, that’s a live agent in a nutshell! Overall, it’s important to assess where you are in your career and what are your actual goals when it comes to playing live before committing to a live agent. Now start putting yourself out there and playing live, and don’t be too shy to  invite some live agents to your show! Keep a lookout for the next instalment of Building Your Team where we’ll be talking to you about lawyers…

Read more
Georgia Meek

Introducing: Georgia Meek

“I see you above me with your vicious tongue and your clenched teeth”

23 year old Surrey born artist Georgia Meek shares her deeply personal and emotive latest track ‘Bare’: a story of learning and growth laced with a sense of regret, looking back at a haunting past experience as she sings “it took a lot to free me”.

Georgia Meek

Having released the electronic and captivating ‘Black Dog’, ‘Bare’ showcases a different side to Georgia’s sound, underpinned by spiralling violins and passionate percussion. The honest, nostalgic and touching track showcases a vulnerability yet emotional maturity, championing a strength in her sensitivity carried by her impressive vocals.


Now based in North West London, the singer/songwriter holds an artistic focus on using her personal stories to connect and raise awareness of issues for women of all ages which arguably, can be heard in this liberating piano led song as she later went on to say: “Bare was a very difficult song for me to put on paper”. We are so glad she found the courage to share her anthemic story. Make sure you check her out on our playlist! Whilst you’re at it, follow Georgia on her Facebook page , and her SoundCloud and keep on the lookout for her next live UK shows listed below:

24th April – Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London

18th May – The Great Escape Festival, Brighton

Read more
Cosmic Soul Collective

Introducing: Cosmic Soul Collective

Harnessing the true power of collaboration, this week we bring to you Bristol based artistic troupe ‘Cosmic Soul Collective’ with their 2018 EP ‘So Slow’ featuring members Jevon Ives and Astrid.

The expressive 13-piece ‘family’ resulted from the 2016 aspirations of founder Neil Corcoran, eager to nourish the creativity of Bristol. Only two years later, their focus on “experimental expression” sees the collective managing to blend rural soundscapes and flowing synths with smooth R&B sensibilities comparable to that of Erykah Badu and Mos Def. The EP is carried by an array of vocals that range from sultry to spoken as the EP moves from the wistful title track ‘So Slow’ to the head nodding ‘Slip Away’. The group’s name is one to take very literal, sounding exactly ‘Cosmic Soul’ in genre (definitely a late night ‘chill’ listen)


The talented collective builds a community of people that celebrate and “showcase the depths of creativity through art and music” which can be heard in their lyrics, often philosophical in their curiosity and exploration through a poetic perspective. Their “organic expression” can also be seen in their many live events and exhibitions, incorporating “DJs, producers, bands, live music, abstract art, digital print making and live visuals” that bring people together over an eclectic love of art and underground modern soul.


We love this all singing, all creating collective so make sure to check them out on our Spinnup playlist and their socials to get lost in their cosmic world

Follow Cosmic Soul Collective on Facebook, InstagramTwitterSpotify, Soundcloud and Mixcloud

Read more

Decoded: A musician’s complete guide to YouTube

You know that YouTube has the power to propel artists to new heights. The problem is, so does everyone else.

It’s an incredible tool, free-to-use (sort of), and available to all. But how do you approach it in a way that gives you the best chance of standing out above other talented artists?

If 300 hours of video gets uploaded to YouTube every minute, how can we you make your 3 minutes count?

Well, fear not Spinnup artists, we’re going to give you some expert advice here that has the power to set you apart from at least 99% of all videos on YouTube.

We’re not promising a guaranteed formula for viral invincibility, that comes down to your skill and artistry, but we can promise that these techniques are recommended by the experts and that learning them will give you the best chances of success.

Here’s what we’ll be covering:

  • How to plan your video like a pro
  • Shooting from the hip – smartphone techniques for great results
  • Top dos and don’ts of video production
  • YouTube video optimisation hacks
  • When to publish YouTube videos for best results
  • How to market your channel like an expert
How to plan your video like a professional

The biggest mistake artists make when shooting video for YouTube is adopting a ‘spray and pray’ approach that doesn’t works for anybody.

Planning (AKA: ‘Storyboarding’) is everything.

