Rachel Chinouriri is an English singer-songwriter based in South London, but she is an immigrant from Zimbabwe. She started recording and releasing music at the age of 17 and now at the age of 23, she is sitting on three bodies of work, 14 singles as lead singer and four as the featured artist.
I was introduced to Chinouriri through Weight of the World on SoundCloud back in 2017 when I was still in high school by my then-boyfriend fast forward to 2022 and I am still very much in love with her music and not the boyfriend. On the 20th of May 2022, Chinouriri released her second EP titled Better Off Without that has a total of four songs.
All four songs from the EP are described on Apple Music as bright and often breezy indie-pop songs, but also reveal the story arc of a painful breakup. “I find it hard to write about happy things, but I still sometimes like happy-sounding music,” Chinouriri reveals on Apple Music. She believes that is just the contrasts that come along with making music. Chinouriri thoroughly explained each song from the EP on Apple Music and this is what she had to say;
“All I Ever Asked”
“At the time I wrote this song, I was in a relationship that I didn’t feel like I was getting my full fulfilment from. I felt like I was always asking for very simple and small things, and they would just never, ever happen. But also, when you’re in a relationship, you don’t really want to throw your partner under the bus, so I think I had a lot of self-denial. My best friend called me, and she had just gone through a breakup. Everything I was feeling deep down, I managed to translate through her. I love dancing to [this song] onstage. I had a lot of dark-sounding songs at that moment, so I was like, ‘OK, let’s make this one a little bit happier-sounding, despite the lyric.’”
“This song is kind of me conflicting with myself about an apology for my ex. To him, I’ve broken his heart and I’ve ended something which was happy for him. But to me, he ended it because I couldn’t continue with how he was. I felt like I was robbed of a happy ending. When I was four or five, my mum used to play a lot of tribal music or African a cappella music, and harmony is one thing which I really feel deeply inside of me. And when I was writing ‘Happy Ending,’ I wanted to make harmonies underneath the chorus to heighten the feeling that I was having. Your heart really breaks even though the instrumental sounds quite cheery, in a way.”
“Better Off Without”
“As much as I love happy-sounding songs, I always say in the studio, ‘Too much joy is not good.’ When I was making this song, it was kind of the point in the breakup where I started feeling resentment, the point where it’s like, ‘How could you do this to me?’ It was like, ‘I care too much for you. You don’t care for me. And I guess we’ll just be better off without each other.’ That was the message I was trying to convey.”
“Fall Right Out of Love”
“It started as an acoustic song, and it was definitely a reflection of the entire relationship. It was a bumpy ride, and it’s a very hard one to sing. Even when I do it live, it’s painful. In ‘Fall Right Out of Love,’ I was confused, not with my sound, but with the love and the situation. I reflected that in the production. A way for me to express how I feel is definitely musical and writing lyrics. Just condensing stuff into a song really helps.”