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ed sheeran

Interview with Ed Sheeran

By Breanna Mroczek

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is currently on tour with country-pop songstress Taylor Swift as the opening act on her Red tour, with Canadian tour dates in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

Before his second show in Edmonton, Sheeran stopped by local radio station Virgin 104.9 for a fan VIP Experience.

If you’re wondering: “Who is Ed Sheeran?”: After years of independently releasing EPs and singles, Sheeran achieved mainstream success in the UK with his song “The A-Team”  which became the best selling debut single in the UK in 2011. He released his debut album + later that year, and it went quadruple platinum in the UK. Like Swift, Sheeran has received accolades for writing most of his own songs and draws on folk, hip-hop, and pop influences. Hailing from London, he (arguably) garnered attention in North America because of his affiliation with popular boy band One Direction — Sheeran wrote songs for the band, including “Moments” and “Little Things”. Still, Sheeran’s musical style and sound doesn’t compare to that of the aforementioned boyband sensation—his unaided live performances (Sheeran performs only with a loop pedal and guitar, and without a backup band), gripping songwriting, and genre-blending style have earned him attention and praise as a solo artist.

Sheeran’s Edmonton fans eagerly gathered at the Virgin Radio studios, clutching their bright orange copies of Sheeran’s debut album + (pronounced “plus”)to meet Sheeran  and listen to a performance that included acoustic renditions of Lego House, a cover of Macklemore’s Thrift Shop, and The A-Team.

Sheeran was very polite and casual, dressed in a Star Wars T-shirt that showed off his many arm tattoos—including a brand-new one on his right arm that hadn’t even healed yet—and neon blue Nike shoes that he purchased yesterday “at some mall” in Edmonton. No, Sheeran wasn’t oblivious to his presence at the largest mall in North America; when asked if he had been at West Edmonton Mall, he replied “is that the one with the roller coaster? No, not that one. [Taylor Swift’s] dancers went there last night but I didn’t go—the one I went to was small and didn’t have as many stores, but it had a shoe store and… I bought these” he says, gesturing to his shoes. Talking with Sheeran was like having a conversation with a friend—no gimmicks or pretentious, diva-like behaviour.

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