A storyboard is a graphic representation of how your video will unfold. It might sound a bit ‘Spielberg’, but all you really need is a piece of paper and a pen.

Break each section down into frames by drawing a box for each one, then roughly sketch the shot and describe underneath what will be happening in it.

Make sure that you know all the shots you’ll need to complete the final edited piece in advance. Do not start until you have this.


YouTube penalises videos that can’t hold viewers’ attention until the end by showing them lower down in search results.Therefore, it’s vitally important that you keep your videos, short, punchy and on-point.

Aim for 90 seconds for a short film, interview or behind-the-scenes clip. 180 seconds for a track. Try and avoid anything longer than this, especially if you don’t have a dedicated following yet.

Storyboarding is a great opportunity to get your timings right. For example, if you have 90 seconds and want to include 8 shots, you could set aside 10 seconds for the intro and 5 for the outro, leaving you 75 seconds to divide between the remaining shots.

Another tip, if you’re writing a script, is to work out timings at 3 words per second. So, a 90 second film script should be no more than 270 words.

This might all sound like a lot of extra work, but it forces you to get focussed and not waste a second of your film. This will give you better production results which will lead to more YouTube views.

Shooting from the hip – smartphone techniques for great results

Here’s a question that media organisations expect their journalists to know the answer to straight away: How much free memory do you have on your phone right now?

It’s critical because you never want to be in a position where you can’t capture something if you’re out on tour, working in the studio, or just hanging around with fans or bandmates and collaborators.

Those spontaneous moments, when edited into your videos, are the storytelling moments we all love. Just think of Jimi Hendrix playing his guitar in his Notting Hill kitchen whilst frying an egg or Cardi B freestyling ‘For That D’ backstage. Priceless.

Luckily, we all have an entire camera crew in our pockets these days.

It’s worth saying that an artist you are also a marketer, so you should never scrimp on your phone. It’s a business expense and money well spent. Just make sure it has enough spare memory to capture those moments!

With that in mind, here are 10 tips for creating mobile video content on the fly:

Smartphone video tips:
  1. Turn on airplane, flight mode or do not disturb.
  2. Clean your lens!
  3. Hold it the right way. For example, Snapchat is portrait, YouTube is landscape. If you are unsure stick to landscape.
  4. Always zoom with your feet (that means walk!) Phones don’t optically zoom.
  5. Hold it steady. You carry all the weight in your wrist so wedge your elbows in at your sides.
  6. Place the phone on palm of your hand, lift it up and steady with your other hand. This is known in the business as the ‘human tripod’.
  7. Alternatively, buy a cheap mini tripod and keep it to hand.
  8. Lock your focus and brightness. You should never let the camera decide what you’re interested in.
  9. Shoot in short focussed sequences (don’t spray and pray).
  10. Make sure you have enough memory to save your footage and never leave the house with a low battery!
Top do’s and don’ts of video production

There are some other key things to consider when shooting your video. Let’s start with the most important:

Audio quality

Viewers will forgive a momentarily shaky hand or some dodgy lighting, but they will never forgive bad audio. As an artist this is especially important to you.

Carpeted and curtained rooms usually offer better sound quality than kitchens and open spaces.

Check your audio quality and make sure you are happy with it. If using a smartphone, remember that your headphones will have a built-in mic.

Alternatively, pick up a good mic like the BOYA by M1 or RODE iRig iXLR. For radio broadcasting quality, take a look at the Zoom H1.


Good lighting is tricky, but fortunately YouTube is an organic platform where fans are not expecting the earth here.

As a rule, use natural light as much as possible and try to shoot in the day to avoid that grainy look.

Sequence formula

A lot will depend on the type of video you are producing, but a simple shoot sequence formula, like the one below, can be used as a template to enhance any video content you create.

  • CLOSE UP OF HANDS: eyes drawn to hand/motion – 8 seconds
  • CLOSE UP OF THE FACE – 8 seconds
  • WIDE SHOT – 8 seconds
  • SEE THEIR POINT OF VIEW: over the shoulder 8 seconds
  • UP HIGH, REFLECTION, SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT: any reflection or arty idea – seconds


We’ll keep saying this on our decoded guides. Collaboration leads to great things!

