Describing his sound as ‘acoustic soul’, Ed Sheeran’s on the fast track to becoming one of the UK’s most sought-after artists, with recognition from Example to Elton John. A stint with homelessness has not only spurred him on to make it as a performer, but also provided great material for some of his songs, like ‘The A Team’.
Here Ed Sheeran takes a break from his busy schedule to talk about the new album, gigging galore and ‘Sex and the City’…
When Ed Sheeran walks onto a stage, guitar in hand, microphone at the ready and ginger locks in the spotlight, you’d be forgiven for presuming he was going to perform something from The Beatles repertoire. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. He has gained much success following tours and his interview with SB.TV, which led to UK rapper Example asking him to join his own tour. Last year he also worked with top UK talent Devlin and Wiley, and even received a congratulations from Elton John, after the success of his ‘No. 5 Collaborations Project’ EP, which reached the number two spot on the iTunes album chart. Flavour gets the lowdown…
Is it different headlining a tour from supporting someone else?
Yeah, a lot different; there’s a lot of pressure to deliver show after show than doing a set for an hour and half. It’s a lot more fun; I have a lot more people coming every night just to see me.
Are you getting used to all your newfound fame?
I guess so; the thing is that it’s been snowballing for a while, so it’s not completely new.
Are you ready for journalists and your fans to intrude into your personal life?
My personal life doesn’t exist anymore, so even if people wanted to be intrusive they wouldn’t find anything – I’m a bit boring. When I first got signed I just went to my mate’s house – whose sofa I was sleeping on – we ate fajitas, watched ‘Sex and the City’ and that’s about as rock and roll as it gets.
Your album ‘Plus’ is coming out in September, what can we expect?
An album filled with good songs that have come out from my heart. They’re about love, death, people stories and relationships.
Is there a particular track off the album that’s close to your heart?
‘Gimme Love’ is my favourite, it means a lot to me as it came at the right time.
You’re definitely different to what’s out at present; what do you think it is about you that is appealing?
I’m not sure, I’m just doing what I know best and I guess that comes across and people dig that. I think it’s [my] work ethic – I’ve done so much of the groundwork that it’s just the right time to break through.
You seem very confident, but where does this come from?
It’s come from the thousand-plus gigs that I’ve done – you have to build it [confidence] up and work to have the confidence to go on stage every night.
What’s the most important thing for you when you’re performing on stage?
It’s the crowd – that they’re having a good time and enjoying it. I don’t really know how I do it; I just play each gig differently depending on how the audience is. I try to make sure that each song comes from a personal experience.
Was that your inspiration for your new track ‘The A Team’?
I did a gig at a homeless shelter and it was about this whole experience about this particular woman that I met there – it explains what she’d been through.
What do you aim to do with your music, what do you enjoy?
Well, I just like to play music and people can take what they want from it. I just enjoy playing live music, writing and recording songs. If people get a certain feeling from it, that’s wicked, I’m just kind of enjoying it.
Do you think this is what appeals to the mass of fans you have?
Yeah, the more real something is, the more people are going to believe in it. So yeah, I would definitely say that is a part of it.
What advice would you give to another musician who wants to break the industry just like you?
I’d say gig as much as you can, write as many songs as possible, network with as many people as possible, go out to as many events early on in your career, always be nice to everyone as you don’t know who someone is and always smile.
INSIDE ED’S MIND
Who is your celebrity crush?
Mila Kunis, yeah, she’s wicked.
If you could describe your sound as a milkshake, what would it be?
It would be an Oreo milkshake because they’re very nice. I guess the Oreo would be the grit and soul that goes into [making my music] and the milk gives it the smooth edge.
What’s overrated and underrated?
Overrated would be the TV show Glee, and underrated would be jalapeños.
Who is the most unlikely collaboration that your fans wouldn’t even expect?
Maybe Stevie Wonder, just because he’s wicked.
Who would you call text or avoid out of Drake, Belle Amie or Eliza Doolittle?
Well Belle Amie aren’t going anymore so I’d avoid them; I’d text Eliza Doolittle and I’d call Drake.
What does Ed Sheeran do off stage?
I love films, TV shows. I spend alot of time in the cinema and watching DVDs.
Interview by Denise ‘CMyPassion’ Kodia