Adele Emeli Sandé was born in the north east of England to Zambian technology and maths teacher Joel Sandé and his Caucasian English wife. The family moved to rural Alford in Aberdeenshire, Scotland in October 1992 - the first mixed-race family in the village. Sandé wrote this song about her parents and the struggles that they faced. She explained to Q magazine: "I'm in a very tight family, and I'm always mindful of the struggles my parents had to go through so that we could have opportunities. My dad's from Zambia and my mum is from Cumbria and they were the first people in their families to go to university, against all the odds. Being an interracial couple in '80s Sunderland led to them getting a lot of abuse. Some of the stories they tell me are awful, so it's really for them."
Sandé wrote the song with her producer Shahid "Naughty Boy" Khan the same weekend that they penned her second single, "Daddy."
The song was originally written for Leona Lewis after the pair struck up a friendship arising from Sandé penning the X-Factor alumni's single "Trouble." However for reasons unknown Sandé reclaimed the tune.