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Being able to objectively communicate who you are, why you make music and what that sounds and looks like is square one in the grant writing game. A bio is often the first piece of information a juror will look at during the evaluation process. So what are you going to do?

Make them remember you! Make them laugh. Make them cry. Then make them shout “YES!!” while pumping their fists in the air! (Okay maybe jurors don’t actually do this, but it’s an entertaining goal).

Your biography should tell the story of who you are and explain why people should care about you. As tempting as it is to simply list off all your accomplishments to date and expound verbosely on your many favorable attributes – this is not the place for that.

Start With Why

Why do you do what you do?

Be it play, write, sing, perform, compose or accompany- what is your main motivating factor? Is there something unique and special about your story that drove you to become a musician? Think deeply here. The typical musician clichés are not going to cut it.

Don’t get caught up in telling how you got to where you are. It’s less important for the jury to know that your musical journey began in high school band class or piano lessons and more important they should be able to grasp something revealing about your inner motivations and aspirations.

Every artist should have a story about why they choose to make music, and it should make you stand out from the 100 artists before and after you.

Simon Sinek has a compelling presentation about how starting with “why” can result in certain behaviors, like someone choosing to book you, donate to your crowd-funding campaign or approve your grant request.


 Go read Part II of this article, Finding Your Voice.

Having problems with your bio writing? Why not hire a pro to write it for you? Music Grants Canada offers full-service biography writing and editing at reasonable rates. Check out our Services page for more info.