How to Add an Artist
Pretty soon in your editing you might find that the artist you want to add information to is still not in MusicBrainz. Note that there might be a different artist with the same name - if you don't recognise anything you see in that artist page, it's probably not the one you want! Once you're sure the artist is not in the database, it's time to add it! For that, select "Add artist" in the "Editing" menu in the top bar:
This will take you to a page with a form like the one in this image:
The first field is for the name. This one is usually as straightforward as it sounds.
The second field is for the sort name. This one can get trickier, but for most legal names it will be "Surname, Name", and for most other names it will be the same as the artist name, but with any articles at the end. You can see the actual guidelines in Style/Artist/Sort Name.
The Disambiguation field is used to distinguish different artists with the same name. If there's already an artist with this name in MusicBrainz, you will be informed that you must enter a comment. Try to make it useful! A short description of the artist (like "British metal band") works best. If there's no other artist with the same name, you can leave this blank.
You can see an example of these three fields in action for a hypothetical new "The Beatles" band, including the message you'll be given because there's already a The Beatles in MusicBrainz:
Note that it will ask if you are sure the artist is not duplicate. If you are not sure, but strongly suspect it's a different one, it's better to still add a new artist - they can always be merged later! But try to avoid adding new artists without doing a bit of research.
Now, on to the other four fields in this part of the form! None of these are mandatory, but all give useful information.
The first one is type. There are three types: "Person" and "Group" (which should be pretty straightforward) and "Other" (for those less straightforward cases where neither of the other two fits).
Next comes gender. This (obviously) doesn't apply for groups, and it is the gender the artist identifies with - which tends to be the same as their sex, but isn't always so.
Then we get to the country. For people, this is usually where they were born and raised, and for groups where they were formed. If the artist is mostly active in another country (for example, because of moving to a second country when they were young and having all their musical activity in it) choose that one instead.
And the fourth is the IPI. This is an identifying code for the artist, used in the music industry for, for example, work attribution, and it's usually only findable in rights organisations' databases. It's generally safe to skip, but if you know it (because you're the artist, for example), enter it!
Only the dates section left now!
The dates have different meanings for artists of the type Person and Group. For people, they are the birth and death dates, not the dates in which a specific performance name was used. For groups, they're the date of original foundation and of last disbanding - if the group disbanded but then reunited, leave the end date blank.
Now you should be done! Add an edit note (if you're the artist or a member of it, say so!) and press "Enter edit".
After creating your new artist you'll see the following:
|Introductory Guides||Beginners' Guide · Creating an Account · Editing · Voting · Writing Edit Notes|
|Basic How-Tos||Adding an Artist · Adding Relationships · Using the Relationship Editor · Adding a Release · Works · Events · Places · Instruments · Areas|
|Specific How-Tos||Merging Releases · Removing Entities · Adding Cover Art · Identifying Labels · Splitting Artists · Artist Credits · Adding Standalone Recordings · Adding Disc IDs · Searching for Edits · Working with AcoustIDs · Tagging Files with Picard|