Colin Payne's music has been described as "creating a symbiosis of drama and texture where the jagged edges of city life seamlessly connect with beautiful serene images among nature".
Surrounded by the sounds of Detroit from an early age, he was immersed in styles, such as the Motown sound of Hitsville, USA, the jazz of Russel Street and Baker's Keyboard Lounge, and the classical music of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. His compositions have been performed at venues and festivals in both Europe and the United States with premieres in New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Florence, Milan, Pavia, Stuttgart, and Siena.
His music has been performed by SOLI Chamber Ensemble, Beo String Quartet, The Out of Bounds Ensemble, The Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, guitar/flute duo Unassisted Fold, (flutist Sonja Horlacher and guitarist Flavio Virzì), North Carolina University Dance Department, All of the Above Ensemble, Wayne State University Orchestra, Alma College Dance Department Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra, Duo Cortona, the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, percussionist/composer/educator Moose Davis, and many others.
Recently, he was the recipient of the 2018 Leslie Bassett Graduate Fellow Award and will be an Artist-in-Residence at the Gabriela Lena Frank Composers Intensive. He completed his Master's degree in Music Composition at Michigan State University in 2017 where he was the recipient of fellowships within the College of Music.
In June/July 2017, he completed an eight-week tour along the east coast of the United States, which included performances in North Carolina, Massachusetts, New York, and Maine. Additionally, he completed a film score for the feature-length film "Stay with Me", which premiered at the Traverse City Film Festival in July 2017. Additionally he has collaborated with producer/director David Wheeler on a WKAR pilot called "I'm With the Band", which involved composing music similar to that of a late 1970s/1980s rock band.
Notable teachers and mentors include Mark Sullivan, Ricardo Lorenz, Gerald Custer, Lynn Goeringer, and Braxton Blake. Additionally he has attended lessons and master classes with David Ludwig, George Tsontakis, Craig Bove, David Rakowski, Carlos Guedes, Robert Patterson, Beth Wiemann, and many others.