Speaking about his lead single "The Performer", Righton says, "Am I this showman up on stage? Or am I the dad changing nappies? Am I living in the moment and doing something enjoyable? Or am I fucking miserable? I find that really interesting: this idea of putting on a suit and becoming this other thing."
Righton's debut solo album The Performer was written, performed and produced by Righton himself. He also received help from collaborators. James Ford (The Last Shadow Puppets, Simian Mobile Disco) performed drums throughout and bass on two tracks, Sean O’Hagan (High Llamas, Microdisney) contributed string arrangements, saxophone was provided by Jorja Chalmers (Bryan Ferry), and Josephine Stephenson (Thom Yorke, Ex:Re) contributed additional piano and string arrangements.
The Performer was recorded between multiple locations, including Righton's home studio and Bryan Ferry’s Studio One.