"Strip That Down" is the debut solo single by English singer and songwriter Liam Payne, featuring guest vocals from American rapper Quavo. It was released as the lead single for his forthcoming debut studio album on 19 May 2017, via Capitol Records. The song was written by Payne, Ed Sheeran—who contributes uncredited vocals to the song, Steve Mac and Quavo. It was serviced to US contemporary hit radio on 23 May 2017. The song's accompanying music video was released on 2 June 2017. The lyrical content is supposed to reflect Payne's freedom to venture into raunchy musical elements after departing from British-Irish boy band One Direction.
After One Direction went on a hiatus, Liam, who co-wrote songs on each of the group's five albums, intended to focus only on songwriting. He told Billboard:
To be honest with you, I wasn't going to do a solo venture. I was just going to go into songwriting and carry on and do that. But then I was like, 'You've been trying to do this since you were 14 years old. You would be ridiculously stupid to turn down the option to have a deal.' Coming out of the band, we had some pretty good opportunities around us. I had to do something.
The singer met Ed Sheeran in London in late summer of 2016, "We went in, sat around and discussed a bunch of things about life, and basically just came together," said Payne. After working with Sheeran and producer Steve Mac, Payne decided to add Migos member Quavo into the mix as the song's featured artist. While talking about how that collaboration came together in an interview with iHeartRadio, Payne said; "I was thinking, like rapper time, it was going to take two or three weeks. But, we got it, played it straight away, and we were like, 'We absolutely love it.' He's a great man to have on the team."
"Strip That Down" is a trap and hip hop-influenced pop and R&B track. Payne croons over "pulsating" synth-bass and chants with minimalist production style. Lyrically, the song contains themes of wealth, celebrity appeal and newfound career independence. While talking about the song, Payne said; "It just sets a few things straight, but then also the chorus is more about stripping back the music. I like to hear it loud sometimes, but sometimes you got to strip it back." For the concept of the song, Payne stated that they contemplated what Justin Timberlake would release as his debut solo single in 2017.
"Strip That Down" contains an interpolation of 2000 single "It Wasn't Me", written by Orville Burrell "Shaggy", Rikrok, Shaun Pizzonia, and Brian Thompson. "It Wasn't Me" interpolates War's "Smile Happy", composed by Sylvester Allen, Harold Ray Brown, Morris Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Charles William Miller, Lee Oskar, and Howard E. Scott. Therefore, they are also credited as songwriters. File Hashes