Derek Sivers

from the book “Your Music and People”:

Make people curious in one sentence.


Screenwriters in Hollywood constantly pitch their movie ideas to studio executives. Each one has about five seconds to impress. The one sentence they use to describe their story decides whether the studio will read it or not.

Same with you. You just need one good sentence to describe your music. It has only one goal: Make people curious. That’s it.

It should not try to describe every note of music you make!

It should not try to justify your existence on Earth.

It only has to make them curious enough to listen. That’s all.

I described my band as “a cross between James Brown and the Beatles”. Of course not everything I did sounded like that, but that phrase was enough to make people want to hear it. I would watch them pause for a second to try to imagine what that might sound like. Then they’d say, “Wow — I have to hear this!” Mission accomplished.

The shorter, the better. Give them one good sentence and stop talking. Let them want to hear more.