Artist Bio on Spotify

In addition to the “Artist’s pick” and photo upload, Spotify now allows artists to upload their bio onto the platform. Even small projects like Black Sea Storm can take control of their Spotify page. I think it’s a fantastic thing to allow artists to have such control over their identity on the platform.

On a purely technical level things don’t seem to be 100% ready yet. As a matter of fact, the formatting of text does not translate the same way across different UIs of Spotify. In addition to that, I personally was only able to upload one photo so far. I have no way of uploading a photo for the “about” section. Finally, the “Artist’s pick” browser based dynamic search box, does not display all existing playlists or artists. It used to work way better when everything could be done from the Spotify desktop app.

I think it’s just a matter of time until the uber-geek squad at Spotify fixes those little glitches, and do some further cross platform development. What surprises me, is that the “about” sections of some other artists are very well formatted, and seem to have access to way more features than I do with Black Sea Storm. It’s either there’s some sort of hierarchy between artists based on number of followers, or Spotify is taking a feed from somewhere else. A third possibility could be that I don’t know how to fully use the artist control panel yet.

Here’s my first attempt for an artist bio on Spotify:

Black Sea Storm has been my solo recording adventure since the year 2002. Being able record songs at the moment of writing them, has brought me tremendous amount of joy and pleasure since the very beginning. There’s always something special about the very first takes. This project is all about capturing parts on the spot, and eventually forgetting how to play them right afterwards. The Black Sea Storm project started in San Diego, California. In the early days, I was only producing multi-layered bass loops, using a Line 6 DL4 Delay Stompbox Modeling Pedal. As the sole recording tool, I had an all public Sony DVC video camera. Later on, I started to put together, home studio type of recording environments in band practice-rooms. My main instrument is the bass guitar. My real name is Ali Ozkan.

I’ve been active in rock bands as a bass player since the early 90s. I started playing rock as a teenager in Geneva Switzerland. My first serious band in this country was called Swoan. David Mamie, Alex Müller, and Bernard Widmer were the other band members. We were active as a band from 1994 to 1999. Aside from Swoan, I also had a solo project called Deniz’s Home while living in Switzerland, but I never released anything under that name.

In September 1999, after the split of my Swiss band, I decided to move to San Diego, California. In 2001, I joined an existing band called Bosom of the Urgent West, with the founding lineup including Brian Landis, Chris Conner, and Jeff Thomasson (also know as Quality Joe). After an unexpected disband of BOTUW, the drummer Chris Conner and I, met the guitar player Kenny Schulte, and started a three piece band called Channing Cope. We were active for about six years straight. Between the years 2002 to 2008, we were able to to release three albums, and do some touring all over the United States.

From 2010 to 2011, I had the opportunity to be a part of Kenseth Thibideau’s solo project as a bass player for live shows. This allowed me to play with amazing musicians such as Tim Soete (The Fu**ing Champs), John Baez (Rumah Sakit), Nathan Hubbard (Skeleton Key Orchestra, Rafter) Chris Fulford-Brown (Pinback), and of course Kenseth Thibideau (Tarentel, Sleeping People, Pinback, and more).

When I first started Black Sea Storm, the singing was in English. In 2010, I switched to writing lyrics in Turkish. The transition occurred on its own, in a very natural way. It wasn’t in my initial plans to sing in Turkish. The fact that it’s my native language, may have helped the language emerge in songs without me taking a conscious decision to use it. Since the first song written in Turkish, I have been only using this beautiful language for my lyrics.

At the moment I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m pursuing the Black Sea Storm project from here. I have no plans at the moment to sing in Spanish. I had this exceptional privilege to live in various cities around the world, on four different continents. If you want to know more about Black Sea Storm and my rock journey, please visit the website named after it + .com. On the Strory section of the website, you’ll find the entire history of the project. Over 10,000 words narrating, how it all started, and how things have evolved until today.

All the bands I have cited except for Bosom of the Urgent West are present on Spotify. Thank you for reading this, and thank you for streaming our music.