The lead single off Scotty's sophomore album was written by the teenage singer with Ashley Gorley and Zach Crowell. "That's the one I'm really excited about because I had a hand in writing it," he told Billboard magazine. "That is one of those things I didn't have a chance to do on the first record because coming off Idol as the winner, you have a deadline for the first record. We were on the Idol tour as well so we were trying to squeeze it all in."
Scotty premiered the song live when he returned to perform it on the American Idol stage on April 11, 2013.
The song's music video was directed by Roman White, the man behind Taylor Swift's VMA winning "You Belong With Me
" clip. The visual was shot on campus at McCreery's school, North Carolina State University. "It's a cool concept, I'm glad that we're shooting it here — at my college," revealed the young singer. "It's a cool thing for me to be here, at home, doing it."
Scotty hinted to Billboard magazine that the catchy love song may be inspired by his own love life. "Didn't just come out of thin air," he noted with a smile.
McCreery explained the creation of this song: "We were hashing around ideas and we started playing a loop on the guitar," he recalled. "We said, 'What does this make you think of?' We talked about how that loop made you think about wanting to go see a girl. We started writing it, and before you know it, we thought, 'Wow, this is a pretty good one!' We finished the day and we were pretty excited with what we wrote."
Ashley Gorley recalled the day he penned this with Scotty and Zach Crowell at the latter's house." The Nashville songsmith told Roughstock
. "He's a great writer, a great instrumentalist and a great track guy. We had some different grooves going. Honestly that one happened pretty quick. Scotty's always out on the road, running around doing different stuff, so we were lucky to get the opportunity to write with him,"
"It was just one of those things where 'See You Tonight' lyrics fit the groove that Zach had going," added Gorley. "We knocked it out pretty quickly, and Scotty was all excited about a lighter kind of uptempo thing, so we just kind of went from there."
Scotty explained the song seemed to just naturally come together when he was writing it with pals Ashley Gorley and Zach Crowell. "It was one of those things, it just came out. It wasn't something we sat there and had to think about for hours and hours about getting this line right or that line right," he said. "It just kind of flowed, and that's when you know you're writing a really cool one when you don't have to think about it. It's just coming straight from the heart. So, it was a good one."
When Scotty looked over treatments for the song's video, he wanted to go with something that would follow the lyrics, but would also be a bit more powerful. "The theme behind the song 'See You Tonight,' is a guy that really has to go see his girl tonight. When you're thinking about that, you obviously think about a guy who hops in his car and going to see his girl and just can't wait to her," said the singer. "But if you really think about it, the ultimate can't wait to see your girl is somebody that's just coming back from duty, somebody in the military, that hasn't seen his wife or her husband in so long. So, when you think about that, it really makes the song a lot more powerful to me when you see that in the video form."
This was the first Platinum-selling single for McCreery as a writer in addition to being the artist, making it particularly special. "'See You Tonight' - that's my baby," he said. "It's the first song that's really been out there that I've written and recorded so it's special for me. When we wrote that song and got done with it, we looked at each other and we're like, 'This is a pretty cool one.'"
"Hearing it on the radio, if you ask my friends, it's the one song that I don't cut off that's mine when I hear it on the radio," Scotty added. "Because it's like that. You sit back and you think about when you wrote that line and can tell stories about it. So when I hear it on the radio, I crank it! Most of the times I hear myself or anything – if I see me on TV, I'll change the channel. It's kind of weird. But not that song. That's my baby."