Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Emir Isilay now resides in Los Angeles, where he is a composer, pianist, producer, arranger and engineer. He has composed music for many movies and TV shows appearing on SyFy, WB, Lifetime, Hallmark, Starz, and others. He has scored numerous independent films, and his score for “The Crimson Mask” was nominated for Best Original Score at the Los Angeles Reel Film Festival. Emir also placed original songs in “Hangover Part II” (Warner Bros.) and “Kung Fu Panda: Holiday Special” (Dreamworks).
Earlier in his career, Emir worked with the Media Ventures team, home of the legendary film composer Hans Zimmer. There he worked and performed extensively with renowned composer and guitarist Heitor Pereira on “Curious George” (Universal), “Ask The Dust” (Paramount), “Haven” (Yari Film Group), “Two Weeks” (MGM) and “Dirty Dancing 2 Havana Nights” (Miramax). Emir has also worked as a pianist, arranger, orchestrator, engineer, and also wrote additional music with film and TV composer Philip Giffin on a wide variety of projects, including FOX’s “K-Ville”, NBC’s “Boomtown”, ABC’s “Eyes” and the MGM feature “Soul Plane.”
In 2010, his group “beyond orange,” an electronica / chillout outfit with Andrew Campbell was signed to Water Music Records. Cuts from their eponymous album have appeared on several compilations alongside music from other top electronica artists such as Thievery Corporation and Stardelay. Emir produced Neraida’s debut album and co-produced Basstown’s album “Hands of Time,” and is also currently writing music for the prestigious Chicago Music Library, Playtunes Music Library and Fine Tune Music Libraries.
Other artists Emir has worked and/or performed with include: David Foster, Tiger Okoshi, Jeff Richman, Gary Novak, Michael Landau, Walt Fowler, Brandon Fields, Bob Sheppard, Russell Ferrante, Will Kennedy, Judd Miller, Larry Steen, Heitor Pereira, Andy Suzuki, Joel Taylor, Simon Phillips, Tom Walsh, Marco Mendoza, John Leftwich, Mike Fisher, Steve Billman, Francis Buckley, Tiziano Ferro, Mitchel Forman, Kendrick Scott, Marco Panascia.
Emir was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Composition and Film Scoring at the world- renowned Berklee College of Music in 2002, where he received best jazz composition and best film scoring student awards. He was also selected as one of the best pianists at Berklee. His arrangements are still being taught in Berklee Professor Ted Pease’s jazz composition book worldwide. Emir also represented the school on a ten-day concert tour of three cities in Japan in 2002.
Prior to attending Berklee, and while working and studying with internationally celebrated Turkish jazz musician Aydin Esen, Emir won 1st place in the Istek Vakfi Music Event in 1996; 1st place in the Istanbul Halici Midi Contest in 1997 and 2nd place in 1996; and 1st place in the Roxy Music Days Competition in 1996.