The Glass Child
IN the world of modern music…
it is rare to find an artist that does little more than what they’re here for. In other words, musicians are pretty much here to play music. That is their job description but sometimes you want those who go the extra mile and surprise you. I know artists who do charity work and write books; others that collaborate with other acts. In the case of The Glass Child (Charlotte Eriksson); she is one of the most versatile and passion creatives I have ever known. A prolific and stunning author, songwriter and poet: there are few out there like Eriksson. I chat to The Glass Child about her new single, White Spaces, and what it like splitting her time between Germany (where she is based now), Britain. and Sweden. She discusses her work and what motivates her; the artists that have provided inspiration and the affection she has for Britain. Eriksson’s alter ego has a bright and long future. I probe her about future plans and what she’d think were her life/literature to be turned into films.
Hi, Charlotte. How are you? How has your week been?
Really great, thank you. Been busy preparing everything for my new single release, White Spaces.
For those new to you and your music, can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Charlotte Eriksson and I’m releasing music under The Glass Child. I’m a singer-songwriter and author from Sweden but spent the last eight years playing music and trying to find my way as an artist in different places around Europe. I spent a few years in England; now I’m officially based in Germany.
At eighteen, you moved from Sweden to London to start your publishing company (Broken Glass Records). Where did the moniker, The Glass Child, come from and was it quite daunting uprooting and coming to a new city?
The Glass Child has collected a lot of meaning along the way, but essential, it’s the contradiction that comes with making music as a guarded person.
You want to protect yourself from bad opinions and people who can hurt you, but at the same time, you’re giving your life to the purpose of reaching out with your art. It’s that imagine of wanting to live behind some sort of glass; so people can see you but not reach you (or get too close).
I know you divide your time between Germany, Sweden and the U.K. What are the main differences in terms of the people, culture and the music scene?
There’s a huge difference, both in the music scene and the culture around it. I feel like I’m not really a part of any of those scenes, though. I feel like I’ve built my own culture somehow: doing things in my own way and doing it together with my supporters and fans.
You have produced a series of E.P.s, books and albums. Few humans are as productive and consistent. Where do you get the energy and inspiration from and how important is writing and creativity to you?
I don’t really feel that productive, though! I guess it’s just this natural urge I have to create things out of everything. I see and feel the experience, so music and writings just sort of happen. But, I also love it; it’s my favourite thing to do in the whole world – to just spend a whole day writing and playing (and singing).
I write every single day and wouldn’t want to do anything else.
Before I go on, I’d like to know about the new single, White Spaces. It is out today. What can you tell me about the inspiration behind it?
It’s the first single since my last full-length album last year. I feel that single was a bit of a turning-point in my own songwriting. It’s way more stripped and minimalistic than my other releases: I worked really hard on the productions on these new songs – to not overdo, but instead, make each element speak and mean something.
Does this mean we will be seeing a new album/E.P. from The Glass Child?
YES! Both of them 🙂
Who are the artists and singers who compelled you to become a musician?
So many different songwriters and (also) authors. I always listened to bands like Counting Crows, Ben Harper; Bright Eyes, Brand New and Copeland. I learned how to sing-along to Ani Difranco: she’s still my biggest role model when it comes to female vocalists. But, I’m just a big fan of music; I always find new bands and artists I get inspired by.
You have admitted you are quite nomadic and often relocate. Can you see yourself touring and travelling a lot this year? You have performed a number of home gigs (playing at other people’s places). Any more of those in the pipeline?
I’ve spent the last couple of years travelling and touring a lot. I love it so much but this year I’m going to focus more on creating really, really great music.
It’s hard to produce when you’re on the road and it’s hard to find the right state of mind to create something really good. It’s the first year I don’t have a tour planned but I definitely will play a few shows in the summer – wherever I’m welcomed, really.
There is a lot of affection for you in the U.K. Do you have a great love for Britain and can we see you here very soon?
I love the U.K. and I miss living there! I go back very often, though to play and just hang out with my musician friends in London and Britain. Scotland is one of my favourite places on Earth. I always go there to write and (just) find space.
Under Northern Skies, your last album, reached full funding through PledgeMusic.com. How important are the fans and what message would you give them?
My fans are absolutely everything. I’m completely independent with no label, manager; mentor, booking agent or anyone else helping out.
So, my fans are literally the only reason why I can still do this.
They support me (to be able) to keep growing as a songwriter; to keep developing myself; to keep making music and release it to them. We’re doing this together – I’ve always said that. I’m nothing alone.
Your backstory is fascinating and your literature is engrossing and vivid. Are there any plans to turn any of your books into films or create a film of your own life? A lot of people would love to see that, I’d imagine!
Oh wow, that sounds amazing. I’d love to do that! If a filmmaker out there would like to take that on, I’m open for it (haha)!
If you had to select the one album that means most to you, what would it be and why?
First, I have to mention August and Everything After by Counting Crows. It was one of the first records I listened to and opened my eyes to what music could be (and feel and sound like). But, I also have to mention Ixora by Copeland. I’ve listened to that record on repeat since it was released a few years ago. It’s just the most magical piece of music and that album has definitely been a huge inspiration for me as a producer the last year of recording these new songs.
Is there any advice you’d offer upcoming songwriters?
Don’t try to write for the market. Don’t write trendy music. Write the songs that come naturally for you and let the market adjust.
What I mean is, don’t try and write a song that the world will approve of. Write a song that matters to you; then find the people who are like you and will like it too.
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
This is so hard! I never know what’s new or old: I just find stuff in my own place (haha). I love a band called The Japanese House. They’re doing really cool stuff. But, then, I would rather recommend everyone go back to the greats. Listen to timeless music. Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan; Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell…and on and on. That’s beautiful stuff: it’ll never go out of time.
Coffee seems to drive you as much as people and music. What is it that you love so much about coffee and do you have a particular favourite blend/place to drink it?
I like it in all shapes and forms at all times of the day. But, I prefer it black as my soul: preferably in a foreign town in a small, local coffee shop 🙂
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can select any song you like and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Then I’ll say anything by Donovan Woods! Portland, Maine is a beautiful one.
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