When Charlotte Eriksson recently told us the story behind her music and writing, we knew that you guys had to meet her! Charlotte is a Swedish singer-songwriter and author who left home at the age of 18 to pursue her art, and has been a constant traveler since. In between publishing her new short story collection (‘Another vagabond lost to love‘, which immediately makes me want to play some Stu Larsen songs!) and gigging in Berlin, she found a second to tell us more about the pros and cons of that certain nomadic rootlessness that we all know, the right degree of vulnerability and the healing power of music.


Hey Charlotte, what does home mean to you?

Home to me is a state of mind. It’s when, and where, you simply feel calm and at peace with yourself.

Can you describe the journey that lies behind you? You moved to England at a very young age. How did that come about?

Yes, I moved to London when I was 18 to dedicate my life to my dream as a songwriter and author. I wanted to create a life for myself that I could be proud and excited about. I didn’t know anyone when I moved there and that kind of forced me to step out of my normal, quite shy ways and learn how to connect with people. After that I spent a year travelling around England with nothing but my guitar and a suitcase, and now I live temporarily in Berlin in Germany.

How did having to rely on yourself fully in London impact on your personality?

I learned so much by moving to a new place by myself at such a young age. I was forced to learn how to be independent and take responsibility for my own achievements and happiness. I think you learn how to simply live with yourself when you go away by yourself. You’re forced to befriend yourself and get to know both your weaknesses and strengths in a way I don’t think you ever do if you never push yourself like that.

Italy Charlotte Eriksson

What’s the best and worst thing about being a constant traveler?

The worst thing is the feeling of rootlessness and the feeling of being completely alone some nights. It sometimes feels like you’re not really a part of a system, like you’re pushed away from the society in some ways. But I also think that these are the feelings that make you learn how to build a home in yourself, in your own state of mind, like I mentioned before. You learn to feel safe and calm no matter where you are, as long as you have your own values, thoughts, mind and heart. The best thing is the excitement and the constant feeling of new beginnings. Every single day could be the start of something new, and that always gives me hope.

“It doesn’t matter where it goes and the point is not to end up somewhere but to go there and I find tranquillity while going. On buses, trains, airplanes, cars – I’m going somewhere without having to fight with every fibre of my being to get there and I like the stillness, because it’s rare, and I like the road.” – Charlotte Eriksson

What’s it about Berlin that made you decide to stay? (Katja and I both live here at the moment so we fully endorse that!)

I love Berlin! I had never been here before I moved here and I still don’t speak any German but I find that really calming. I can go on in my pace and I find that no matter what you’re looking for here, you can find it. It’s also great for a travelling person like me because it’s sort of in the middle of Europe, so it’s really easy to take a bus or a train to anywhere, really.

I read this quote from your new book here and find it really moving. What mechanisms did you develop to cope with that pain that seeing and experiencing these things imposed on you? “And it hurts to become, hurts to find out about the poverty and gaps, the widow and the leavers. It hurts to accept that it hurts and it hurts to learn how easy it is for people to not need other people.”

The thing that has driven me to wander to all the places I’ve wandered and live the way I do, has always been this incredible strong belief and passion for music and how it can heal people. By fighting to get my music and art out, I came across people, situations, places and conversations that taught me things about other ways of living, life stories and cultures that really opened my eyes. Being young and full of hope in all things beautiful, these things can be really hard to grasp and understand. I do think that I’ve learned to fuel my art through these dark stories though, and my mission has become to turn them into something hopeful and beautiful instead.


You undoubtedly leave your footprint on your work. Did you never have any doubts about being too vulnerable, especially while your audience is growing?

Yes and no. I always knew that if I was going to go out and try to reach people with my art, I needed to learn how to write clear enough and sing in a way that makes people understand. The only way for me to do that is to be completely authentic, bold and honest about what I see and feel. It’s the scariest thing in the world to let the world see you so open, but I also think it has enabled me to create very strong relationships and connections with the people who follow my music and writings.

How do you manage to stay creative, write songs and stories, whilst everything around you is constantly changing?

Writing and creating has become my oasis of calm and sense of home. It’s quite beautiful, no matter where I am and even if everything feels really chaotic around me, if I get an hour of writing or fiddling around on my guitar, I find my peace and calm again. I think I’ve learned to build my home in my writing.

Prague Charlotte Eriksson

What’s the most valuable piece of life advice someone ever gave you?

You haven’t failed if you haven’t given up yet. As long as you’re still going, you’re still in the game. Just don’t quit.

All photographs taken by Charlotte Eriksson 

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