A couple of days ago–eons ago in internet time–before Bieber’s fabulous mugshot and the New York Times Magazine‘s #HilaryWorld cover sh*t upon TweetDecks all over, Drake began telling the Internet the weather.
The app, DrakeWeather.com, was developed by three friends, Tom, Bob and Bert, from Belgium who took the Canadian emcee’s iconic Nothing Was The Same album cover and put peoples’ weather forecasts to the background. No matter where a given person was in the world, the app displayed a brief meteorological synopsis, the current temperature and a corresponding background to suit what was going on outside.
Since it involved the Internet and Drake, people f*cking loved it. The site currently has 42,000 Facebook likes and over 6,000 tweets. Bloggers swooned. Chris Brown jokes were made.
So we figured we’d reach out to one of the creators, Tom Galle, to give us the lowdown on how the project came about and what he, Bob and Bert intend to do next with it. Because as they say…
Nothing was the same. /rimshot.
TSS: So how’s everything going today?
Well it’s been a little calmer. Yesterday, was a little crazy. So that’s good. We can go back to our normal lives. It was really crazy the buzz we had yesterday with the website.
TSS: I can imagine. I saw your Twitter feed with so many people linking and tweeting it. And because it’s a Drake weather app, I’m sure it was an avalanche.
Yeah. And I was only retweeting a few famous ones. But it was 41,000 Facebook likes. In two days, we had 250,000 visits on the website. So I can totally expect anything coming up [Laughs].
TSS: So what brought about this whole thing?
Actually, with Bob and I, we’re both best friends and we’re also big Drake fans. We Skype a lot–he’s in Belgium, I’m in New York–I just moved here like five months ago, and we were talking, like, we should do something with Drake on the internet to get some buzz.
We had a few ideas that were a little bit more basic, and this came about. I don’t know how this came about–it felt so stupid that we knew we could do it. So funny, stupid in a neat way–an internet way. We were like, Let’s try to make it.
We were expecting some people to tweet, but like, not that much.
TSS: And you said you just moved here?
Yup, five months ago. I moved here for professional reasons. I’m working for an ad agency based out of Japan called PARTY. And yeah, it’s like an internet agency–well, it’s like an ad agency but it’s for clients who do a lot of stuff to generate buzz on the internet. So they work with Lady Gaga. They did the doll–I don’t know if you saw that. It was a crazy life-like doll they did of Lady Gaga. A few other things to create a lot of buzz.
TSS: So this Drake weather app just played into why they hired you in the first place. Have you reached out to Drake with it at all?
We were hoping that he would tweet about it or talk about. I hope he sees it because a lot of people are mentioning him in the posts on Twitter, so we were hoping that he would talk about it.
Maybe he might feel that we’re making a little fun of him in a way
[Dog begins barking like crazy in the background]
Hold on. I’m going to tell the dogs to shut up.
[Says dog’s name and tells it to be quiet]
Sorry. It’s a very excited dog [LAUGHS].
So, yeah, he hasn’t talked about it yet. But we have seen some people around him, like his official fan group that tweeted about. So we were hoping maybe in the next week it would reach him.
TSS: Were you always considering Nothing Was The Same album cover?
Oh no, we knew right away it would be Nothing Was The Same because it’s such a nice cover and it has this… A lot of people have been doing things with it. If you type up “Nothing Was The Same” and “Memes,” there’s a lot of stuff that pops up. I think someone posted it in front of the Windows background. So it’s been around the internet. People have been doing stuff with it. So we felt it would be something fun to do with that art and it would be something else.
TSS: It’s perfect for weather just because of how simple and easily transformable the background is.
Totally. It just kind of… We just came up with the idea and then we were like, Wow, this is just so simple and easy to use because, in a way, it’s so stupid [LAUGHS]–you know what I mean? Not stupid, but it’s kind of smart in a way. So I felt that people would like it and tweet it.
TSS: How did you guys go about manipulating the background and coding it?
Well it’s this very easy… We were pulling in data from this website called “Open Weather Map”–I think?–so it’s a free API and they send data for all of the locations. So when you’re going from anywhere in the world on that website it would get your location where you’re at at that moment and pull in information from that website. And then we wrote some code that transformed your background based on the location where you are.
Does that makes sense?
So we brought in information for 60 backgrounds, every weather state has its own background.
TSS: What’s your favorite background out of all of them?
I think the one that look more beautiful and resemble the original–the blue sky and all of the clouds.
TSS: Are you guys going to continue refining it and adding onto it or will it become just a one-off thing where you let it live on the internet?
We’re thinking of, like, I think if we were going to give it a longer life, it would have to be an iPhone app or a screensaver or something. So we’re thinking of that. But it all depends on the time and all of that since we have jobs and everything [LAUGHS].
If we find the time, we’ll start building an iPhone app so people can really check the weather each day with Drake’s album.
TSS: That would be really cool. I was actually considering replacing my Yahoo! Weather app with the Drake weather app; however, I unfortunately, couldn’t find it.
TSS: Yeah. Much to my dismay…
Yeah, well if we would’ve known–we just didn’t expect that much buzz. But we couldn’t have known that ahead of time. If we would have made the app and the iPhone app at the same time.
We might, though. It takes a few days for Apple to agree on it as well, like their approaches of approval. I hope, like, in a week or two we might have it.
TSS: Is there anyway you would potentially add Drake lyrics to match with the weather backgrounds as well?
Well on the website I did add some Drake music at the bottom, but it started to feel like a Drake promotional website, so I removed it to keep it focused on the Drake weather idea. I think in an app or something it would be cool, but I’m afraid of Drake’s reaching out–or the label–because we can’t just use the music.
So we’ll just keep it to the weather.
TSS: Has there been any indication yet that the artwork itself has run you into some trademark trouble?
Hmm. I’m checking with my friend in Belgium who’s a lawyer since the Belgium laws are different from the U.S.’s laws, but I think if we start selling it then we’ll have a problem because we’re making money off what they would claim is their copyrighted artwork. But if we just put it up for free, then I don’t think so. That’s how it’s looking like right now until he does more research.
It’s a little vague now, but I don’t see why they would sue us if we just put it up for free.
TSS: So what’s your favorite Drake album?
Um, Nothing Was The Same. I change a lot with favorite songs. For the moment it’s “The Motion,” but I really change between four or five songs that I really like a lot like “Started From The Bottom,” which I really like a lot, “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” “Connect,” and “The Language”… Actually, there’s more like seven [LAUGHS]. “Too Much,” too.
TSS: To finish up here, what would you do if Drake actually tweeted out his support for the project?
Oh, we’ll just party. We’ll just go get drunk or something [Laughs]. I don’t know there’s much more we could do. I’ll just retweet it and put it on my Facebook or Instagram or something. And maybe frame it–like print it out and frame it.