One-man-band artist type: person vs group

Based on Edit #67914163.

Basically, the question is: what type should one-man-band artists get here (person or group)?
I guess, the answer would be “It depends”, because you may stumble upon anything in our complicated music landscape =)
But maybe there’re some directions, what to look for, or what to consider.

I, personally, don’t like mentioned RateYourMusic policy “if it is solo then it is a person”.


I’d say a one-person band would just be a person. Unless it’s more like a project with one permanent member who recruits other members on a per project basis. This case looks like the former though.

Speaking of interesting edge cases, there are also one-person bands who pretend to be real groups (like Madlibs various monikers on Yesterdays Universe). I would class those cases as groups because that is clearly the artistic intent. But again Violet Cold doesn’t seem like such a case.


Nine Inch Nails is one person plus different recruited friends, but it’s still clearly a group not a person. Any other of these “one person (maybe with friends) in studio but becomes an actual touring band” I’d consider sensible to have as Group. That said, this example does look like it specifically involves one person doing everything, so I’d expect Person. It might be possible to call artist intent on it if the person always refers to the project as “a band” and themselves as “its member” though, which I don’t know whether it is the case here!


While I might be missing something [always possible], unless the artist intent is to call themselves a band, one human with or without an instrument is a person. For example, James Taylor with guitar or Tiny Tim with a uke would be person.

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Emin calls Violet Cold as his project in the interview. Not sure about calling himself “its member” though.

Turns out, we already have an entry for Emin Guliyev (Violet Cold original member) and it’s connected as “legal name” to Violet Cold (@ibitsu created this entry recently and I didn’t notice). Isn’t it a solution? Or we still should transform Violet Cold to a person? Or maybe “Emin Guliyev” should be an alias for Violet Cold?

If we transform Violet Cold to a person then how do we specify its begin date? For a person it is a birth date (Emin Guliyev’s?), but we have a group begin date - 2013. What’s with that?

Another couple of fun facts. On his personal page Violet Cold is specified as a “workplace”. And on the official Facebook page Emin is specified as “band member”.

Okay, I’ll add some examples on my own, if you are interested in discussion.

  • Example of a person with a music material for me - Antti Martikainen - he is a Finnish composer, writes music on his own and under his name, doesn’t pretend to be a band or a project.
  • Blaze Bayley is a person (a real human). He created a group Blaze - entered as a group in our database. Then he renamed his group under his own name - Blaze Bayley - entered as a person in our database. An interesting moment that he has live members and even had permanent ones (check metal-archives page). So, is Blaze Bayley a person type artist? Or a group? Or there should be two entries: Blaze Bayley as a group and Blaze Bayley as a person and original member of that group?
  • Burzum is a well-known group - a solo project of Varg Vikernes, entered in our database as a group. It has begin and end dates (Varg is alive but decided to end the project). Should it be a person? What with dates then? This situation seems to be similar to Violet Cold for me.