Famous music producer Lillywhite at Ad/Music Event

Producer Steve Lillywhite

One of Britain’s most acclaimed and successful producers, U2’s five-time Grammy winning Steve Lillywhite, will share his decades of star-making experience with Chicago industry experts, local musicians, songwriters and agency creatives during a Music and Ad Event hosted by the Apollo Music Store (AMS) at The Wit Hotel, April 16, 5-8 p.m.

Toronto-based Apollo Music Store is a new online platform devoted to providing agencies with top drawer, pre-cleared music. It is currently mining Chicago’s audio landscape for composers who can tune to the key of advertising. AMS then follows up with reviews and critiques from America’s top industry professionals.

On the panel, besides Lillywhite, are senior music supervisors Stump Mahoney, FCB Chicago; Morgan Thoryk, McGarry Bowen; Chris Clark, Leo Burnett and Burnett creative director Craig Shparago.

AMS head curator, Koo Abuali, a musician, producer, music supervisor and consultant, will moderate the event.

After a mutual friend introduced Abuali to Steve Lillywhite a year ago, she and the legendary producer developed what she calls a “lovely friendship and working relationship.”

When she asked him to join the event, he jumped at the chance. “He didn’t really need convincing,” she says. “He was excited about critiquing up-and-coming artists as part of our panel.”

Although AMS works with professional musicians and record labels like Arts & Crafts, which represents artists like Broken Social Scene and Feist, the knack for creating quality commercial music does not automatically coincide with mainstream success.

“There’s a certain musician who understands advertising and it’s about starting to understand what makes music good for a commercial track,” explains AMS VP and head of global business development Charlie Janson.

“We’ve got artists who are into big bands who couldn’t understand the brief. We got a thousand tracks from one record label and only two of them are really relevant.”

AMS intends to establish mutually beneficial relationships with the people who make what CEO Phillipe-Aubert Messier describes as “a great music city.”

“We listen to a lot of the new Chicago acts at the office,” he continues. “Smith Western, Andrew Bird, Angel Olsen and the Orwells. We would like to represent more of these bands going forward. Our goal is to help musicians find work.”

Noting that the question “who’s the band?” frequently appears on the YouTube comments of spots featuring their work, AMS founding partner Paul Maco advises musicians who want to succeed in advertising to “watch great commercials!”

“We believe that the great idea can come from anybody at any time,” Janson adds.

To submit music for consideration at the event, email links to soundcloud or bandcamp pages to greg@apollomusicstore.com.