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, TV shows and commercials appearing on SyFy, USA Network, Netflix, WB, Lifetime, Hallmark, Starz, and others. He has scored numerous independent films, and his score for “Saawan” won the Best Soundtrack Award at the Salento International Film Festival in 2017 as well as his scores for “Osprey” and “Saawan” were nominated for Best Score at the Madrid International Film Festival in 2017. Additionally, 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.), “Kung Fu Panda: Holiday Special” (Dreamworks), “Song One” (featuring Anne Hathaway), and TV series “Velvet” (featuring Paula Ecchevaria), and “True Justice” (featuring Steven Seagal). Some of his recent commercials that he wrote music to include “Toyota”, “Pfizer”, “Lapband”, “Arizona Tourism”, “Brandman University”, “HTC”, “4D By Daniella”, “Vestel”, “Akbank”, “Linens”, “Koleksiyon” and “Kahve Diyari”.
Some of the recent movies Emir composed the music for are Syfy Network Original “Earthfall”, “Until We Meet Again” featuring Jackson Rathbone (Twilight) and Janel Parrish (Pretty Little Liars) ,“Bikini Model Academy” featuring Gary Busey and Morgan Fairchild, “A Deadly View,” (Mar Vista Entertainment) featuring Sara Mitich (“Star Trek: Discovery”) and Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black, Carter), “Country Crush” (Walmart Exclusive) featuring Jana Kramer (“One Tree Hill”), Munro Chambers (“Turbo Kid”, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”) and Sophie Tweed-Simmons (of KISS Fame), “Osprey” featuring Eric Roberts (“Runaway Train”, “Inherent Vice”, “The Dark Knight”) and Navid Negahban (“Homeland”, “24”), “The Monster Project” (2017) (Epic Pictures) starring Justin Bruening (Grey’s Anatomy”) and Toby Hemingway (“Black Swan”).
Emir also recently composed additional music for Epic Games videogame “Fortnite” (2018) and did score programming for the TV series “Falling Water” (2016) (USA Network) starring David Ajala (Fast & Furious 6, The Dark Knight) and Lizzie Brocheré (Rings, American Horror Story)
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.