Longtime pals Leon Bridges and John Mayer came up with this sunny R&B jam well before the COVID-19 era. Their original concept of meeting with a lover behind closed doors came from a conversation in the studio about girls. "We were joking about what an ideal date for an introvert or homebody like myself would be," Bridges told Apple Music. "I tour most of the year, so I'd rather invite a gal over to lounge comfortably in the crib as opposed to go out somewhere crowded."
Released on April 10, 2020, in the context of the coronavirus lockdown the "inside friend" Bridges and Mayer sing of could be a platonic quarantine pal.
Bridges explained he and Mayer penned "Inside Friend" before his 2018 album but it "didn't fit within the context" of that record. However, the state of the world two years later compelled them to share it. "I hope people find it soothing and uplifting while we hole up indoors and get through," he said.
All proceeds for the standalone single are going to MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. The project, set up by the Recording Academy, supports members of the music industry affected by the coronavirus pandemic.