hi. welcome to my universe.
My name is Charlotte Eriksson.
When I was 18 years old I moved all on my own from Sweden to London to build a life I could be proud of. I wanted to create a life that made me excited to wake up every morning. I had nothing else than a dream of being a songwriter, a firm drive and a wish to create myself.
After a year in London I could no longer afford paying for that tiny little bedroom I lived in, so I gave up my rent, packed a rucksack with a few belongings, grabbed my guitar and spent 18 months on the road. Homeless but at home because I had no destination and I just want to find my place in this world. I just wanted to write songs that made people feel seen, heard, belonged and I just wanted to touch someone. Be something for someone ...
I crashed at my friends' couches, airports and train stations while slowly finding my way as an artist. I signed and left a few management deals, find and lost a few opportunities, was rejected and ignored, embraced and forgotten, until I one day decided that I was going to make it on my own.
I turned to my online following that I had found through sharing this journey of mine, and resolved to make this journey about designing my own road. I would show people that you don't have to follow a traditional route of record deals and compromising: you can build your life on your own terms, in your own way. If you just refuse to give up.
I started my own record label and artist collective Broken Glass Records, which is still where I release all my records and publish all my books.
Since those young days I have produced and released 9 EPs + 4 full-length albums, had one single reaching #2 on the Swedish iTunes chart, had major radio plays, published 5 books, toured all over Europe, lived in 6 different countries, won and lost and loved and cried myself to the person I am today.
Everything I do is funded and possible thanks to the wonderful tribe of supporters I have on Patreon. They are my record label, my executive producers and the reason to why I can keep making music and writing books.
So what's my mission?
My mission is simple: to let you know that you are not alone. To let you know that you're doing just fine. You're right on time, doing the right thing.
My mission is to show you, by example, that you can become whoever you want to be, if you just want it bad enough. If you're willing to let go of everything you've ever been, for who you could be.
To show that you can start over, as many times as you like. That it's freeing, healthy even. That life is a collection of chapters and you must dare to taste as much of the universe as you possibly can because this is, you know? This is the only chance you get.
I'd like to remind you of the small, seemingly insignificant moments, that are the extraordinary ones, really. If you stop and notice. If you close your eyes and feel the warmth from the sun hitting your face. Nourishing. Nurturing.
So welcome to my universe.
You belong here, and I want to know you.
This is not just about me; this is a community of supportive, intelligent and warm hearted people. We have all connected through something deeper than just the country we're born in, class or which school we went to. We have connected from all over the world through music and words, thoughts and beliefs ... and there is no connection more beautiful and pure than that.
Feel at home. Say hi to me on social media. Have a look around.
I'm happy you found me.
I believe that music can change a life, because it changed mine.
Below are a few stories from my books and journeys ... enjoy ♡
Somewhere in England, June 2012
Dirty windows and doors I can't open. Sleeping on the floor with three layers of hoodies because that's what I'm used to, that's what I know. And because it's summer but I'm cold and never hungry. I'm twenty and I feel small. Getting smaller and getting older. Some days it's okay. It's more than okay, some days I'm even happy. I wake up and I laugh. I sing and tell myself that I'm exactly where I want to be, on my way to who I want to be. Some days. Most of the days I'm cold and small and I'm getting addicted to the dizziness of low blood sugar. Sometimes all I need is your hands and your voice, telling me that it will be okay, it will be okay, it will all be okay. But most of the time I still crave the running away, the escaping like a ghost, never to be seen or heard again.
It was a very ordinary day, the day I packed my life in a bag and bought a one-way train-ticket to nowhere. It's like how you suddenly can see your own breath the first day of winter - everything is insignificant until you start thinking about it, and I'd had enough of my own uselessness. I'd spent two years in London, in a crappy little room where I could fit a small bed that creaked as soon as you moved, my guitar, and I could barely open the door. I'd spent 18 months striving and fighting to simply become, ripping every fibre of my being out for the world to take, but it wasn't received very well. Mostly empty words about the standard of my productions, my sound, my so-called image that I needed to 'define'. It's a 24-hour consuming mission that you give your soul to, with nothing in return but a little self-fulfilment now and then when you manage to forget about the world out there for an hour and create melodies and words out of nothingness. That unexplained emotion from creating. Money becomes a rarely seen myth, and so after 18 months I was faced with the choice of either getting a day-job - spend my days doing tasks without a heart just to pay the rent for my crappy room that was covered in written words about leaving and oceans, or to give up my steady base, a home, the paying to the system and simply live... free. All I wanted was to live a life where I could be me, and be okay with that. I had no need for material possessions, money or even close friends with me on my journey. I never understood people very well anyway, and they never seemed to understand me very well either. All I wanted was my art and the chance to be the creator of my own world, my own reality. I wanted the open road and new beginnings every day.
It’s the beating of my heart.
The way I lie awake, playing with shadows slowly climbing up my wall. The gentle moonlight slipping through my window and the sound of a lonely car somewhere far away, where I long to be too, I think. It’s the way I thought my restless wandering was over, that I’d found whatever I thought I had found, or wanted, or needed, and I started to collect my belongings. Build a home. Safe behind the comfort of these four walls and a closed door.
