An honourary Prestonian is hoping to make waves in the technology world with a new kind of app.
David “Stock” Baird, who moved to the city from his native Detroit, USA, in 2000, built the app, Selocial, for music lovers, artists and bands to connect and discover new music, developing the idea with a crack team from across the States. David, who also goes by the name, Stockmashin, said: “We like to say its like Instagram meets Spotify with on-the-fly news.
“The idea that came to me was what if I could attach songs to a picture as fast as an Instagram filter can be applied? What if artists could be discovered through your friends photo? Or make playlists you can quickly skim through by picture instead of text?
“Generally it seems people don’t like to listen to full albums anymore with the vast amounts of access to music we have and the music industry seems to be more in the direction of singles, however I still like to listen to a few songs by an artist before I get bored and go to the next thing. And with the on-the-fly news idea you can receive nuggets of information when you listen to a song because when I have played songs in YouTube I want to know more about an artist than just another video so rather then head to Google to find it, we now bring it to the listener.”
The dad-of-two, who now splits his time between visiting his children in Preston and Ann Arbour in Detroit, has performed in front of 25,000 people at Ewood Park after winning the Rock FM Rock Idol competition back in 2002.
However, part of the reason for him developing the app was to allow musicians to have their music discovered without relying on radio play.
He said: “Artists can get recognised for their talent and discovered in a way where they can not be blocked by the politics of radio pluggers and programming.
“Even if the DJs want to play it, they mostly have their hands tied. However, this gives opportunities to tech companies like ours to make a big difference and be a disrupter.”
The app has now been in development for a year and a half and now David and the team, including head of technology, Joe Vaillancourt based near Rochester, Minnesota, and Mark Kopulos, based in Boston, Massachusetts, are now looking for more investment. He said: “We want to push for more development towards a more social, easy to use website and have ideas of making the app more social including better card features, maps, and chat functions but the sky is the limit.”
Users can now sign up and login via Facebook, visit www.selocial.com/