I Hate U I Love U
by Gnash (featuring Olivia O'Brien)

Album: Us (2016)
Charted: 7 10
Play Video


  • Los Angeles singer-producer Gnash paired up with Bay Area singer-songwriter Olivia O'Brien to create this song. O'Brien originally wrote the track and already had a working relationship with Gnash having covered his tune "Disposable." They met up in LA and Gnash reworked the beat and added a verse. Released as a single, it became the first chart-topper in Australia for both artists.
  • The song is about the aftermath of a break-up when both parties are still missing each other. While O'Brien is still in the same emotional place as when they broke up, Gnash has partly been able to move on. He sings:

    I know that I control my thoughts and I should stop reminiscing
    But I learned from my dad that it's good to have feelings
    When love and trust are gone
    I guess this is moving on

    Gnash explained in a Genius.com attribution: "I never really felt what moving on felt like, even after the first time we broke up, because the door never really closed. This time because I'm deciding to I'm actually feeling it and it sucks. This is actually also a reference to the line 'I guess this is growing up' in Dammit by Blink-182."
  • Olivia O'Brien told ABC Radio that she originally wrote the song as she was "sad about a boy." She added, "I have hundreds of songs from my freshman year... where I would just write about all the boys I liked... and they're all so bad! This one just turned out to be good!"
  • Olivia O'Brien released her solo version of the song titled "Hate U Love U" on March 20, 2016. Her rendition peaked at #99 in the US.

Comments: 1

  • Alex from SchwitzerlandThe song is about a young and desperate love. She believes that her love is unrequited but as we see it is not true. However she doesn't know that he must think about her all the time. It seems like a nightmare because both feel the same but obviously they are walking on another path. As we see in the chorus, she doesn't really know how she should feel. On the one hand she loves him on the other hand she hates him. I think something terrible happend between them and now she isn't sure if she should forgive him. In my opinion the other girl who is mentioned is the reason why. I don't really know if they will be together because she thinks she isn't good enough anymore. Maybe they find their way if they both jump over their shadow and he can heal her stiches. But he already moved on and that could be the problem that they will never reach the same target in live.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Scott Stapp

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Spot The Real Red Hot Chili Peppers Song Titles

Spot The Real Red Hot Chili Peppers Song TitlesMusic Quiz

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have some rather unusual song titles - see if you can spot the real ones.

Timothy B. Schmit

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

Women Who Rock

Women Who RockSong Writing

Evelyn McDonnell, editor of the book Women Who Rock, on why the Supremes are just as important as Bob Dylan.

Janis Ian

Janis IanSongwriter Interviews

One of the first successful female singer-songwriters, Janis had her first hit in 1967 at age 15.

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.