Because as much as I tried or pretended or imagined myself as a part of all the people out there,
I was still the one locking the door every night.
Turning off the phone and blowing out the candles so no one knew I was home.
’cause I was never really well around the expectations of my personality
and I wanted to keep to myself.
and because I haven’t been very impressed lately.
Or the way someone said he loved me and then slowly changed his mind.
I’m easily bored and it’s comfortable to let the safety of a place drag you in. In with its routines and circles, habits of being content. Of not wanting more. I might have fallen for its shelter a little while, because the winter was hard and cold and I was small and alone, but my heart never did. It had been screaming in silence every night, trying to get my attention. But I was too busy being sad, or bored, just unimpressed by it all. And some days I couldn’t tell the difference between the beating of a heart and the dying of one.
It all takes time and lessons and places, but I’m learning to listen to my restless heart, telling me to “go, go, go!”
because I was never meant to stay
I am running and singing and when it’s raining I’m the only one left on the open street, smiling with my eyes fixed on the sky because it’s cleansing me. I’m the one on the other side of the party, hearing laughter and the emptying of bottles while I peacefully make my way to the river, a lonely road, following the smell of the ocean. I’m the one waking up at 4am to witness the sunrise, where the sky touches the sea, and I hold my elbows, grasping tight to whatever I’ve made of myself. And then nights like these, sitting high on adrenaline in the dark by a tiny lake somewhere I don’t know where it is, for I was running and deliberately lost my way. The world far off and nothing but my breath and the very next step and it’s like hypnosis. The feeling of conquering my own aliveness with no task but to keep going, making every way the right away,
and that’s a metaphor for everything.
There’s this thing they say, about living according to your nature, your natural ability to get by. When you place yourself in an environment with tasks and challenges that the universe didn’t intend for you to do or take on, everything aspires to take you away from there. You need an incredible amount of self-control to become good at something you’re not meant to do. It’s possible, but your subconscious will constantly be asking you to leave. It will consume you with a constant feeling of doubt, of negotiating with yourself because you want to do this, you tell yourself, but still you need to remind yourself of WHY every second of every day, because it doesn’t come naturally, doesn’t come easy, and you will always be working against the world, against your nature. No flow. No wind in the back. Uphill climb with stones on the road.
There are days when the loneliness eats me like cancer and I can’t find one single reason to keep running, keep searching, hustling, creating. But deep inside this mind of mine, I know. I always know. And there is no turning back. There is no alternative. This is the place I’ve been given and been made for, and someone’s got to fill it. So you need to ask yourself: will you keep resisting the place you’ve been given, ignore the signs and find excuses for everything, just to get by? Or will you surrender to fate, trust your story and take your place so proud and sure that no one will ever doubt that that place was made for you and you only, like it in fact was?
Answers are simple when you ask the right questions and I was not born to slow down. It’s me alone in front of whatever God or spirit there is and the nights I run far off track, in doubt or in fear, I must believe that it’s in the dark we learn how to feel. Because sometimes it’s not about seeing where the path will lead, but to feel it, and that’s where I will go. I can choose to ignore or avert, but there will be hurdles on my way, redirecting me back to my place, and I need to take responsibility for it.
So I keep going. Keep doing. Keep being. This. I let it consume me, the same old feeling of wheeling alone on this road
that turned into my life. My story.
The endless pursue of peacefulness and belonging.
A quest towards happiness with nothing but life itself,
and I am right back off track, where all things of meaning happen.
As long as I am moving, I’m right on the path I made.
So, this is for us.
This is for us who sing, write, dance, act, study, run and love
and this is for doing it even if no one will ever know
because the beauty is in the act of doing it,
not in what it can lead to.
This is for the times I lose myself while writing, singing, playing
and no one is around and they will never know
but I will forever remember
and that shines brighter than any praise or fame or glory I will ever have,
and this is for you who write or play or read or sing
by yourself with the light off and door closed
when the world is asleep and the stars are aligned
and maybe no one will ever hear it
or read your words
or know your thoughts
but it doesn’t make it less noble.
It makes it ethereal. Mysterious.
For it belongs to you and whatever God or spirit you believe in
and only you can decide how much it meant
and will forever mean
and other people will experience it too
Through your spirit. Through the way you talk.
Through the way you walk and love and laugh and care
and what I really want to say is:
Don’t try to present your art by making other people read or hear or see or touch it: make them feel it. Wear your art like your heart on your sleeve and keep it alive by making people feel a little better. Feel a little lighter. Create art in order for yourself to become yourself
and let your very existence be your song, your poem, your story.
Let your very identity be your book.
Let the way people say your name sound like the sweetest melody.
So go create. Take photographs in the woods, run alone in the rain and sing your heart out high up on a mountain
where no one will ever hear
and your very existence will be the most hypnotising scar.
Make your life be your art
and you will never be forgotten.
These are all short excerpts from my books