Syracuse Native Rhiannon Payne Taking Music Career to Next Level

Rhiannon Payne knew she wanted to be a music superstar since the very beginning of her life.

“I was 3 years old when someone told me ‘Hey kid you can sing,'” said the Syracuse native. “So that was kind of it for me.”

She’s ready to take her career to the next level with a new album and tour planned this summer. The album, which she hasn’t titled yet, will include 10 tracks, and she hopes to have it released by early June with a two-month tour to coincide.

Payne will share her talents at Funk ‘N Waffles on Clinton Street in Syracuse at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9.


Payne explored her musical talent often growing up and she worked hard pursuing her career. She took music classes and participated in chorus, but it was a band that guided her.

“I was in a band for three years, and that really helped me realize what I wanted to do,” she said.

From age 13-16 Payne sang for the pop-punk/alternative band Nextake. She familiarized herself with the stage through singing and playing local venues.

“I love performing in front of people,” she said.

Nextake performed at local venues around Syracuse, and one big feat Payne was proud of was opening for The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus at the Westcott Theater in April 2012.

“That was an amazing experience,” she said.

In high school she started buckling down to prepare for the journey ahead.

“I took every opportunity I could to put myself here,” she said. “It was kind of like my accumulation of taking all of the tools and people I had to help me out — I took advantage of everything I had.”

“I met wonderful people there who really knew how to tie and relate what I learned in school to my actual career.”

Payne didn’t want to go to college because she thought it wouldn’t help her career. But she found classes she could apply to singing and help her voice for the long-term. So she pursued a degree from Onondaga Community College and graduated with an associate’s degree in applied science.


Now that Payne honed in on her talents, she is focused on her album and the next steps for her path of success. She hired a manager at the end of last year, she has a producer working on her album, and she also hired a promoter as well.

“My music was beginning to falter because I couldn’t spend time to practice or write,” she said. “It got super overwhelming. I understand why musicians need large teams of people to do what they do.”

She said she wrapped up recording for mostly everything on the album and is going back and forth with the editing process. Shane Patterson is working as the producer out of Hobin Studios in Phoenix, NY.

The album includes eight new songs and two she has already released. “Bedtime Stories” was published in October with a music video. “Through Me” was a song she had produced and released in May 2015.

Payne is shooting for early June to release her album. She is planning to have a huge party and then have a two-month tour lined up around New York and New York City.

She said her ultimate goal is to move to Nashville, to continue developing as an artist.

“I want to get experience writing and collaborating with more musicians,” she said. “I want to learn as much as I can from a large music capital.”


When it comes to her music, Payne said she likes to play all types of genres.

“No one can really ‘genre-tize’ my music,” she said. “One song will sound jazzy, one will sound like Irish folk.”

While she can play many different instruments, she is often seen with a guitar. At her shows, fans can expect to hear her original songs with some covers added to the setlist.

Since she likes to play all genres, she said she covers anything — giving classic rock, Ariana Grande and Paramore as examples of the variety she includes.

The show at Funk ‘N Waffles will include a set by former Nextake bandmember Dylan Aird. Payne said she is excited for the show and they will perform together for a song during each other’s set.

One last thing about Payne’s name in case it sounded familiar: She was named after the Fleetwood Mac song. And Stevie Nicks did inspire Payne at a young age.

“I saw her rocking on stage and I would say ‘Yup, that’s gonna be me.'”


WHAT: Rhiannon Payne with Dylan Aird

WHERE: Funk ‘N Waffles 307 Clinton St., Syracuse, NY 13202

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 9

MORE INFO: Funk ‘N Waffles Website

Rhiannon Payne Facebook

Twitter: @RhiannonPayne7

Instagram: @RhiannonPayne7

Interview with #thePostshow from KROCK

Rhiannon Payne’s music is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and iHeartRadio.

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