Joy Tillis’ “new template” for the music biz

While the country is draped in gloom and doom, a music supervisor and licensing expert wants to spread some, well, Joy to the visual media business.

Joy Tillis’ wants to bring upbeat, positive music to visual media, save clients from paying big fees for an often overused tune, and help talented young composers get a foot in the door of commercial music.

She calls this “the new template for the times” and wants to get it out there.

As a music supervisor with 17 years experience, Tillis of WJOY has seen how the roller coaster economy affects client thinking about song availability.

“Clients are currently looking for upbeat, positive themes in songs that inspire, motivate, and support visuals to tell a story,” she says.

“They look at songs, however, that might be too big for their uses and budgets, such as obvious songs, like “(Simply) the Best,” “Wouldn’t It be Nice” or “The Best is Yet to Come.”

“Searching for a discount is one thing. Thinking that the Beach Boys want to donate a hit for your YouTube posting is another,” she says.

“In fact, it might be pretty delusional.”

To initiate “the new template,” Tillis recommends looking at the scores of new composers “who have the energy, talent, the ability to write meaningful lyrics at affordable costs”

Working out of her large and sunny West Loop loft apartment, with a music library of thousands of cuts from worldwide publishers and labels, Tillis receives as many as two dozen song submissions from new composers all over the country looking for a start in the competitive commercial field.

The music pours in through Email, YouTube, website and telephone. Tillis remembers a call from one self-assured composer who told her, “This is the call you’ve been waiting for all your life and thought would never come.” Reaally!

While these “really good new songs” convey the positive messages clients are seeking, the client doesn’t know about them. All too often the composer’s unprofessional presentation dooms the disk before a music supervisor takes the time to listen to it.

Tillis has advice to the newbies on how they can improve their chances of getting their music heard.

“When you call to pitch your work, give a one-minute elevator speech. Send me your strongest music ? not 14 songs. Label the disk or an accompanying sheet with the songs’ genre, and provide information where you can be reached by Email.”

Tillis adds: “Keep listening, read the news and know what’s going on in the world so you can compose accordingly.”

Any takers for her “new template?”

Actually, yes. Out of requests from six diverse clients, she sold a new composer’s upbeat song for an area casino commercial and is working with another composer to satisfy an online college’s needs.

“Two of the others strapped themselves to license music,” Tillis notes, “and two are still undecided.”

Still, the old templates are moving aside, she asserts. “It’s time to consider a new alternative to the scene and listen to fresh new material with fresh new ears and an open mind.”

And remember all the money that can be saved.

Joy Tillis and WJOY’s phone is 773/276-9340. See