Have you identified and shared the aspects of your life-journey that are compelling to others? Marina V shares how…
I have a strong opinion about the bio-cards that vocalists and bands hand out.
The typical bio-card has the artist’s name, website details and a few endorsements on the back. It’s usually glossy and visually appealing.
Those are all important elements, but the most important element is usually missing: Your Story.
Each of us has a story, elements of which are very appealing or inspiring to our audiences; we must share this story. After all, we are already sharing our soul through song.
In my case, people find it interesting that I have had a musical journey that defied the odds; that I have come from Moscow to the US, become a citizen here and am trying to bring together a wide range of musical influences.
Here’s a part of my current bio:
Your Story is Relevant
There are aspects of your story and your struggles that are very important for you to share in order to help people to understand you – this will help people connect to you and your music.
Since it is your story, it may be that you have grown complacent about it, or have forgotten how relevant to others some of your challenges or successes are.
It is all too easy to think that others’ stories are more important than our own – lay this kind of thinking aside – it’s self-defeatist!
Instead, think of what you’ve accomplished, what you are most grateful for, the aspects of your story that others find interesting. Sometimes there are little quirks or details in our journey that are of interest to others.
Your first job is to write these aspects of your journey into a brief paragraph and add it to your bio card.
Beyond the Bio Card
You will find your own rhythm of sharing aspects of your story between songs in your set. Discovering this rhythm comes only with experimentation – I just want to encourage you to experiment.
Remember, people are reflecting on their lives as they listen to your music – some personal and thoughtful reflections on your music and where it comes from can enhance their experience.
Of course, there is no formula for this; each performer will have their own ways of sharing and sometimes a brief sentence is better “connective tissue” between songs than a long narrative.
The important thing, though, is that you make this effort and that you maintain awareness of the reactions as you share, so that you can change and adapt in how you connect your story to those who gave gathered to listen to you.
Your Current Journey Can Be Shared
Your current vocalist/musical goals are also a part of your story and need to be shared with others, most importantly your fans.
As a gigging vocalist, you are a part of a musical movement – your own. That’s pretty interesting in a hum-drum world of bureaucracy, bill paying and 9-to-5 jobs.
First and most obviously are the gigs you have lined up.
Even if you have only one gig lined up in the next six months, get the word about this out. Share what you are planning to do at the concert on your website, with friends, in emails, etc.
Or perhaps you are recording a CD – this journey needs to be shared!
You might consider giving your fans a track from this developing album – I even have fans sponsoring this aspect of my journey.
Sharing your current journey communicates dynamism to those who look at your website – this is important in a web populated by static sites.
And the wonderful thing about sharing your journey in emails and on the web is that people aren’t “captive”, they can take a short glance or a long look – it’s completely up to them.
If you look at my website, you’ll find that I even share my journey with culture, the environment and recycling. These thoughts lie behind my songs and I make no apologies for wanting to share them with interested fans.
Promotion Help is Closer than you Think
If you were to take away only one aspect of promotion from this series, I hope it is this: you already have the opportunities you need to step ahead with your music.
They may not be the opportunities you want! After all, there were times I was tired of my 125 Borders gigs! However, these are the places you work from.
Start noticing what helps you to connect to people at your gigs, get to know your fans and think creatively about how they can help you.
And always value your story; use it to gather your courage and share it with others.
There are always going to be people more successful, more talented and better looking than you (as there are for me!) but if you’re great at what you do, perform with passion, keep knocking on doors and be a kind, polite and good human being – things will happen for you.
*Written by Gregory A. Barker in conversation with Marina V.
Marina V is a singer/pianist/songwriter with an incredible life story involving a journey from her native Russia to the USA. Marina’s music is a magical blend of her angelic voice, hooky melodies, thoughtful lyrics, and fresh chord progressions, which make this new artist truly special. “If the Beatles & Tori Amos had a child raised in Russia by Tchaikovsky, that would be me” muses Marina V.