It was a trend which started with Mike Posner’s I Took A Pill in Ibiza. A personal, emotive song about being known as a one-hit wonder ended up being the artist’s second top 10 single – rather ironically – when it was remixed by the Norwegian DJ’s Seeb. Now, Ryan Riback has continued the pattern by injecting some feel good vibes into Starley’s mellow track, Call on Me.
Adopting bouncy guitar riffs and synth effects underneath smooth vocals, the original version is calmer in nature – with a slower tempo. Whilst the chorus is more upbeat, the quiet tone remains and encapsulates the emotion of a song which was written when Starley was at a low point in her life.
“I wrote it in my bedroom late one night, on the keyboard,” she says in a press release. “Since I can remember, all I’ve wanted to do was write and sing. I even moved country to pursue my dream and spent years in London, struggling with money, but still believing I would make it.
“I’d finally got to the point where I was feeling helpless and wanted to give up. I was thinking of walking away from music altogether. That reality was heartbreaking for me. One night, this song just poured out of me. It became a way of telling myself it was going to be ok, almost like an encouragement.”
It’s an optimism present in the original, but no doubt heightened in Ryan Riback’s remix. It preserves the delicate, Olly Alexander-sounding vocals of Starley in the verses – with an exotic touch to begin with – before slowly pushing the tempo towards the chorus to suit a more electronic style. Here we see the original synth melody combined with sharp piano chords, before this is replaced with a more gritty bass sound to give it more of a dance feel.
As well as the club remix highlighting the song’s uplifting message, it’s brought a lot of attention onto Starley, with the official music video currently standing at 22 million views compared to the initial track’s 399k clicks.
Now, as the Australian singer continues supporting Clean Bandit on their North American tour, it’s worth paying attention to Starley over the next few months. The last time the band behind Rather Be picked a support act, it was 2014 and the group in question – Years and Years – were just about to make their debut.
With a successful debut single under her belt, one can hope that it’s a success mimicked by Starley in 2017.