Olivia Dean and Rachel Chinouriri on friendship, heartbreak and music

At Barn on the Farm festival in Gloucestershire, we had a little chat with festival buddies and "broken-hearted girlies" Olivia Dean and Rachel Chinouriri.


Rachel Chinouriri and Olivia Dean, thanks for joining us at Barn on the Farm festival, is this your first Barn?

Rachel: Not for me, it’s my second time.

Olivia: It’s my first time, I just got here an hour ago. I’m really excited!

Rachel, you were saying you haven’t camped before today?

Rachel: No, I haven’t. Could today though! I hear there’s a bell tent available.


Olivia: I think you need to do it. Get in there tonight, ground yourself.

Yeah, also, a Bell Tent, it’s not really like camping. It’s a good place to start.

Rachel: No come on guys. I just don’t want to be traumatised by the experience. I’ve heard some deadly stories.

Rachel, I watched your set earlier. It was really beautiful. You talked about how one day we’re all going to be photographs and memories and voice notes and so, on the theme of love, what is it you love about each other?

Rachel: About this girl here? Don’t get me started!

Olivia: This girl? I didn’t see Rachel’s set today because I was on the motorway, not because I didn’t want to.

Rachel: Right. I’ll be off.

Olivia: But I’ve seen Rachel many times before and she’s an absolute Tour De Force on the stage. Owns the stage! Running around, hey hey hey! She has the most beautiful voice in the world. Angel! And a beautiful personality to match. That’s what I’d say about Rachel. OK, me now.

Rachel: Olivia loves to speak to my traumas. I be traumatised, I’ve got a song by Olivia. Here we go. ‘Echo’, ‘Dive’, ‘Hardest Part’ just got me devastated.

Olivia: It’s for the breakup girlies.

Rachel: Also that new album she’s just throwing out, breaking hearts. I’m obsessed with the tone, the vibes. Gorgeous personality, gorgeous gorgeous girl and a real songwriter.

Olivia: Thank you darling.

That was beautiful and really concise. It sounds like you really connect with each other’s music on an emotional level.

Olivia: We’re both broken hearted girlies, learning to love again and saying to these men: ‘No thank you.’

Rachel: I’m currently retired.

Well, you’re learning to love each other instead

Olivia: Exactly. I be seeing her everywhere, like babe! Hello! She’s my festival homie.

Rachel: You know I’m gonna sweat out this silk press every time she’s on stage.

What do you both do to stay happy and healthy when you’re on tour?

Olivia: I love touring

Rachel: I have a singing bowl. What I love about touring is meeting the fans afterwards but sometimes I put a lot of pressure on myself. But then I get out my singing bowl…

Olivia: I know Rachel’s around because I hear ommmmm…. Personally, that hour before and after the show is sacred to me. I don’t really wanna see anybody before the show and afterwards, let me just decompress real quick. It’s quite an intense thing to go on stage and sing about your trauma.

Rachel: Repeatedly

Olivia: Repeatedly, yes. I like to take time.

Does it sometimes feel like you’re rewriting the trauma, turning it into something positive?

Olivia: Yes and no.

Rachel: I think what it is, is when other people connect to the same things as you. Sometimes trauma can really feel heightened when it feels like you’re going through it by yourself. So when other people can feel what you’ve gone through in a similar way, you can see it and you can feel it and it feels a comfort. Sometimes I come out and think, OK these are my people.

Olivia: I would agree. Retweet!

Rachel Chinouriri’s ‘Four° In Winter’ and Olivia Dean’s debut album ‘Messy’ are both out now.

READ MORE: The best songs about friendship