Born in Bath, UK, to a Kenyan mother and a British father, Pink Pantheress took her name from The Pink Panther comedy film series. As a university student in London, she established an online presence by producing and singing over beats from '90s and '00s garage, pop and funk tunes. Parlophone signed the singer after her single "Break It Off" went viral on TikTok. "Pain" gave PinkPantheress her first Top 40 appearance on the UK singles chart, helped again by its popularity on TikTok.
The song finds PinkPantheress struggling to get over an ex-lover. Though they had their differences, it still came to a shock when he broke up with her and she is still feeling the pain.
PinkPantheress wrote and produced the song herself. The retro-inspired garage beat heavily samples Sweet Female Attitude's 2000 single "Flowers."
Much of the lyrical content comprises improvised la-la-la's. PinkPantheress said her repetitive la-la-la-ing is because at the time she "had the worst writer's block."