Erkau grew up in Bremen. After he completed his actor's training, he worked for theatre and TV. In 2001, he began to study film direction at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. He finished his study in 2005 with his diploma-movie 37 ohne Zwiebeln. This short film won more than twenty film awards and was in 2006 one of Germany's most successful short films. His first cine film, Come in and Burn Out, also received awards.