Starley Hope is a singer from Sydney, Australia, who comes from a mixed cultural background of Australian and Mauritian. After a number of years where she struggled to make an impact, Starley first tasted some notoriety when she supplied guest vocals on Odd Mob's "Into You," which topped the ARIA Club Tracks chart for seven weeks in 2016.
This reflection of support for a loved one is Starley's debut solo single. The Australian co-wrote the song with New Zealand hip-hop DJ and producer P-Money, who has had two #1 singles in his home country – "Stop The Music" in 2004 and "Everything" in 2008. However P-Money is best known for his collaborations with the rapper Scribe including the 2003 smash hit "Not Many."
P-Money also produced the song together with Starley's Odd Mob chums.
Starley wrote the song as therapy for her despondency at the way her singing career hadn't progressed as she had hoped. It had reached the point where she felt she might have to give up and do something else.
"In that feeling of being devastated, I kind of - as I always do - I write songs through my experiences and what I'm feeling as a way of therapy," Starley told Billboard magazine. "So I wrote 'Call On Me' in my bedroom on four chords. It was my way of saying that sometimes you don't get the answers you want from God. You might get something else and be put on a different path, or something might happen to lead you to something else, but just have faith in the process. And the reason why I was doing that was to sort of comfort myself through the situation."
"And as I was writing it I thought, 'I'm going through things in my little world, but there's lots of people out there that are going through some of the same things and some way bigger things than what I was going through.' So I thought I'd include other people in my story as well and give them something to hope for," she continued. "Providing hope to people in my story as well was important to me because I feel like music should have a purpose."
When Starley was a struggling songwriter, she was frequently cold-called producers with her material. One person who was on her mailing list was Remi (Miguel, Nas), who found "Call on Me" in his inbox. "He said, 'I love this. What are you doing with this?'?" she recalled to Billboard. Remi brought the tune to Epic Records, who released it worldwide in October 2016.
The song was especially popular in Sweden where it spent four weeks atop the singles chart.