Ed Sheeran sat down to chat with the BBC about his early career, his writing process and what an awkward kid he was. Ed shared the moment in his life when he knew music was his path forward: hearing Eric Clapton play “Layla” for the Queen of England’s Golden Jubilee.
“That day I said, ‘I want to be a musician. I want to play guitar,'” Ed shared. “I got a guitar for Christmas and that was the first song I learned.” The BBC called it “a rather unusual source” for Ed’s music to spring from despite the bevy of English singer-songwriters inspired by Clapton.
Ed does have a habit of setting himself apart from the crowd, though. As he found himself blending into the singer-songwriter scene, he decided he’d be more a novelty with a different crowd: London’s hip-hop community.
“People would look at you and say, ‘what is he doing here?’ and that was more fun for me because you would have to win them over,” Ed said of his early forays into the venues defined by the sound. It’s not clear when this was, but Ed might’ve been taking cues from Miley Cyrus.
But Ed did explain how one rapper in particular changed his life. Eminem helped Ed cure a vocal tick: “I learned all of the album back-to-back. And he raps at such a fast pace that my stammer would go when I rapped.”
Ed’s apparently got flow now, and not just when he’s speaking. The singer revealed his songwriting process, saying that he’s prone to just pen track after track in the hopes that a few might make it to a release.
“If I’m in album making mode,” he said, “it’ll be four or five songs a day and there’ll be no thought process. Get a guitar and just write a song. Twelve out of a hundred might be good.”
Hear some more snippets from Ed’s interview about his nerdy youth, his struggle with fame and “The Simpsons” below. Listen to Ed’s full interview here.
(Photo credit: YouTube)