Kelsea Ballerini's friendship with Halsey began in the summer of 2018 when the pop singer played Ascend in Nashville. The country star went backstage afterwards and the pair immediately clicked. They hung out all night and ended up at Ballerini's place, which is where Halsey played her an early version of "Without Me
Ballerini loved the idea of having a female collab, but it needed to be with someone she is close to. "I only want collaborations if they're my friends," she explained to Taste of Country Nights
. "I don't wanna go to some pop star that I don't know, I don't wanna go to some country person that I just want their people to listen to me - I just wanna do it if it makes sense to me."
Two months after she'd first met Halsey, Ballerini was in Los Angeles, and she played "The Other Girl" to her new pal. "I just played it for her and she dug it, which was cool," she recalled. The rest is history.