At just 21 years of age, Charlotte Eriksson, aka The Glass Child, has started her own record label, released four EPs and a full length album, reached number two in the Swedish singles chart and even written an autobiographical book: no minor feat for someone so young! Clearly a woman with admirable talent, and bundles of determination, Eriksson had a chat to Caitlin Cummings-Duffy to fill in the blanks behind the inspired story of The Glass Child.
Your musical journey has seen you travel from your motherland Sweden to London and now to Berlin. Do you think your surroundings have a direct impact on the art you create? (Music, poetry etc…)
Yes definitely. I think first of all that it’s the most valuable thing you can do when you’re young, to just go all by yourself to a new place where you don’t know anyone. You will learn so much about yourself, cultures and different ways of living, and these things will always have an impact on whatever it is your doing, whether that is music or poetry or building a business.
What’s the process for creating your music? Does perhaps a poem you have written spark off an idea and from there you lay down the chords etc…or do you start with the music and then look to stuff you have already written?
It always starts with something that is echoing in my head. Something I wish I could tell someone, or regrets or missing or anything else I simply just see that I can’t seem to let go of. It’s interesting, now that I think about it I realise that the way I write music now, for my second album, is very different from how I wrote the songs on my first album. I used to start with a separate lyric or a separate melody and then worked from there, but now I always write the melody and the lyrics together. I think I have found my own strengths and weaknesses as a songwriter, what sparks my inspiration and what I simply like writing. Nowadays it often starts with a rhythm, a flow or a drum comp. Then I build the music and the melodies over that, and as long as I know what I want to say, the core meaning of the song and why I’m writing it, the words always seem to just appear by themselves. I think it’s a matter of letting go and just being in that ’flow’ state, that’s when the real creativity comes.
As well as putting your music out on your own record label, you have also put a book out. That is awesome! Tell me about the book….
Yes, it’s so incredible to live in these times when you can skip the middle hands, like a bigger label or book publisher, and instead go directly to the fans and people who enjoy your art. My first book happened really naturally. I felt like I was on this great adventure, learning, making mistakes, loving and losing and it just felt like such a waste to not let people take part in it. I’ve always been writing, kind of as a journal, so the book is basically about my journey of building my life on my music, growing up and finding my place in this world.
You are currently on Pledge music promoting your new album. How did you start this relationship with Pledge? Why Pledge? What do you think of this as a music platform?
The whole Pledge journey has been so amazing, and I still can’t believe it’s been going so well. I have connected so much more with my fans and mostly it has given me so much motivation to know that they’ve got my back and actually want to support me.
When I decided to do a crowdfunding of some sort for my new album in order to let the fans get involved in the whole journey, I researched all the different options. What I really loved about Pledge Music was that they were not only about the actual financial funding of an album; they were about the whole journey from start to finish and making the fans be a part of that. What really convinced me in the end was that the Pledge Team was so helpful and enthusiastic about helping independent artists like me, and they’ve been great all the way through.
Tell me about the new record! How has your sound developed and changed from your last record? Is there a track you are most proud of? Has it been a lengthy process putting it together?
I kind of see this album as a long but beautiful fight. I’ve written countless amounts of songs since my last album and so much has happened and changed since then. I moved all on my own to a new country again, I lived and grew and learned and experienced and all these things will reflect in everything I do and create too. I’m learning what it means to be an artist, and I’ve also grown as a songwriter, as a musician and as a producer. I’ve never been this proud about anything I’ve created before. I’ve recorded and mixed everything myself together with some of my best friends and favorite musicians, and it’s just really my whole identity straight out.
As mentioned earlier, you’ve done a fair bit of travelling….but where is next on your musical journey?
Ahh I love this question because I’m just starting to get a bit restless again and my wanderlust is telling me to chase the open road! For years, my biggest goal has been to get to go on tour, so hopefully that will lead me to some new views this fall, but right now some of the places I’d love to explore are Romania, Scotland and Prague. I keep seeing so many beautiful photos from these places and the people seem so nice! I’ll see where I end up next, but I’m sure it will spark new songs and writings.
We have five quickfire Gigslutz questions now… Just short answers are cool for this section!
– Supergroup line up (if you could be in a band with any musicians, who would they be?)
Me (obviously), Adam Duritz (from Counting Crows), Ben Harper, Trevor Hall and Ben Howard. It would be a beautiful jam with Ben Howard doing his percussion guitar thing and the rest singing their hearts out. I’d be happy to just play the cowbell.. Ahh this is already my new favorite band!
– Song you wish you had written
All I Ever Know by Trevor Hall
– If you were trapped alone on a desert island, what album would you take with you?
There are just a few albums that are golden from start to finish, and one of them is ”We All Need A Reason To Believe” by Valencia. Sadly they’re broken up now…
-The most rockstar situation you have ever been involved in
I accidentally threw a TV from a balcony once, does that count?
– Tell me a joke
Not a joke but the most valuable knowledge you will ever have: turtles breathe through their butts.