It’s impossible to deny Ed Sheeran’s seat at today’s Round Table of popular culture, given the constant stream of internationally chart-topping tracks (“The A Team”, “Thinking Out Loud” and “Shape of You”, to name a few) he’s unleashed over the past couple of years. He requires little introduction. Now, on the Asian leg of a world tour for his third studio album ÷, and having just recovered from a cycling accident that resulted in two fractured arms, the British chart-ruler sat down with us to talk music and love before his show on Saturday night. Take a look below.
Taylor Swift’s Reputation album has just dropped, and Future and you feature on “End Game”. How did the collaboration come about?
I was in America, in July, playing at Mohegan Sun, which is a venue near her house in Rhode Islands. She had pretty much all of her bits done by the time she played the then-version of the track to me. I was like, ‘I don’t really know what I can do on this, other than to, like, scat rap. So I took it away, wrote it in my hotel room, recorded a demo of it the next day, and sent it to her. We finished it up with her and Max Martin, which was exciting. Then Future got on it. I really like the track. It’s a cool song.
Would you consider doing a full-on rap album?
“You have to work at love. I grew up in a family where you basically have to work through things, whatever happens. The rule is always: Never go to bed with an unresolved argument.”
Congrats on the recent release of the “Perfect” music video. How did you link up with Zoey Deutch?
I really like the movie Why Him? Have you seen it? It kind of reminds me of me, in a way. I’ve had a similar meeting. Zoey was great in that film, and I’d seen her in Before I Fall as well, and I just find that she’s a really talented actress, so I’m really happy that we got to film that video. It seems to have had a great response as well.
Judging by the video, you’re obviously a romantic. You’ve also witnessed love enduring for over 60 years, thanks to your grandparents. Is love a feeling or a choice to you?
I think it’s a little bit of both. I think love has to be worked out. That’s the one thing I’ve learnt from my grandparents, actually. They went through different stages of their life together and had different kinds of love throughout. The love that you feel when you’re in your early 20s is not the same love you feel when you’re in your 80s. You have to work at it. I grew up in a family where you basically have to work through things, whatever happens. The rule is always: Never go to bed with an unresolved argument.
How do you feel about being one of the few UK powerhouses in an arena dominated by the US?
Actually, I think the UK does really, really well, for such a small island. I mean, One Direction was the biggest boyband in the world, Mumford & Sons was the biggest alternative band in the world, Adele’s the biggest singer in the world… I do alright; Coldplay is pretty big. So I actually think that the UK, as a whole, competes pretty much one-on-one with the US. Apart from maybe urban music. I don’t think Americans really understand UK rap. But in the UK, we really like American rap.