Grammy and Oscar winner Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II was at an awards show when he received a call from Grammy winner Jazmine Sullivan’s manager asking for him to come on board to write an original song for “Till,” from Orion and United Artists Releasing. His song “Stand Up” powerfully captures the spirit of the harrowing true story of Mamie Till Mobley (played by Danielle Deadwyler) and her relentless pursuit of justice after her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till (Jalyn Hill), is lynched in 1955.

As for the film’s score, during Variety’s Music for Screens Summit, “Till” director and co-writer Chinonye Chukwu says she talked to composer Abel Korzeniowski about “the colors I see when I hear the music,” and Korzeniowski translated her vision into music.

The word “propulsion” was frequently used between the composer and director. “We wanted to move the movie forward as much as possible. I wanted music to take us out of the sad, emotional places and be able propel the audience forward in the story,” Chukwu says.

Chukwu wanted the music of “Till” to be sentimental, not emotional — and says there’s a big difference. “Silence can be an aesthetic choice.”

It’s not only about when the music is used, but also the selective choices and places it’s inserted in key scenes. “We only really wanted to speak musically in scenes where we actually had something to say,” Korzeniowski says.

He felt the most inspired after seeing a cut of the film prior to writing and composing, responding to the cinematic images on screen.

Chukwu loves how entrenched in cinema Korzeniowski is: “His music speaks to the emotional subtext of picture, as opposed to overstating what we already visually see.”