“If you like Adele, Ed Sheeran might well be the male standard.” – New Sunday Times, September 2011.
“Honey-voiced songwriting phenomenon who’s breaking hearts and conquering the charts.” – Q Magazine, September 2011.
“Sheeran’s voice, alternating between soulful huskiness and stuttering sing-speak is a treat.” – Saturday Telegraph, September 2011.
See, we’re not the only ones who spent the past few days or so raving about a certain Suffolk boy who found his love for music when he learnt to play an old guitar given to him by an uncle. It stirred his interest and started writing songs at the tender age of 11.
By 16, Ed Sheeran was in London, playing as many gigs as he could.
“I was playing every night. Sometimes three times a night. I played every open mic night going. At first the crowds weren’t interested, but I learnt how to make them interested!”, he said.
One night, he played a tiny bar in North London whose website listed every young promoter in town. It was that night that he took the chance to contact them all and lo and behold, a few days later, he had nearly a hundred new gigs lined up. Talk about opening up flood gates!
He would sell CDs of his songs out of his backpack, putting cash in his pocket to get to the next gig, wash, rinse, and repeat. Over the next year, he released five EPs, each one totally different than the previous – yet totally him.
Each sold better than the last:
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By the time he released the final EP , “No. 5 Collaborations” in January, which ironically featured the who’s who of UK hip hop and grime such as, Devlin, Wretch 32, Dot Rotten, P Money, JME, and Wiley, the support was so strong it propelled him to No.2 in the iTunes album chart after just 24 hours.
When Elton John called his mobile to congratulate him, Ed realised quite how big things had got. Amid interest from numerous labels Ed shortly signed with Asylum (part of Atlantic Records)
His first single “The A Team” garnered over 31 million views on YouTube has charted No.1 on MIXFM. for three weeks consecutively:
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His debut album, “+”, successfully became the Biggest Selling Debut Album for a UK male in the last 10 years selling 102,000 copies in its first week and has since been certified Triple Platinum Album in UK by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
The album has also racked up the Biggest Selling Digital Sales on a debut album ever.
You could say it has been a (more than) phenomenal year for Ed Sheeran. He has, after all, received numerous awards and accolades:
- Breakthrough Artist and Best Single for “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” at the Q Awards 2011
- Breakthrough Artist Of The Year at the BT Digital Music Awards 2011
- British Breakthrough Act and British Male Solo at the Brit Awards 2012
Why he isn’t making his way halfway across the globe (read: Malaysia) to perform yet is beyond us, really!