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Deepr app dives into music history


Darlene A. White  |  Special to The Detroit News

Their vision was to dive ‘Deepr’ into the history of music and it’s now happening with just a click of a button on a smartphone. 

Austin Webster and Darrell Thompson, a Detroit native and music industry veteran, co-founders of the app Deepr, have a passion for music. 

Webster, who was raised outside Memphis, Tennessee, was a frustrated music fan. He heard a song on a podcast and enjoyed its "urban beat." He was curious to know who produced the record, so he headed to the internet to research who was behind the music.

After a great deal of research, he finally learned about the producer and wanted to know what other songs the person created.

Hours later, Webster said, “It has to be an easier way to find people behind these songs.” That’s when he had his ‘light bulb’ moment to create an app for music lovers to discover the background history of their favorite artist and songs. 

That lightbulb moment fueled the journey for Webster from an idea that he wrote down on a napkin, to creating a company, bringing on a co-founder, rebranding the app, fundraising, getting investors on board, and now promoting an actual app to the masses.

Launched in the fall of 2019, the Black-owned innovative technology platform designed by Deepr offers new opportunities for mainstream and indie artists, songwriters, featured artists, background vocalists, musicians, recording engineers, mix engineers, mastering engineers, art directors, video directors, to get the attention and credit they deserve.

Recently, Deepr’s founders were able to secure $50,000 in funding from the Google For Startups Black Founders Fund. The funds is managed and distributed by an Atlanta-based organization Goodie Nation, which facilitates opportunities for diverse founders and entrepreneurs. 

Initially, the startup raised more than $300,000 in pre-seed funding and is seeking $1.7 million to further its growth.

“Our app was designed to take you deeper behind your favorite songs,” said Thompson, a former Motown Records business and legal affairs executive. “When using the app, it helps you find songs that you never knew existed from your favorite creators and create a playlist.”

Using the app is simple. Once the app identifies a song playing within range of a mobile device’s microphone, it will show the song and offer a “Scroll View” with basic details about the artist, including a biography. When you click on “Deepr View” you can access the history of songs, engineers, directors and other information. 

The app also offers an Independent Creator Credit Program (ICCP) that gives independent music creators the ability to submit their song credits to Deepr. 

The ICCP service starts at 99 cents for 1 song, $6.99 for 15 songs, and $49.99 for 150 songs.

Thompson said he’s thrilled about his new entrepreneur journey with his business partner and believes it’s important to have people of color working in technology. 

“As an African-American business owner from Detroit, the birthplace of Motown, I believe it is very important to our culture for young boys and girls to see founders of color running the tech companies behind the music," Thompson said. "We know African-Americans have played an integral role on the creative side of the music industry, but we must also be represented on the business side and in the boardrooms of companies benefiting from the use of our music.”

Thompson said the future of Deepr is bright. Webster and Thompson are in the planning phases of getting the app into museums and airlines across the U.S.

Thompson said it wasn’t an easy road to get the app off the ground, but he has advice for future technology entrepreneurs. 

“Don’t let others tell you what you can’t do. If you have an idea do your research, do the homework, and make your dream happen.”