BIOGRAPHY

A Reliable Source Of Musical Inspiration
THE COMPOSER

Colin has written over 200 scores for international broadcasters and production companies - that's literally thousands of individual music cues for the likes of BBC, ITV, Discovery Channel and Sky,

 

A self-confessed perfectionist, he has been a trusted, safe pair of hands (and ears) for commissions by sector-leading companies such as Speedo, Twinings, Ernst & Young, BAE Systems and delivered the music for a £6M advertising campaign for 888 Poker. 

Colin has been published by EMI Music Publishing and has contributed to many of the top UK production music libraries such as KPM Music, Music House and Standard Music along with many others all over the world.

 

Click here for more about Colin's Music to Picture work.

Live Is Life
THE MUSICIAN

Having spent around 20 years locked away in the studio, Colin stepped back into the spotlight of live performance in 2010 and has since enjoyed hundreds of memorable moments playing with a variety of quite brilliant artists and bands at top venues around the world.

 

As Musical Director of one of the West End's most prolific party bands he has performed for high-class functions at The Savoy (London) and The Royal Dorchester Hotel and Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane. He has played New Year's Eve at the prestigious Emirates Palace (Abu Dhabi) and performed in Monaco during Grand Prix week, where he was charged with arranging a special performance 'live to video', with the band playing perfectly in sync onscreen action that was edited that very same day!

 

Click here for more about Colin's Live Bands.

 

In addition to his work for screen and on-stage, Colin's professional work also includes video editing, photography, teaching piano and lecturing in composition and arranging. He also runs a busy audio/visual studio from his home in Southampton.

 

Click below for more about Colin's Studio:

2b Media Services.

Late Starter
EARLY MUSICAL EDUCATION

Colin was born to a largely non-musical family but mum and dad have nevertheless been a constant support throughout his development as a composer, musician and performer.

 

Following early, ad-hoc piano lessons and a few years learning trombone at school, he focussed his efforts on studying pop/rock keyboards, where he began to fall in love with synthesizers, sound creation and songwriting. This was coupled with avidly digesting every article in Sound On Sound magazine and carefully transcribing and recreating popular music by ear, with favourites including: The Commodores, Howard Jones, Kool & The Gang, Luther Vandross and UB40.

Venturing Out
A JOB FOR LIFE

It was at 18 that Colin took his first professional steps, auditioning as keyboard player for a local pop/rock band. This while working for Lloyds Bank, which mum insisted was a 'Job For Life'.

 

After 3 years at the bank and realising it wasn't really his heart's desire, he subsequently beat around 200 applicants to a job in the Music Copyright department at the local television studios (ITV). There he was responsible for copyright returns (getting the composers/artists paid), as well as selecting library and commercial music for all manner of tv productions.

 

It gradually became known that Colin had a talent for composition and producers and director's would come into the office saying, "We have no budget but need some music for ____ ". After a handful of these smaller commissions more serious, paid work began to follow and within a couple of years Colin was writing for network productions, weather sponsorships and even pitched theme music for ITV news and BBC's 'Tomorrow's World'.

 

This proved an invaluable education - one day he would be asked to write something in the style of Elgar, and the next Oasis! The early days of transcribing pop songs had certainly honed his ability to discern and analyse every nuance of a recording, be it rock music, an orchestral symphony or anything inbetween and to quickly conjure something representative of that style.

The Missing Pieces
AND ALL THAT JAZZ

By now a busy composer and a competent keyboard player with an ear for sound, Colin then rounded his musical education further by seeking out local jazz piano legend, Monty Warlock, who planted the seeds of jazz vocabulary.

 

At around this time redundancy at ITV loomed due to a change in ownership of the South Coast franchise and it was then he took the opportunity to work towards a diploma in professional music at West London Institute (a college of Brunel University). Although he already had a great deal of professional experience and had assumed a vast knowledgebase from reading and listening, this was the ideal platform to test and enhance his ability in all aspects of performing, recording and arranging.

This diploma proved a fantastic experience under the tutorship of two inspirational course leaders in Norton York (founder of Rockschool) and Charles Beale (who subsequently developed the ABRSM jazz syllabus), supplemented by private lessons with top UK jazz pianist Liam Noble. Although Colin was one of five keyboard players on the course, the others were mostly concerned with their own bands and projects, so Colin, forever the 'Yes' man, got involved in all the shows, the big band (which at the time featured the now Mercury Prize-winning saxophonist Denys Baptiste), the choir and virtually every student recording and performance going.

 

Interestingly, Colin's first piece of recording/arranging coursework won him 'Tape Of The Month' in his favourite (and legendary) Sound On Sound Magazine and after many early mornings and late nights in the practice room (often falling asleep at the piano) Colin passed with Distinction.

© Colin Willsher