If you live anywhere else but the United States, chances are you know who Ed Sheeran is; his upcoming Australian/New Zealand tour sold out in mere minutes online. He rarely plays a show that's not sold out in the United Kingdom.
If you live in America like I do, chances are you probably haven't heard of him -- but believe me, you will soon enough. 2012 has been pretty good to Sheeran, as he picked up two Brit Awards for "British Breakthrough Act" and "British Solo Male Artist", and reached over 1 Million sales of his debut full length album "+" (pronounced "Plus"), outside of the U.S. alone. It's also not everyday you got legends such as Elton John congratulating you on your hard work. I spoke to Ed while he was supporting Snow Patrol on their U.S./Canada headliner; Sheeran's live show is to not be missed, one of the more promising singer/songwriters to come up in awhile.
First off, how's this tour with Snow Patrol been? It's your first big tour in America.
It's been great, seeing the entirety of America has been amazing for the first time, I've loved it.
Bands all over the place seem to agree you're one of the bigger things coming up right now; Enter Shikari, Don Broco, and american bands like letlive. all agree. What are your first thoughts when you hear about other artists that dig your music?
Artists love other artists giving them credit for what they do, I'm grateful for everyone who likes my music.
Speaking of Enter Shikari, you both have had songs of yours remixed by a group called True Tiger; what can you tell us about them?
True Tiger are an amazing dub step group, I've been working with them for a couple of years and as well as being good friends of mine, they make some incredible music.
It seems like we're getting more and more non-American artists that are doing really well here; Adele, Gotye, Of Monsters and Men, etc. But i'd say one of the biggest pop groups coming up right now is One Direction; what can you tell us about your relationship with that group?
I met Harry [Styles] one of the singers whilst I was living on their guitarists sofa; they are really nice guys, I wrote a tune that ended up on their record, which was cool too.
You were recently on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and performed "The A Team" -- how was that experience?
Great yeah, Jimmy Fallon is a music lover in the best sense of the word. He really cares about up and comers too, so it was a pleasure to play that show; he was a really nice guy too.
Your debut album + (Plus) is about to come out in America in June; however it's been out everywhere else since September of last year. What some people might not know is that you've already sold 1 MILLION copies of this record. That's a huge accomplishment! Were you overwhelmed at the massive response you've received so far?
Thanks man, yeah I was overwhelmed by how many people have related to some of my songs, I've had a brilliant time travelling the world playing this record.
What's the album title mean?
It's kindof an addition to all my independent EP's - the first big step and it's positive, but I just like the symbol really.
Can you give us the story on what inspired your first hit song, "The A Team"?
I did a show at a homeless shelter a couple of years back, the song was inspired by that experience and the people I met there.
What other topics do you touch on with this album?
Love, life and loss are the main themes [on the album].
What are a few of your favorite songs to play live from the album? I noticed from live streams you really seem to enjoy "You Need Me, I Don't Need You" -- you broke 2 strings on that song during the Nikon SXSW showcase and kept going!
Thats a fun song to play, it's ever evolving; it's now around 15 minutes long, but it's a great song to play for crowd response.
You've put out some really entertaining music videos for 4 of your songs on the album; on the video for "Lego House", you got Harry Potter star Rupert Grint to star in it. How did you connect with him?
I connected with him through Tom Felton who plays Draco in the films. He was a fan and we were talking a bit, and I pulled a favor, and he got Rupert to do it, which I am really grateful for.
Your current single in the U.K. right now is "Drunk" -- is there a specific story that inspired that track?
Just a night disappearing away with alcohol and waking up in a strange place, I wrote it on a train the day after.
"Give Me Love" was recently used on a Victoria's Secret admat. What'd you think of that?
As my manager says, it combines two of the best things in life -- music and boobs.
Even more recently, you've put out an EP with a really great rapper from here, Yelawolf. What can you tell us about "The Slumdon Bridge EP"? How'd you connect with Yela, and eventually decide to do an EP?
I was a big fan of his stuff, so I reached out. I wanted to make an interesting project that was out of my comfort zone. It was great, Yela is such a talent, it was a honor working with him.
Can you see yourself writing stuff with maybe an English rapper like Plan B?
He's great, I am a big fan of his work, so we'll see what happens.
Who do you consider your favorite Singer/Songwriters?
Damien Rice, Van Morrison, and [Bob] Dylan.
What is your favorite drink of choice?
Robinsons peach fruit and barley
What is one thing about you that you've never mentioned in an interview before?
I hate wasps, I get stung all the time -- I think they smell the fear.
You're from Halifax, England; that being said, are you a huge fan of F.C. Halifax Town? If not, what team do you support and why?
I'm not a big football fan; I enjoy watching it and playing it, but never really got into supporting any team too much.
What artists have you been listening to on your iPod lately?
I've revisited "The College Dropout" and "Late Registration" by Kanye West a lot on this trip.
What's next for you in 2012? When can fans expect you back in America?
In September! Doing a full headline tour then, can't wait.
How can everyone get in touch with you online?
twitter - @edsheeran, that's pretty much the best way
I love Ed Sheeran. Ever since I heard "A-Team" and "Small Bump" early last year I've been a fan. I love the influx of international artists that are getting big over here (especially since I've been listening to a lot of them for a while and people finally know who I'm talking about) and I hope Ed joins this group.
I hate when people ask filler questions like "favorite drink" and the soccer one. please, stop wasting all of our time.
Also, he gave some awful responses. I hate when artists can't/won't put any detail into their answers.
They aren't necessarily filler questions - it's always fun/interesting to throw in some random questions for an interview. Because while it ma not be the most "important" question, it gives you a chance to bond with that artist on a more personal level than just "oh, so your album..."
At least that's from my experience.
Edit: Also, he gave short answers, not awful ones. There's a really big difference with the two. Example: when asked about when he was returning to America, he gave an exact time. Sure, he didn't explain it, but he gave a good answer nonetheless.