CircaRae Morris (real name Rachel Anne Morris) was born and raised in Blackpool, Lancashire, and started playing the piano when she was four years old. She gigged in Blackpool and around the north-west of England during her college studies. She attracted the attention of BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Sean McGinty, who put her forward to perform on the BBC Introducing stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in August 2011. She was signed to Universal Music Publishing Group the same month, and to Atlantic Records in September 2011. Rae had received attention from other labels, but said she chose Atlantic because they "would take it slow" and "didn't blow any smoke up my arse".