The song's radio edit lasts just under three minutes, while the album version has a longer intro and lasts nearly four minutes Skepta described the song to Digital Spy: "It's a fusion. N-Dubz are seen as a pop group and I'm more of an urban artist. Normally when those two collide the result is a big pop tune, but I wanted to do it the other way around and bring out N-Dubz's grime side. Fortunately fans of mine and N-Dubz both seem to love it!" He also explained the delay of the official single release: "I've been waiting for the right time to get it out. There was a bit of a rat race last year with so many grime artists coming out, but I feel like I've got a clear run at the moment and there's a buzz about it. Timing is everything."
The music video for "So Alive" premiered on 19 November 2010 on YouTube. At most points of the video, both Skepta and N-Dubz are all shown rapping in a ring of fire and on top of a building. The video ends with Skepta slowly jumping off the building. Dappy and Fazer are also shown in front of red illuminated gates individually during their verses. The video has over 3,500,000 views as of 22 August 2012.