Tuesday, March 6, 2018

New Year, New Artist Bio | hypebot

1For any artist or band, keeping your public persona up to date is important, particular when it comes to your bio. Here we look at how to make sure your online biography is currently, and accurately showcases your accomplishments and activities.


Guest post by Jhoni Jackson for the TuneCore Blog

[Jhoni Jackson is a music journalist and San Juan, Puerto Rico-based music venue owner.]

Does your bio need an update? It’s quite possible, and not only because you’ve released work or reached other milestones since it was written. Independent DIY bands typically organize and craft all their own press materials—so few have the good fortune of label or PR expertise, and not everyone can afford to hire someone skilled to help.

But there are blogs like this one, of course, that offer the critical guidance you need to convey professionalism, stand out with stellar marketing, and so forth. In crafting your bio, a hyper-focused guide is key—and the step-by-step process of upgrading yours below could be a supremely beneficial supplement.

Using an actual band bio (thanks to San Juan act Moreira, our very gracious subject), we dissect and repair the original copy. But it’s no experiment—these are reliable, perennial tips and suggestions. There’s plenty latitude in how you might actually incorporate them into your own bio, but the bedrock advice is there as a well-founded starting point for effective (and maybe even entertaining) writing.

Here’s Moreira’s original bio:

Bio 1

Let’s start with a few technical issues, which are in highlighted below:

Bio 2

To which Kevin Garcia(bass) and Pablo Prieto(drums)

1. The wording here is a bit off, and it may be the result of a common mistake in writing a band bio: Overshooting the professionalism. Phrasing this way may seem to read smarter or fancier. Really, though, it complicates the flow; it’s too rigid and stuffy for a band bio. This isn’t an academic paper, right

Additionally, there’s no space between the parentheses and names of band members.

Suggested fix: “featuring Kevin Garcia (bass) and Pablo Prieto (drums).

Musical production”

This is another issue of overdoing it; the word choice is almost pretentious—probably unintentionally, but we’re talking about an album, so let’s just call it that.

Fin del Deseo”.

Punctuation belongs inside quotations, not outside. (To be clear, Moreira is a Puerto Rican band, and in Spanish that rule is opposite.) Also, album titles should be italicized, not put in quotes.

Suggested fix: “titled Fin del Deseo.

Where is Río Piedras?

It’s a neighborhood in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Unless you’re talking about a major city, it’s best to clarify the location.

Suggested fix: “DIY rehearsal space and studio, La Colmena, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.”

Onto the upgrades, where we’ll boost this bio’s impact.

We’re looking these major areas:

Sound description: Does the bio give the reader an idea of what to expect sonically?

Background: Is there enough context here for a reader to understand the band’s background?

Actionable appeal: Will a reader be enticed to actually listen to the band based on bio alone?

We’re missing most of these here—but there’s a solution for covering each.

Sound description: Moreira is described as an “electro-pop music project” with “diverse elements and processes of electronic music with a live performance and band energy.” Electro-pop is a good starting point (eliminating music, because it’s redundant), but the other two descriptors are too vague. Think about how you’ll guide a reader to a better understanding of your band’s sound.

You don’t have to use only genre terms. Instead, try expanding on a genre term with descriptions of how the sound feels—the emotions it evokes. Listen to the music with that in mind, and consider asking a friend or two to give your their own descriptions for extra insight.

Here’s how I’d describe Fin del Deseo:

Dark and anxious, but not defeated. It’s like a fight from the in-the-trenches perspective—the triumphant highs are temporary, but fortifying. Accepting the inevitable lows—these are the brief moments of calm on the album—strengthens one’s ability to resist succumbing to desolation.

This is all subjective, of course, and could easily be written a ton of different ways. Convey the sound as accurately you can, but more importantly, do it in a way that piques interest.

Background: We don’t get much info about Moreira’s history from the original bio; we only learn that Fin del Deseo is a sophomore release, and that the project was founded in 2012.

But since that founding, Moreira has cultivated a strong following. Lebron and company have played all the staple indie venues on the island, amassed more than 2,000 likes on Facebook, and garnered press from a litany of local and international music outlets. These are career checkpoints that are worth noting, definitely.

The mention of the project developing from a solo effort into a full band falls under background, but it could use some detail. How did this affect the songwriting, the sound, the live show? Lebron actually already addresses this, in a way—when he says “band energy.” But that isn’t connected to his mentioning the lineup; it’s up top, and the lineup formation is mentioned much later.

Actionable appeal: How do you turn the reader into a listener? The links will be readily available, maybe embedded if it’s in a bio or available just under it, if it’s your Facebook page. But how do you encourage someone to actually make the effort to listen?

The final sentence or two of your bio is an ideal spot to encourage engagement. Rather than leave them with basic info—Lebron ends with the location of the album’s recording—try wrapping up with something telling about the album; a statement, or even a question, that sparks curiosity.

Below, you’ll find the upgraded bio. It’s only one example, though, of possible routes here. Get creative when fine-tuning your own band’s bio this year—just don’t lose the message in embellishments, and keep in mind the aforementioned guide.

Dark and anxious—but not defeated. Fin del Deseo is the sophomore album from San Juan, Puerto Rico band Moreira, and it feels like a fight from the in-the-trenches perspective. Its triumphant highs are temporary, but booming and fortifying. Accepting the inevitable lows—there are brief moments of calm throughout—offer strength in succumbing to desolation.

But since that founding, Moreira has cultivated a strong following. Lebron and company have played all the staple indie venues on the island, amassed more than 2,000 likes on Facebook, and garnered press from a litany of local and international music outlets. These are career checkpoints that are worth noting, definitely.

Originally founded solo by José Iván Lebrón in 2012, the electropop project has grown more bombastic and dynamic in adding bassist Kevin Garcia and drummer Pablo Prieto, and has cultivated a sturdy local following in the island’s thriving indie scene. Recorded at Lebron’s DIY rehearsal space and studio, La Colmena, Fin del Deseo, which translates to End of Desire, was released in November of last year—fewer than two months after the devastating blows of Hurricane María.

Its songs weren’t intended as premonitions, but they resonate especially now, as if written mid-cataclysm. The album reflects resilience without diminishing the struggle to achieve it, and that hard-earned feat should mark the ushering in of a new, even stronger era for Moreira.

Fin del Deseo is on Bandcamp and Spotify. / Moreira official website: moreira.pr

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