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 stated that from now on there would be nothing but my stories and your support -- no middle hands!
I started my own record label and artist collective Broken Glass Records, which is my own little baby of a company where I still release all my records and publish all my books.
Since those young days I have produced and released 8 EPs + 3 full-length albums, had one single reaching #2 on the Swedish iTunes chart, had major radio plays, published 4 books, toured all over Europe, lived in 5 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.
Through my years of wandering and trying to find myself, I grew a constant state of worry and stress that developed into anxiety and panic attacks. Through this I found my way to yoga, meditation and plant based nutrition that have all become a big part of my life and character today. 2016 I went o Greece to get certified as a yoga teacher, and today I share my knowledge and practice as often as I can through yoga workshops and masterclasses. I also run workshops on mental health, creativity, mindfulness and other subjects I write about in my books and on my platforms.
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.
So feel at home. Say hi to me on social media. Have a look around.
I'm happy you found me.
Below are a few stories from my books and journeys ... enjoy ♡
THE BEGINNING // THE BECOMING
I could choose to just tell you about all the beautiful things I see. I could choose to only tell you about all the amazing people I get to meet, about the open road, the world and all the adventures that are waiting to be explored out there. I could tell you about the many opportunities, possibilities and beautiful things there are outside these walls, that door and this town. I could write about how I feel when I sing, write and create something from heartbreak, sorrow, sadness or just simply nothingness. How nothingness can become the most beautiful, unexplainable feeling that makes you forget about gravity for an hour. How art makes me forget about all these things that people tell me to become and do, all these ugly words I've been told. About all these people I've met and loved and lost. I could tell you about how I left everything I knew in Sweden, younger than my age but still with questions and longings worth a life-time, to redesign myself. To revalue myself, or rather, find any kind of value in myself.
How I've spent nights on the concrete unable to find any kind of worthiness in this shell of body; because one's body, I've learned, does not come connected with the mind. Oneness, being connected with your whole being, is something you need to learn. It’s a skill, and I am struggling.
How I have lost and loved and won and cried myself to the person I am today. How I changed and rearranged my dreams and goals at least a million times and how I still wake up every morning, asking myself what my dream is today; who I am today, or at least, who I'd like to become today. How I detached myself from society, my family and friends, and embarked on a journey in solitude with a carefully planned distance between my inner thoughts and my actions; my language, the words I spoke and the words I wrote. And how free I am... or at least how free I thought I was until I realised that freedom has nothing to do with being alone, with not owning keys, not having a home or not having friends. Freedom, I learned, is about feeling that you belong in your own body. I thought that if I owned nothing, had nothing, was nothing, I would have nothing left to lose, and I wouldn't be scared anymore. Because my whole life I’ve been so damn scared. Scared to live because I was scared to die. But at the same I was so scared of living, so I wanted to die. Or maybe so scared of dying that I refused to live. You don't have to be afraid to fall, when you're already on the ground. You don't have to be scared to lose someone, when there's no one around to lose.
I could write about how you're filled with a calmness when you decide that you don't care about survival. The second you realise you're not attached to your own life and not obligated to care for a long future. How freeing it is to know that your only task is to live in the here and now, and to live better and wilder than anyone thought you could. How I laughed at them all, stupid dead-walking people, whom through my eyes were waking up, doing the same tasks without a heart every single day just to afford a future that would look exactly the same until they one day realised that that was their youth, their lives, and they let it pass them by. Empty efforts with empty hearts. Cluttering thoughts spinning around with no answers. And how I wandered around, trying so hard to live, until I one day realised that I too was wasting my youth by not realizing that this journey, the 'becoming', is my life, and there's no finish line. This is it.
I am climbing the mountain, and I'm right in the beginning. There are days when I look down at the people I left behind, still telling me to come back, to surrender to comfort and company. There are days when I feel so weak that I can’t take any more steps; when I fall on my aching knees and scream to whatever God there is up there, asking why the hell he can’t help me, guide me, tell me where I’m supposed to go. There are nights when I lie awake wondering if this really means anything in the end, if it really makes a difference. Every day I wonder; does it really mean anything at all if there’s no one around to share it with? My wish has always been to write my own story, to create a life that’s worth writing about. But is a story worth anything at all if I have no one to tell it to?
I started this journey in an attempt to create a life worth writing about, and this is when I make the choice to share it with you. Because a story is born when it’s being told. I’m climbing the mountain and this is where I've built my home. This mountain is my life; the top is the end, and I am here to tell you about my way there. I am here to tell you about all these beautiful things I get to see and these glorious experiences I have. The views, the ocean, the flowers, how the air is changing with every step; about all the people I meet on my way up, the ones that want to give up, the ones that are on their way down, defeated, the ones that stopped half way to enjoy the surroundings and never got going again.
But most of all, I'm here to kill your hero. I'm here to tell you about the real climb, the real mountain; the stepping-stones that break, the beasts that no one warned me about, the storm that killed my fire and stole my friends. I want to tell you about all the friends and dreams and beliefs I've lost on the way, but also about the new beliefs I have. The new dreams I’ve realised. The new friends I've met. Friends who taught me lessons, showed me how to share and told me stories I never thought I'd hear. How I've experienced energy; how the hands of two people can create a fire so strong that my tired little heart started to race like it has never done before. I want to tell you about leavings and apologies and a missing so strong that you literally want to take a knife and cut your heart out. About how it never gets easier to say goodbye no matter how many times you do it, and how I'd like to spend my life arriving in new cities every morning. How I wish for company and someone to share this with, but at the same time how I crave solitude and places far, far away. I want to tell you about real love, so poetic that I could write thousands of poems and never-ending novels about it. And how it all stops when you lose that love. How the world keeps spinning, the people keep walking and the tube keeps running, but my world stopped. And how I couldn’t see how I could possibly exist again, be again. But how you keep on walking anyway, because what else is there to do? How I gave myself away with every word I sang, to every fan I gained, to every critic I met. And finally, how I learned that I needed to belong to myself again. To live with myself again.
