Rag'n'Bone Man wrote this after watching Game of Thrones. He recalled to The Independent (spoiler alert): "You know when Jon Snow's Wildling girl dies – I watched that and wrote the song the next day. It's about when you're that close to having something and it just goes."
Rag 'n' Bone Man expanded on the song to MTV UK: "I remember we wrote the verse parts to it, and it was kind of clear what it was about," he explained. "I went home, and I watched the episode with Jon Snow and the Wildling girl, and it was obvious that they couldn't be together. I found it such a sad moment."
"Because obviously they really wanted to be together, but they're from two separate worlds," he added. "And that inspired the chorus. So ['Skin' is] weirdly about two different scenarios (laughs)."
The singer debuted the tune on January 5, 2017 live for BBC Music Sound Of 2017. Rag'n'Bone Man performed the song in his old venue, Brixton Jamm bar, where he used to perform under the handle of Rag 'N' Bonez at hip-hop open-mic nights.
Rag'n'Bone Man told Q magazine the story of the song:
"I wrote the verse bit in the daytime, Just about how we all have somebody in our past that we think, 'What would it have been like to have been with that person? You just missed out for whatever reason. 'It almost love and I wonder what it would've been like?'
Then later on, I went back and watched this episode of Game of Thrones, where it's Jon Snow and this Wilding girl - they're from two different worlds, almost enemies, but they have a romance, but because of that conflict between families they can't be together. Then she gets killed, and it's all very heart-wrenching, and that inspired me to write the chorus."