I try to avoid talking about myself whenever possible. Biographies usually stay unwritten, I’m somehow always “sick” for introductions, and I tend to seek out work that lets me discuss or review other people. It’s difficult to talk about myself sometimes because I unfortunately have more burdens to bear than pleasantries to revel in. Over time, I’ve gotten better about discussing some of those burdens. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be ready to openly discuss the burden Scharliina shares with listeners in her latest single. In “Pieces of me”, Scharliina concentrates on recovering from and surviving child sexual abuse – transforming this burden into an empowering art-form.
“Pieces of me” is an anthem of solidarity for those who have survived child sexual abuse and exploitation. The contemporary single is a source of artistic healing that serves as support for survivors through a shared effort with the organization, Protect Children. Scharliina opens the song by disclosing that she is a fellow survivor; and understands how “parts of” you can feel lost years after such a traumatic experience has taken place. In particular, these “distant pieces” of your identity can feel “lost at sea”. Lost at sea is a common idiom and in this context it’s also meant to be a double entendre. While these pieces of ourselves can quite literally feel adrift, the absence of them can also leave us confused about how to move forward. Especially when the opportunity to know and become familiar with these aspects of ourselves was stolen from us. Or as Scharliina so eloquently phrases it in the chorus, we never “learned to love” these very aspects. It’s difficult to love ourselves fully and unconditionally when we feel so incomplete. This is why we still “seek” out these missing pieces in our separate journeys of healing. But healing is never linear: healing from trauma feels more akin to an upward spiral. Scharliina remarks in the third verse that she’s “still up some nights thinking back to all those times [she] felt weak”, and this is because traumatic events tend to be processed cyclically. In other words, we’re continuously revisiting these upsetting experiences as we’re healing. And I know that sounds terrifying, but this process allows us to be more empathetic and kind to ourselves. By doing so, we’re building up our resilience – we’re “reaching out” to our inner-self to rightfully reclaim the pieces of our identity that “belong to” us. If you find yourself in the same boat as me, though, “Pieces of me” will be waiting to help us persevere when we’re ready to talk about our shared burden.
Scharliina Eräpuro, known creatively as Scharliina, possesses many talents and a heart of gold. The Finnish-Swedish singer-songwriter also produces, acts, models, and even plays the piano. Before becoming an independent artist in 2021 with her debut single “Running”, Eräpuro was one half of the Swedish pop-duo Lightworkers. Fans might recognize Scharliina from various commercials, shows, and films, too. The most recent being The Miss Soumi (2023); the national beauty pageant to determine who will be the next Miss Finland. Eräpuro was a fan favorite and nabbed a spot for herself as one of the pageant’s finalists. Outside of the world of entertainment, Eräpuro is an inspiring activist devoted to raising awareness about child abuse. The artist founded the Little Girl Project: a non-profit organization that campaigns for positive change and support for children who have survived sexual violence. Eräpuro has also become the first ambassador for Protect Children: an Helsinki-based nonprofit that advocates for sexually abused and exploited children internationally. Half of the royalties made from “Pieces of me” will go towards Protect Children’s initiative to fund different projects that directly aid survivors. The best way to support Scharliina and her goals is to stream the recent single in addition to showing her some virtual love through likes and follows.
Written by Giavanna Gradaille