John and Puth birthed the collaboration in early March 2020 when they bumped into each other in a Los Angeles restaurant. They had never met before but both are big fans of each other's music; John had supported Puth's records on his Apple Music Rocket Hour show. They struck up a conversation, and when Puth learned the music legend lived nearby, he invited him to visit his home studio.
John had paused his Farewell Yellow Brick Road
tour because of the COVID pandemic, so he was now stuck at home. One afternoon he was kicking his heels, so John popped over to Puth's place, where he found he had a setup with keyboards, synths, and Pro Tools. Puth recalled that the "Rocket Man
" hitmaker sat down at his Rhodes keyboard and immediately played what turned out to be the melody of "After All." Puth quickly penned the lyrics and they wrote the entire skeleton of the song in about 15 minutes.