Calgary, Alberta native Tate McRae gained prominence when at age 13 she became the first Canadian finalist on the US reality TV show <i>So You Think You Can Dance</i>, finishing third. She also performed with Justin Bieber during the Calgary date of his 2016 <i>Purpose World Tour</i>. McRae first started uploading a stream of primarily dance videos to her YouTube channel at age 9. In 2017 she launched a Create With Tate series, focused on showcasing original songs written and recorded in her bedroom. Her tune "One Day" caught the attention of RCA Records, which signed her in August 2019. This hard-hitting ballad is the lead single from her second EP.
"You Broke Me First" finds McRae showing no sympathy for her former boyfriend following their toxic relationship. She told <a href="https://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-radar/tate-mcrae-all-singing-all-dancing-alt-pop-superstar-2738001" target="_blank">NME</a> it came from the heart. "It's such a real song. Someone tried to come back in my life after leaving me with a lot of pain and damage and I decided 'I'm not letting you back in my life, no matter how badly I want you to'. I wrote this song and it became about self-worth. I was definitely feeling empowered. Those real emotions are why people can relate to it because it's genuine and authentic. It's not just made up lyrics that I threw together; it's a very personal song to me."
McRae wrote the song in the studio with: Singer-songwriter Victoria Zaro, whose other credits include Ryan Riback's "Kinder Eyes" and Justin Caruso's "Talk About Me." She also supplied uncredited vocals for the 2015 Chainsmokers single "New York City." Producer Blake Harnage, who has also helmed singles for PVRIS ("<a href="https://www.songfacts.com/facts/pvris/anyone-else">Anyone Else</a>," "What's Wrong") and All Time Low ("<a href="https://www.songfacts.com/facts/all-time-low/dirty-laundry">Dirty Laundry</a>," "<a href="https://www.songfacts.com/facts/all-time-low/good-times">Good Times</a>").
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