Back in the day, when an artist was petitioned for a performance, radio playtime, or an interview, a folder of vital information would be forwarded by the managers. Think of it as a resume, with background information on the artist and music files to give bookers an idea of what to expect. But we’ve long since gone past the physical pamphlets in this day and age, and the best press kit that a manager can put together can all be done digitally. Enter the “EPK”, short for Electronic Press Kit, essentially providing all the same information as the ones that came before, but without killing the trees in the process.
If this is your first time hearing of such a thing, have no fear. We’ll break down the essentials of the EPK so that you or your manager or prepared to pitch your sound.
Paper resumes are one thing, but you may be asking yourself what exactly an EPK would look like online. They can take many forms: a password-locked page on your artist website with all the links, or a digital folder that can be transferred and emailed, or even as a traditional printable. It can even be hosted on an app that you share. The choice is yours, as well as your creation of the design and function of the EPK. Are there clickable tabs for each section of your EPK? Is there a library where booking agents can pick and choose what to listen to? The digital world is your oyster, but the fact remains that there are some top essentials you need to keep your EPK up-to-date and relevant.
Every artist has a story, no matter what their upbringing. This is a great section to talk about where you’re from, who influenced you when you were young, and what you compare your sound to. No need to go into the details like your favorite flavor of ice cream or how much you hated middle school. Just stick to the facts of life that have transformed you into who you are today, as both a person and an artist. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable about the rough patches in your life too; a tug at the heartstrings can connect with the booking agent or reporter.
However, not everyone wants to read stacked paragraphs, so we recommend including all this information as a Q&A. Have a friend ask you questions or find some juicy ones online and answer them in this format. It not only breaks up your content into digestible bites, but can be a more intimate experience for the reader as well.
Pro Tip: You can also put your discography here, as a nod to the history of your music as well.
The best way to stay memorable, other than a memorable sound, is to have eye-catching graphics and art. Throw in some photos from past performances or even video links to those live shows, just to give them a taste of the performance power they can expect from you.
When it comes to individual photos always include some color ones and black-and-white varieties, as well as close-ups or headshots. Got some beautiful album art that you want to show off? Add some high-resolution shots of that gorgeous work to show it off. Remember this is a press kit, so glossy, high-res photos should be provided for use in marketing material for the venue or event you’re applying for.
Pro Tip: Large photos files can be a pain to download, so we recommend keeping your photo files sizes to 500 KB or less. You can always check your file size by clicking on the photo’s Properties. If you need to compress an image, there’s plenty of free compression websites out there who can help, without sacrificing the resolution:
And of course, you need the music. That’s what the people want! The easiest ways to showcase your music is through streaming players that you can embed directly onto a web page. Visitors can pick and choose the songs to listen to, all without leaving your EPK. Another option is to give them the ability to download exclusive music files, but you’ll need to host your MP3 files on a cloud-based drive such as Dropbox for that to happen; more on that later.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to include all of your music. Just include the ones you may want to play for that event, just a taste of what’s to come.
Pro Tip: Remember the MySpace days when music would autoplay when someone landed on your page? Yeah, don’t do that with your EPK. Give your visitors some credit and let them seek out the music they want to hear from you. No need to deafen them with the accidental volume of your autoplay files.
So, you’ve put the EPK together and it’s beautiful, glossy, and ready to go! Now what?
Time to find a place to host it. The best option is on your very own website, which you should have if you don’t have one already. Services like Wordpress, Squarespace, and Wix make it easy to build your dedicated website and include a special page just for your EPK. You can have it hidden and give the links only to promoters.
If your EPK is in the form of a digital folder of all the components, we recommend storing it on a cloud drive. Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, DropBox, and Amazon are just a few example cloud-based hosts that can protect and store your content. These include music files too!
If you cried out to the heavens, don’t worry, we’ve heard your call. Not every artist has the tech savvy to build an EPK from scratch, and that’s where sites like Adobe Spark, ReverbNation, and SonicBids can take over. They take you step-by-step into building our very own EPK, without the hassle of becoming a web developer in the process.
Need some inspiration? Check out some top-tier example EPKs on BandZoogle.
Pro Tip: Keep your EPK updated as much as possible! Since you’ll be sending this baby out to almost every contact you run into, it’s important to keep it current and relevant. Don’t try to pitch your college one-hit wonder from 1995, when it’s 2020 and your sound has evolved since then.