As an artist you have an opportunity to reach out to filmmakers and videographers who are at a similar stage to you and looking for subject matter.

Check out your local film schools and colleges or network with start-ups. Not only will they help you make better content, they’ll also be an extra promotional channel for you as they’ll want to promote their work too.

YouTube video optimisation hacks

YouTube is a search engine just like Google. It’s owned by Google. It’s also the second biggest search engine in the world after Google.

As such, you should follow these simple optimisation hacks to:

  1. Make sure YouTube understands exactly what your video is about
  2. Make it easier for people to find your content
  3. Make it more likely that YouTube will favour your videos over others


  1. Video Titles

These are important for telling YouTube about the content of your video. Include any keywords that people might search for as close to the beginning of the title as possible.

  1. File Names

Before uploading your video, save it using the file name of the video title or using keywords, rather than the stream of numbers and characters it uses by default.

  1. Description box

Use all the space you have. Write as much detail as you can about the video in the description box. YouTube will crawl and index this content so it’s a great opportunity to give your video more chance of appearing in search results. Think along the lines of terms that describe your music, like ‘atmospheric strings’ or ‘dirty guitar riffs’.

If it’s a track, you could also add some memorable lyrics in here. People often search for a song by typing in a few lyrics they remember.

  1. Pick the right channel category

Type your main keyword into YouTube and check out the top-ranking videos. This will probably be a genre of music. Pick the same category as the top-ranking video for the keyword you have chosen.

  1. Tag it up

You can use tags to add more keywords to your video, which will help more people discover it through the search bar. Enter things like subject matter, location and music genre.

  1. Use Thumbnails

Thumbnails are little images you can upload that sit on the preview of each video. Pick some nice shots that will entice people to click on the video or you’ll end up with a weird mouth-half-open-eyes-half-shut thumbnail. Or if you’re handy with Photoshop design a bespoke one. Remember to save them at 16:9 aspect ratio.

When to publish YouTube videos for best results

There are lots of studies out there that try and work out the best time to publish videos. When it comes to music we would recommend scheduling for 2-4pm local time on either Thursday or Friday as this is when YouTube has the highest engagement levels.

If you are planning on publishing at weekends, I’m afraid you’ll have to set your alarm. The best time on Saturday and Sunday is between 9-11 am. No-one said this would be easy!

How to market your channel like an expert

The best way to promote each video is to approach it like a professional media company. Stick to scheduled times and be consistent. If fans expect content from you at a certain time it will help to build momentum and lead to more views over time.

You should also adopt an integrated approach. Promote your video widely across all your other social channels and make sure to talk it up in your newsletters both before and after release.

If you are really interested in maximising views, study the methods of artists you admire. Join their newsletters and subscribe to their channels to see how they do it. Above all, be consistent and passionate, there’s not point putting out something that isn’t perfect.

In summary….

You want a summary? Why? What are you waiting for? You have the tools now go; go and make amazing videos and share them with the world. We’re waiting…

Read more

Introducing: Eif

“Scandinavian music at it‘s finest.”

– Valgerður Anna Einarsdóttir, Event Manager, Reykjavik.

This week we take you to Copenhagen, and introduce you to Danish singer, Eif. Denmark never disappoints musically, and Eif is no exception – I mean, she was a finalist in last year’s Danish Scholarship competition!

She is premiering her new live video for her single ‘Bridges’ with us here at Spinnup today. It was recorded in the heart of Copenhagen in an old control tower on Knippelsbro, a bascule bridge across the Inner Harbour. It was in this location where Eif was inspired to write the song whilst she was riding her bike across the bridge with its stunning views.

Eif Bridges Cover

The track itself is creates a spherical dark aquatic universe where Eif’s raw and powerful voice lies. Think the atmospheric guitar patterns of London Grammar meets digital synthesizers with the pazaaz of Christina Aguilera’s vocals but softer and more soulful.

If you can get to the bridge’s tower (now called “Kulturtårnet”) on 7th April, you can catch her live at her intimate release concert!

You can find ‘Bridges’ on Spotify (or stream below) and even more on Soundcloud, where you will find her EP Teal.

Keep up to date with Eif on her site and socials:

Read more


Get Started