Dustin Lynch originally released "Thinking 'Bout You" as a duet with Lauren Alaina on his 2020 album Tullahoma, and the Tennessee native decided to give the song a makeover for its release as a single, enlisting MacKenzie Porter to join him on the track. Lynch held virtual auditions to find a duet partner for the song, choosing Porter after her rendition impressed him and his team.
"Myself and my team had an idea of well, what if we just submit to the universe and the country music community, 'Hey, if you want to be a part of this song, submit an audition,' essentially is what it was," Lynch recently told PopCulture.com and other outlets. "But I didn't want to be persuaded based on the name or the camp they're a part of, so I literally just had a folder full of numbers come into my inbox, and I started listening down to different versions that that artists sent in. I picked my favorite, and my team picked their favorites, and it all pointed to MacKenzie. It was literally a blind audition, we had no idea, and we had never met."
The two met for the first time when Porter went into the studio to record her vocals, and she shared that Lynch found a way to bring down her nerves. "I had done kind of a mock version for [Lynch] to hear, but the first real-time he came into the studio and that's how we met," she recalled. "It was so cute, he decided to show up in my merch, so he instantly broke the ice. I do feel like at that moment my nerves were lessened, but it was like your producer came in, you were there, and then you guys go like, 'Okay, sing.' I'm like, 'Okay, let's do it.' But I think it turned out really well."
"Thinking 'Bout You" was written by Lynch, Andy Albert, Hunter Phelps and Will Weatherly and is a nostalgic memory of time with an ex, a storyline that's reflected in the music video. "I realized how terrible I am on camera being around this girl from photoshoot to video shoot," Lynch joked of filming with Porter, who has also worked as an actress. "I made the mistake of not demanding I get to go first when it came to the video... I'm sitting back and I'm watching the monitor and I'm like, 'Oh, damn.' She's such a great actress and got into character so naturally, and I'm just trying to not look like an idiot on camera."
Porter released her own project, an EP titled Drinkin' Songs: The Collection, in 2020, and Lynch shared that one of the things that most impressed him about the Canadian was the tone of her voice. "I think that's very important to have staying power and be recognizable over radio waves, you have to have something unique that stands out like that," he explained. "That is something that is quality that she has in her vocal, and I think other girls can sing like that. I think that's very important, I think it's important to have a vocal on the radio that people in their cars feel like they sound like. I think people can relate to songs easier whenever that's the case."