Originally published January 20, 2012 – 1:52 PM MST on Examiner.com
It’s likely that a majority of American pop-lovers haven’t heard the name Ed Sheeran yet, but I suspect that is going to change immediately. In 2011, this British singer/songwriter became a pop-icon in the U.K., seemingly overnight. And when I caught up with him for a brief Q-and-A session, he explained that music has been his passion since early on. It’s something he has given his life to produce. Sheeran’s years of hard work and sacrifice are now paying dividends. And that’s only the beginning as he has every intention of broadening the scope of his edgy and addictive approach to acoustic pop. This spring he will be on tour across the U.S. opening for Snow Patrol.
If you’ve been looking for something new and as brilliantly refreshing musically as spring itself, you need to get to know Ed Sheeran and even better yet, his music.
Marian: Let’s start by discussing your background. How did you get your start in the music industry?
Ed Sheeran: I saw Damien Rice in Dublin when I was 13 and that inspired me to want to pursue being a songwriter. I practiced relentlessly and started recording my own EPs. At 16 I moved to London and played any gigs I could, selling CD’s from my rucksack to fund recording the next, and it snowballed from there.
M: Who or what are the influences and/or the inspirations behind your music and artistry?
ES: Damien Rice, Nizlopi, Eminem, Bob Dylan.
M: What is your songwriting process like? Do the lyrics or the song composition come first? Or does it vary?
ES: It always varies from song to song.
M: Since only your EP is out stateside tell me a little bit about your debut album +, and what some of the inspirations or influences are for it.
ES: It’s a kind of storytelling album. Lots of different stories about my life and people I’ve met through my journey too. Influenced by hip-hop and acoustic music.
M: Is it a thematic album or more of a collection of songs?
ES: More of a collection of stories as per above.
M: Is there an expected release date for + stateside?
ES: It will come out in the summer there this year (2012).
M: In retrospect the last year has been a whirlwind of successes for you. What has been one of the most surreal moments?
ES: On the day my album went to number one I had to break off the party to go live on Radio 1 (main national radio) and got absolutely mobbed getting into the radio station. The police had to smuggle me out of the back door. First time anything like that had happened.
M: Likewise, what would you say is a defining moment for you and/or your career to date?
ES: I released my “Collaborations Number 5” EP in the U.K. before I signed my Atlantic deal and it went to No. 2 on iTunes independently.
M: What would you say is one of the biggest challenges or obstacles you are facing or have faced thus far?
ES: Realizing not everyone is going to like you.
M: In light of all your accomplishments in the last year if you could pick a theme song for your life right now, what would it be and why?
ES: Bob Dylan – ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.’ Because everything is alright. Title says it all – ‘Ain’t no use to sitting and wondering why cause it don’t matter.’