Starley has taken the world by storm.
Her international debut single ‘Call On Me’ was a top ten hit in 30 countries, selling over 2.5 million copies and has been streamed more than 460 million times (and counting!).
She followed it up with the radio friendly ‘Touch Me’, which samples her friends Groove Theory on their 1995 smash ‘Tell Me’.
In the middle of a worldwide promo tour, Starley made a quick trip to Sydney to perform at Central Station Record’s 40th Anniversary, so we threw some questions in her direction and she tossed them back!
It’s our latest Q&A!
It’s been a wild 12 months, hasn’t it! One minute you’re in America, the next minute London, Germany… have you had a second to process it all yet?
Haha, not really. We’ve been non-stop. Occasionally when I’m feeling overwhelmed I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and look at how much we’ve accomplished in less than a year!
You’ve been in town to perform at Central Station Records’ 40th anniversary party. How was the show?
The show was incredible! There were some sexy rock-out moments and guitar solos and a lot of dancing. We had some amazing screens, lights, CO2 blasts and confetti canons! It was awesome!
It was phenomenal! Central Station are Australia’s longest running independent record label. They took a chance on you and boy has it paid off! Please tell us about the moment they “called on you” to sign you.
I got a call from one of the A&Rs over there, Archie. He said he’d heard my record ‘Call On Me’ and he loved it. He wanted to sign it, so I signed to Central Station. I definitely owe this all to Archie!! (Also, side note, he’s the one who found Ryan Riback and got him to do the remix for me).
Incredible! Before you were signed though you were a songwriter in London under Sony ATV publishing for several years and had a few near misses. If you would like to indulge, what were some of the near misses? I know you’ve said Labrinth is a friend..
I had some calls saying that this person wanted to cut a record or that person wanted to cut one, and then they wouldn’t happen. Once LA Reid flew me to LA to cut the ‘X Factor’ winner on one of my songs, but she got dropped right before it came out. Stuff like that would happen all the time. As for Labrinth, yes, he was one of my first friends in London. He’s incredibly talented!
What did you learn about yourself and the music industry while living in London?
I learned that following your dreams isn’t easy, but that, no matter what, you have to keep going!
You wrote ‘Call On Me’ when you were feeling depressed and the lyrics are essentially reassuring yourself that it’s all going to be okay. Is there a message of hope you would like to give to those struggling in their day to day lives?
Of course. When I wrote ‘Call On Me’, I was writing it for myself, to tell myself I had to call on myself to get through my hard times. Even when the road gets tough, it’s up to you to find your way out of the darkness. No one else can do that for you. So believe in yourself and just go for whatever it is you want/need to do!
Fitness had a big role to play in your life through those dark moments as well…?
Instead of turning to drugs and alcohol I turned to the gym because it gave me control over something in my life. With the endorphins and seeing my body change, it was the best thing I could have done at that time.
Now whenever I played the song on my phone I would see this random single cover of a beetle. How did that come about?
When I was little I used to play in my backyard and I’d sing to the lady beetles. I had even made up a special song for them. I thought when I sang, they’d come out and see me. They were a little beacon of hope for me.
Just as I blasted ‘Call On Me’ all summer, I’ve been blasting ‘Touch Me’ all winter. Tell us a little bit about it.
‘Touch Me’ is about being in a relationship with someone and not getting comfortable. Find out what that person likes mentally, physically, etc and make an effort to do that. Don’t let it get boring!
‘Touch Me’ has been a hit on radio and I cant wait to see what you got in store for us next. Is the third single ready to go?
Yes, it actually is being finished now!! I can’t wait to get it out there!
You’ve been on tour with Clean Bandit & Zara Larsson who have the hit ‘Symphony’ together. What’s it been like to be on tour with these acts who are so in right now?
I love the Clean Bandit crew. We hit it off instantly and are still great friends! I didn’t spend as much time with Zara but she’s incredibly sweet and so are her dancers and team!
I see that you are touring in London in a couple of weeks! How has the reaction been overseas?
It’s been amazing! I can’t even believe how much my life has changed!
You’ve also been on ‘Good Morning America’ and levitating on ‘Jimmy Kimmel’. What was that like?
Kimmel was incredible! It was super fun to levitate! ‘Good Morning America’ was the craziest because it was my first time performing on TV and I was on like two hours of sleep because our flights had been delayed the day before!
Argh how frustating! The busy life of a popstar. I’m hoping you’ll be up for ARIA nominations after the incredible year you’ve had. Do you think you’ll be in the country to attend in late November?
If I get asked, I’m definitely going to try and make it happen!
Now I saw you tweet out recently in support of marriage equality. At auspOp we’re proudly in support as well. Do you have faith that the Australian public will vote yes?
I hope so. I don’t think we should prevent people from being happy because someone may not think the same way as someone else.
And lastly, when can we expect the debut album?
I’m hoping to have it out by early next year!
Starley’s singles ‘Call On Me’ and ‘Touch Me’ are available digitally now.