You hear a song you like in a bar, at the gym, at the grocery store. You whip out your phone, but instead of merely seeing the artist and title of that particular recording, you get the song’s entire DNA, as revealed through its samples, its cover history, its remixes. You can instantly listen to the original tracks that built the music you love and save them to your subscription streaming account.
This is what WhoSampled’s mobile app (iOS and Android) can now do. It takes music recognition technology to the next level by coupling it with its proprietary crowdsourced database. Over the course of a decade, this database has gathered the largest set of accurate and passionately vetted data on samples, remixes, and cover versions.
“We had always dreamed of adding these features from the moment we launched the app six years ago,” explains WhoSampled’s CEO Nadav Poraz. “The app can identify the song playing around you, then dig deeper and find out what other song was sampled in the song you’re hearing. For example, the chorus or riff might sound familiar but not from the song that is playing, it’s from somewhere else. Other music recognition apps will tell you the name of the song you’re hearing, but WhoSampled is the only app that will give you the answer you’re looking for, allow you to understand the origins of the composition and reveal the other recordings that sampled it.”
The new version of the app (available in stores June 28, 2018) is a natural extension of WhoSampled and its passion for music discovery. What started out as a passion project grew into an obsession for 20,000 devoted contributors. Co-founded by Poraz, a software developer who got into funk and soul thanks to a teenage love of hip hop, the site started out with two hundred entries in a database. It now lists over half a million songs and has become a wildly popular hub for fans of club music, hip hop and other music genres to go deep into the history of the music they love.
“Our data would have been impossible to gather or deal with algorithmically,” explains Poraz. “It’s all created manually and vetted by humans. That makes it incredibly valuable and helpful in figuring out hundreds of thousands of samples and how they are all connected.”
WhoSampled’s new app functionality promises fans better discovery and more fun, with features that are unique to the mobile app and cannot be implemented via a website. “The WhoSampled website has a lot of richness and data, but it’s not personalized,” says Poraz. “The app is personalized to your taste and automatically surfaces the connections for the music you already love. It’s another strong starting point to discover more music to enjoy.”
The app should draw new users to the joy of WhoSampled’s infamous rabbit holes and keep faithful fans as engaged as ever. “For whatever reason, if there’s a good sample in something, it’s much better than a song that doesn’t have one. It’s somehow fundamental,” Poraz reflects. “And when there’s a good sample in a great song, you can get to know both songs, understanding the evolution thanks to what we do. I do it myself, all the time. It’s endless. It’s just magical.”