Swedish born musician Charlotte Eriksson decided on a big life change. Packing up her things and moving to London at just eighteen years old, she was yearning to discover not only new things, but to explore the world and her life. Leaving her family behind was hard for Charlotte, but arriving in London opened up new opportunities for her music and career. Upon arriving in the U.K, she set her mind to creating ‘Broken Glass Records’ to help produce her albums. As of May 2013 she has released 4 critically acclaimed albums and also published her own book, detailing her experiences out on the road and her journey about growing as a person. Her songs have been played on BBC Radio, played in New York and she has toured the UK several times. It is very inspiring to hear from someone so young, doing so many things with her life. Charlotte is a very well spoken young lady, and it was a pleasure to interview her. We’re absolutely in love with her song “Stay” and “Letdown“.
Discovering her love for music at such a young age has driven Charlotte to travel and explore her horizons.
“I just knew right away that this was what I was supposed to do, I think. When I discovered music and the way it can heal and make everything feel better, I knew that I wanted to spend my life create that feeling. Ever since it’s been the only thing for me.”
Travel is often a part of many people’s lives. It helps people to grow out of their comfort zones and see the world with a new perspective. After Charlotte moved to the U.K and lived there for two years, she packed up her things again and travelled on the road for a year, essentially becoming homeless. Sometimes when she was out travelling it’d be five am in the morning and she’d be talking to someone she had just met, just about life and learning to love.
“I was both scared, nervous, excited and so ready to finally leave Sweden. I needed a new start, a new beginning and leaving Sweden was the only way for me to re-create myself. I missed my family a lot in the beginning when I first left. The choice to live homeless for a year changed me a lot because I learned to build my home in myself, in my music and in my art. I learned what really makes you happy and feel safe, and it has nothing to do with belongings or material possessions. I also met so many amazing, strange, different and beautiful people and had some of the most amazing conversations of my life. It was really hard and I was very young, not just in age but in my mind. It has only been three years since I moved and travelled, but when you move all on your own and go out in the world you learn and grow in a completely different way than if you were to stay in your home-town. It’s been a lot of hard and tough days, but I’ve learned so much and I don’t regret one second. There are so many places I want to go and my absolutely biggest goal is to get to go on tour soon! It’s my dream to spend every day playing music, meeting people and wake up in new cities every day. I’ve just decided to move to Berlin after the summer to explore what I can learn there. Of course Australia is a dream too (laughs)!
Writing her songs in the indie genre, she was named “Breakthrough Indie Artist Of The Year” by Lemonade Magazine. With the songs that she writes, she often gains inspiration from her life out on the road, and all the people she has met along the way. Starting her own record label also came as a challenge but it allowed her to control everything she wrote and produced.
“All my songs are about real things that I’ve felt or been through, so I guess just my life. I also find a lot of inspiration in just observing how people around me live and behave. Literature, philosophy and other art-forms like dance and theatre are also a great source of inspiration for me. I think you can find inspiration in everything if you learn to be aware. Having my own record label is a way for me to control everything and all my art to 100%. My music and my art is everything I have and am, so I never want to compromise that for another label. This way I have complete control of my career. It’s been a challenge and I’ve been forced to learn the business-side of music with marketing and promotion and everything else by making mistakes. I have grown to love this side of the music though, since it’s very different from the creative side. I also think it’s crucial for bands to know as much as possible about everything that is involved within the music-industry today.”
Apart from the music side of Charlotte, in her spare time she often likes exploring, meeting new people, writing and going to the theatre.
“I love just hanging with my friends and go places. Take a train to nowhere, walk foreign streets and talk to strangers in a new town. I also love going to live-shows or the theatre or spend hours in different galleries. I’m very good at spending days reading book after book together with way too much coffee.”
“I want to prove to people that you can become whoever you want to be, if you just want it bad enough. I’d like to show you that you can turn all those things you hate about yourself, into art. I’d like to turn everything around me into something beautiful – and that’s what this journey is about. I also learnt a lot about myself by writing the book. I think writing, both music and creative writing, is a way for me to understand things and make sense of my own thoughts. It’s easier for me to ”talk” through different kinds of art, than having a conversation with a friend. And I think I also grew a bit stronger by just letting the world read my journey and inner thoughts in this way. The night before I released it I just wanted to hide under my bed and never show myself to world again! But facing your fear is how you grow I think.”
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As with a few of our past interviewees such as Jay Hoad, Michael Bosanko and Justin Barber; at the end of the interview we like the include a few spontaneous questions. Here are Charlotte’s responses:
Where did you develop the idea for writing ‘Stay’?
“’Stay’ is one of those songs that just happened. I wrote it in like 10 min, in the corner of a coffee shop in London. Stay is probably the most honest and straight forward song I’ve ever written, and I wrote it from a bit of a different place than I usually do. It was born out of this unbearable missing and longing, I guess. This song will always mean a lot to me, and the moments and the person it is about will forever be one of the most beautiful memories.”
What was the first song you ever remember hearing and falling in love with?
“Round Here by Counting Crows! It is still one of the most beautiful songs I know and that song made me want to be a songwriter. When I heard it the first time, I was just hooked.”
What has been one of the most memorable days of your life to date and why?
“Oh wow that’s such a hard (and good!) question. There are so many days and experiences I’d like to mention, and there are so many things I want to remember forever. I guess the day I first moved to London is the one day I can look back at and say ”that’s when it all changed”. But just small moments with different people, a short conversation or a coffee in the morning with someone you love. Or a letter from someone telling me that my music has helped them in any way, or one of these moments when I can lose myself completely in the music and forget about time and space. I think all these small moments are the most beautiful ones in the end.”
If you could sit down and have coffee with a notable or famous person dead or alive, who would it be and why?
“There are so many people I’d like to have a coffee with and bombard them with questions! I look up to a lot of old writers, like Joseph Campbell or Virginia Woolf. I’d love to get to talk to them and ask them about what it means to love and live. I’d love to get to talk to Ben Harper or Trevor Hall too. I look up to them all and they have all inspired me a lot.”
If you had one chance to speak through a P.A system to everyone on the world, and they would all hear it at the same time, what would you say?
“First I would probably be so nervous that I stumbled on my way up, and then I would forget what I wanted to say because I’m the girl who always got tomato red when I had to speak in front of my school class. So I would probably, out of nothing else to say, quote someone wise, like:
“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” ― Bob Moawad
Do you plan on visiting Australia any time soon?
“It’s a dream and one of my goals and I promise I won’t forget about Adelaide!”