Relationships are one of the most fertile grounds for musical expression. Be it new love, running struggles, raw attraction or the bitter endings, as with any point of high emotion and life lessons, there’s always something to say. A break-up plotted across four tracks, Rachel Chinouriri gets real as she explains her latest collection ‘Better Off Without’ in our latest Artist’s Guide.
All I Ever Asked
This EP is essentially a timeline of me before, during and after my break up, but I didn’t know it. It’s been a journey and it all began here. I was still in my relationship at this point but I was frustrated. I was in the studio and got a call from my best friends and only had a few minutes and I could tell something was up. She told me her partner just broke up with her while he was away in Paris and this fuelled the destiny of this entire song. I came back and just put myself in my friend’s shoes (which I do a lot) and wrote it. I have a lot of empathy but fall short at sympathy, so I felt I could really understand the emotions my friend went through but didn’t want the song to sound like I was “wallowing” in sadness. The chorus is quite liberating and it’s one I’ll always hold dear to my heart.
I see this song as a reflection of what happened in my relationship. When you’re with someone for so long (I was in it for five years) you start to forget life without them. The thing is here, as heartbroken as I was, I’m the one who pulled the plug. So in a way I’m like, do I owe you anything when you robbed me of a happy ending? His behaviour didn’t make me feel happy like I used to be so I felt like it left me no choice. This is kind of like, “I told you I’d leave but you didn’t believe me”. It’s the moment when you feel relief when you leave a situation you know you should’ve left ages ago, but the sadness and regret hasn’t hit me at this point.
Better Off Without
So this is where the sadness comes in. All my friends and family can see the difference in me since leaving my last relationship but it doesn’t make anyone in this a bad person, we just were not meant for each other. We were such extremes of each other so that’s why we attracted I think. I’m an extrovert and he was an introvert. When I see how far I’ve come and how my gut instinct was right in the third year of our relationship, I just felt we wasted so much time. Not only am I better off without him, he’s better off without me. He robbed me of a lot of joy but I robbed him of being able to find it alone which I think he needed. I have an issue of trying to help people too much and not let people figure it out themselves. I’d throw 100 solutions, but maybe he just needed some patience. I’ve figured out my happiness and I pray that in a few years, he figures out his.
Fall Right Out Of Love
This is an end to quite a journey. This is a reflection of the entire relationship and realising it is done but in the best way a five year relationship could end. If it didn’t happen this way, one of us would’ve fallen out of love and then we would lose respect for each other. He had already fallen out of love with me a long time ago and I could see it in how he treated me, and I didn’t want to hold anger in my heart, so I left and acknowledged he needs help without me. This isn’t an “I hate you” but no one truly understands a relationship unless you’re in it, and it’s a gentle reminder to him of why I left and hopefully he can forgive me. When I finished this we were still friends and now the EP is out we don’t talk at all, so this EP truly feels like an entire chapter of my life being handed to the world, and I can move on and begin the next chapter of my life without him.
Rachel Chinouriri’s EP ‘Better Off Without’ is out now.