Contemporary R&B artist Arin Ray competed on the U.S. version of The X Factor and quickly moved into behind-the-scenes work as a songwriter prior to landing a major-label deal. During the first season of The X Factor in 2011, the Cincinnati native was eliminated as a member of the bootcamp-stage group Intensity. He returned in 2012 for the second season, mentored by Britney Spears, and finished tenth. Ray self-released a single, "Turn It Up," in 2013, but within a couple years had co-written songs for Jason Derulo ("Love Like That") and Chris Brown ("KAE").
Ray resumed solo work with the Phases EP in 2016, the same year he was credited with co-writing songs for the likes of K. Michelle (the charting single "Ain't You"), Ro James ("Ride"), DJ Mustard ("Another Summer"), and Jahkoy ("Don't Stop the Vibe"). Ray made his major-label debut on Interscope the following year with "We Ain't Homies" and worked on his first album with Terrace Martin, Nez & Rio, and Childish Major among the collaborators.