I am here to tell you about my journey to the top of the mountain. The real journey. A real story about a girl who set out on a never-ending adventure that became a beautiful fight for self-acceptance, growing up, humbleness, philosophy, persistence, the beauty in people, passion, love, loss and what real authentic art means.
This is my story. I’m not exactly sure where I want to end up, but I know where I’m going, and I’m on my way.
It might not always be easy, but it will always be beautiful.
I spent my youth observing other people. Trying to learn how to live and trying to figure out how to be someone. But I never really found a way to fit in or stand out and I lost myself in the crowd and people's expectations. They expected me to have answers and be interested in things I couldn't care less about. They stumbled on, doing tasks without a heart, ignoring my questions about why – why?! I tried to find answers from old writers, authors and artists, and art simply became my escape. It gave me heaven for an hour because when I got lost in the story, in the music, in my own writing, it finally wasn’t about me and my reality anymore. I found an escape from that town and my own personality. Through music and writing I could create a new world, a new self where things made more sense. Where sad and broken things could be considered beautiful and where all these material dreams were of no value. So I searched for the definition of being me in poetry, music and literature, but even though it became my safe place it all just opened my eyes even more. Widened my world even more, triggering my confusion even more. And so as soon as I was done with my last years of struggling in school (which was a matter of finding reasons to just simply show up every day) I bought a one-way plane ticket to London, hoping to never come back again.
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.
SO LONG, LONDON
I didn't do music to live; I lived so that I could do music. For so long when I was younger, I woke up and got through one more day just to experience that beauty of music one more time. So to take a day-job, to spend half my day doing something that didn't touch me just to afford a roof over my head, wouldn't be reason enough for me to get up in the morning. I knew it. It would last for a week, maximum, then I would stay longer and longer in bed in the morning, staring at the ceiling, trying to find reasons to get up and get through the day. Until I stopped showing up at that meaningless job anyway. No, I just couldn't do it. And so I figured, the only way out of this system that these people are building for me, is to detach myself completely. To be so free that I have nothing to do with them. I wanted to get out.
So I wrote my last letters of goodbyes and took a random train from Waterloo to nowhere, fighting with every fibre of my being to not feel sad, or lost, or scared. With no witness but the moon, no family but the road, I was hoping to find something that would lead me somewhere.
I can’t remember how long I was on the train but it was long enough for empty bottles and cravings for something stronger. I arrived in the morning before the world was awake and existing, and I loved it. There’s something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I'm born to leave.
I spent some days just walking. Walking and drinking and writing. I left my hotel-room filled with empty bottles and instant coffee and came back at night to a sterile and cleaned office, triggering my destruction. I enjoyed it. Setting fire to my lungs. I want to burn with excitement or anger and bleed, bleed out my words. I want to get all fucked up and write raw and ugly about all these things I see and am and could be. But then the echoing words from all the people back home; “no Charlotte, stay in line, behave. Get good grades, a well-paid job, don’t mess up. One chance, no mistakes.”
I spent my whole life striving and fighting to become. To become what other people wanted me to be. To become what other people thought I would be. But I wanted so much more, knew I could do so much more. Like this greatness I knew I was capable of, I just needed to find a way to release it, to get out of these walls that I built for myself. I knew I could shake up the scene, make a difference, take people's breath away. I just had to become.
I studied myself and wrote my life down. Put it out for the world to take and tear apart. I released 3 EPs and opened myself up in interviews and on social media. I played all over the UK, had one single reaching #2 on the Swedish iTunes chart, got picked up by two managers in New York who flew me over to play some shows, and I gained a beautiful following and started to build an amazingly dedicated fan-base of people who understood what I was singing about. We became a community and I saw how they supported each other daily through Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook and I talked to them every single day. But the 'industry' never got it.
I've spent hours and days travelling to different “well-respected industry people” that you “should” be involved with because “he can get you somewhere”. I've had bold guys in costume telling me that they can learn to like me, there's a potential, if I colour my hair, change my style, my sound, sing other people's songs, lose weight, take on a more sexy approach or simply try to be anything but me. I've had people telling me that I'm just simply not good enough, I don't have it, and that I should find something else to do.
And so you live like this, day after day, striving and fighting to simply become, or even better – to be. Something better, something more. Something you can live as, live with. A little more developed, a little more defined and de-cluttered. But then there's the people, the world, telling you over and over again who you are and what you actually like and who you actually want to be, and so that real voice in your head speaks softer every day, until you one day wake up and it's gone. They killed it, these bastards, with their empty words and useless talks. These people who are acting like stones, walking without bending their knees, without rolling their feet. Talking with empty words and doing tasks without a heart. They broke it. Drowned it. These damned “experts”.
So I packed light and spent months on the road, homeless but at home. Lost yet unable to be lost because I had no destination. I arrived in new cities every morning, scraped coins to afford coffee and then tried to find the busiest venue in town where I begged them to let me play a set or two. If I was lucky I sold enough albums to afford the train the next day. If I was luckier I could afford whiskey and if I was a god damn star I got some tip from the sound-guy. You read and write and sing and experience, thinking that one day these things will build the character you admire to live as. You love and lose and bleed best you can, to the extreme, hoping that one day the world will read you like the poem you want to be. One day, things will change and you will not have to struggle every day to convince people that you and your art are good enough. One day, you will be able to be you, and be okay with that.
All I wanted was to be me, and to be okay with that.
These are all short excerpts from my books