Charli XCX's debut album True Romance has been in the making since early 2010. This was an important song in giving the album its direction as it was the first one she penned with producer Ariel Rechtshaid. She explained to The Sun: "I wrote 'Stay Away' at the end of a pretty unsuccessful writing trip to LA a few years ago and I had two hours before I had to leave for the airport. Ariel and I met and we wrote 'Stay Away' together in that time. It was like magic. Ariel was very important in making this record. He has such a brilliant ear and great taste."