Every important person in my life knows that I have a huge
crush obsession with Ed Sheeran. It all started in the fall of 2011, when I somehow stumbled upon his music video for “Drunk,” in which he goes out for a night on the town with his cat. Yes, his cat. That’s all I needed to fall madly in love with him and his music and his lovely ginger-ness in all its glory—refer to my love for gingers here (shameless plug intended).
Since my relationship with Ed’s music began, I have spent an embarrassingly large amount of time watching videos (e.g. music, interviews, tour diaries) and learning the lyrics to those impossibly fast raps of his. I’ve even pushed my little 5-foot self through one-too-many obnoxiously tall and annoying screaming girls just so I could make it to the second row of his concert and actually see him (why does everyone’s height multiply to the size of giraffes at concerts?), god forbid. And now, now I have reached that point where I begin listing all the wonderful things about him. Good ol’ superfan status.
1. He’s English.
My anglophilia presenting itself at its finest. I mean, who doesn’t love a charming English accent? Ed could say the word ‘moist’ and make it sound beautiful. That right there is enough of a reason to love him. But in case you aren’t that easily convinced, just think of all the other great things about those English folk. They have the absolute best sense of humor, in all it’s vulgar splendor, and they could probably out-drink any of us proud ‘MURICAns any day. Yeah, Ed can hang.
2. He’s a chubby, ginger boy who can rap.
Before Ed, the last time I saw an adorable, chubby, ginger boy who could rap was, um, never. He goes against all the stereotypes out there in the music biz. Sorry Ed, I know you dislike calling yourself a rapper, but you spit those flows out like it’s your grocery list. Embrace it and rap on, babe. Rap on.
3. He’s aware that he’s a chubby, ginger boy. And he owns it.
Not only does he own it, but he also uses it to his advantage. In his songs, “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” and “One Night,” his lyrics such as “From day one I’ve been prepared/With VO5 wax for my ginger hair,” and “Tell her that she turns my cheeks/The color of my hair,” are subtle enough references to make his fans smile and scream “YAASSS,” obnoxiously every single time it’s heard…even if it’s the 10,000th time.
While those clever lyrics of his are all great, perhaps one of the greatest things about Ed is that he’s confident in his own skin. Yeah, he’s a huge star, but that doesn’t stop him from reminding us that huge stars aren’t perfect either, and that sometimes, huge stars don’t always enjoy the glamour and glitz. In one of his newer songs, he says it quite perfectly: “Now I don’t ever want to be perfect/‘Cause I’m a singer that you never want to see shirtless/And I accept the fact that someone’s got to win worst-dressed” (Ed Sheeran “Take It Back”). Ed is never afraid to be himself. If he were, he wouldn’t have made it. This interview is proof. He talks about going against the grain, and how getting rejected made him stronger, but most importantly, he reminds fans everywhere why we should love him for him. And we do. Keep doing you, boo.
4. His music is honest and his voice is angelic.
The moment I started listening to his music, I was hooked. Ed has this quality that’s sometimes hard to find in musicians nowadays: honesty. Because of this, I know far more about his life than I probably should. Did you know that Ed loves himself a good spliff? If you didn’t, check out his music. Did you know that he and one of his ‘lady friends’ once found an injured bird? He wrote an entire song about it (“Little Bird”). And while it’s fun to listen to his stories through his songs, it’s not just the songs as a whole. It’s the lyrics. It’s the meaning behind each verse, each chorus, and each bridge. His honesty is more than just letting people into his personal life. It’s about letting the world in, and not being afraid of people’s reactions to it. Ed doesn’t write to please people, producers, or fans. He writes from his heart and in the end, he always creates something different. But it’s always something honest. And it’s always something beautiful.
As for his voice being angelic, that’s self-explanatory. I mean, have you heard him sing, “The Parting Glass” live?
5. He’s incredible live.
If you have not seen Ed live, I implore you to do it as soon as possible. If you appreciate talent, good music, and an amazing performance, you’ll appreciate seeing one of Ed’s shows. Though I’ve only seen him twice so far (three times as of September 6th, AHHH), I’ve seen enough live, plus the occasional YouTube videos of his concerts, to know how remarkable he truly is. The first time I ever saw Ed, my expectations were completely surpassed. Despite the fact that I was not able to see his face for half of the show, I still enjoyed every second of his stories, audience involvement, and of course his loop-pedal magic. Sometimes, I even found myself forgetting that he was up there by himself. But that’s the thing about Ed: he doesn’t need anyone else, which is why seeing him live was one of the greatest concert experiences I’ve had. He keeps it simple, all while showing the audience how passionate he is about what he does. He’s there for the music. He’s there because he loves his job. And he’s there because he’s damn good at it.
6. He loves his fans.
I feel like his recent event, ‘Multiply Day’ in NYC, is enough to prove his dedication.
7. He did it the hard way.
Ed basically moved out of his home when he was 17 and started his career. He played show after show, whether it was for 20 people or 100. He played shows nonstop. He toured with bands, got rejected from multiple labels, and sold his merch out of his backpack (or rucksack as he would say). He didn’t pay anyone off or know someone huge to help him. In his new song “Take It Back,” he sings “You can’t fake talent and work ethic just to make it quick.” Ed’s right. He worked his ass off. And look where he is now.
Taking over the effin’ world.