Born 1989, Payne is a classically trained vocalist with backgrounds in theatre, pop and rock music, remembered by audiences for his impressive 5 octave range and strong countertenor.
He is best known for his work within progressive rock as front man of The Enid (2011-2016). During their time together, the band released 6 albums and 3 live videos. They received 3 Progressive Music Award nominations in 2013 and 2015, including Best Band, Best Album, and Best Event.
His personal achievements include being voted Best Male Vocalist for two years running (2014 & 2015) in the Prog Magazine Readers’ Poll.
First acquainted with The Enid in 2009, Joe met his future collaborators whilst recording with other projects at their home, The Lodge Recording Studios, Northampton. Discovering them for the first time, the music hit a chord with Joe whose background and interests included concert piano, pop and progressive music, abstract theatre and admiration for ambitious performing artists such as Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel.
Joe’s first job with The Enid was as part of their manufactured 10 piece male choir, The Northampton Decibels. After almost a year of working together, Joe was invited to sing lead vocals on a new studio recording for the band’s third album of revisits, Arise and Shine III: Shining. A creative relationship began from this moment as the band encouraged Joe to apply his love of lyric writing to some of the revisited instrumental pieces.
At this time Joe was studying a Business Management degree at the Clare Business School, Buckinghamshire. His new insight into brand management fuelled an ambitious re-branding of The Enid, succeeding to transform them from a historical instrumental band into a contemporary vocal led and visually ambitious outfit.
Joe’s name will be seen credited as a co-writer on most of The Enid’s material written during their time together, musically, lyrically and conceptually. His influence to create more visually dynamic and conceptual live shows led the band to be recognised for their events as much as their music, gathering wide acclaim from the rock press, earning them a Live Event nomination at the 2015 Progressive Music Awards for their artistic high point, The Bridge Show.
In April 2016, shortly after the release of their last album, Dust, Payne fell ill with depression and anxiety. Unable to work, he officially announced his departure from The Enid in September 2016.
Voted Best Male Vocalist two years running in the Prog Magazine Readers’ Poll, Payne has been coached in operatic vocal technique by one of the world’s leading Classical Voice teachers, Paul Farrington (currently vocal consultant to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, New National Theatre Tokyo, and Göteborgs Operan in Sweden).
He has also been directed in stagecraft by TV Illusionist Simon Drake, best known for his Channel 4 show Secret Cabaret and performance and production role in the Kate Bush Tour of Life.
In 2012 Payne graduated from the Clare Business School with a degree in Business Management (BA Hons), giving him a strong foundation on which to build his own businesses such as his first record label and live production companies.
Now a solo artist, Payne is a self-taught writer and arranger, working closely with producer Max Read on all his personal studio projects.
The Enid – Shining 
The Enid – Invicta 
The Enid – First Light 
The Enid – En Concert á Crescendo (DVD and Blu-ray) 
Methexis – Suiciety 
The Enid – The Bridge 
The Enid – The Bridge Show, Live at Union Chapel (CD, DVD and Blu-ray) 
The Enid – Dust 
The Enid – The Dust Show, Live at Cadogan Hall 
Voted Male Vocalist of the Year 2014 & 2015
Prog Magazine Readers’ Poll
3 time nominated, including Best Artist, Best Album and Best Event
Progressive Music Awards
“Payne can certainly be forgiven the odd moment of pomp and strut, owning the stage from the first note to the last.”
Sid Smith, Team Rock
“Commanding the stage with assurance, elegance and a touch of Adam Lambert-esque flamboyance as he lives every word.”
Liz Medhurst, Metal Talk
“Outstanding and charming.”
Leo Trimming, The Progressive Aspect
“Payne’s heartfelt delivery is as seductive as it is powerful, almost beseeching you as it impacts on your psyche.”
Martin Hutchinson, Prog Radar