A moment with Ed Sheeran
Singer / songwriter Ed Sheeran talks about his music, fans and nerves.PT2M15S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2f8cz 620 349 February 28, 2013
"Adele nicked my parrot," says one British singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran, of perhaps the only one on the planet currently more famous and successful than him. "I was dressed up as a pirate and I had a parrot on me and she nicked it for her kid."
Although this is exactly the kind of bonkers behaviour we dream the world's biggest pop stars get up to in their spare time, Sheeran has a good excuse. He turned 22 a couple of weeks ago while still in Los Angeles after the Grammys and, to celebrate, played a fancy-dress gig on the big night.
He had flown a bunch of friends over from England for the occasion and some higher-profile fans also turned up – among them Adele (clearly), Ben Harper and Elton John, with whom Sheeran had duetted at the Grammys on his own Song of the Year-nominated The A Team. As you do. "There have been a few things that have been absolutely mind-blowing in that sense," Sheeran admits.
Ed Sheeran... denies holding the mantle as the world's most lusted-after ginger-haired man. Photo: James Brickwood
The singer was 20 when his debut album + ("plus") was released and has since not only found his pretty folk-pop songs resonating with fans from his native Suffolk to Sydney, he has also become something of a sex symbol.
He denies he is the most lusted-after ginger-haired man in the world – "I think Prince Harry has that mantle ... just 'cause he's a prince, though," Sheeran says – but appreciates the attention, basically because it's clear that's not all his fans are about.
"Like, when I play these gigs it can go from deafening screams to complete silence within two songs," he says. "It's a good balance of people just being excited to be there in general and then people wanting to listen to it, as well."
Australian fans have especially caught on. As well as the triple-platinum success (more than 210,000 units sold) of +, Sheeran can barely play a gig here without it selling out. For example, having done this only last August in venues such as Sydney's 2200-capacity Enmore Theatre, he's already back and selling out the likes of the 12,500-capacity Sydney Entertainment Centre. It's not bad going for one man, an acoustic guitar and a loop station.
"I've always had an intention to get a band," he says, "it's just there's never been a right time, it's kept on growing and growing and growing.
"I quite like the challenge of doing these venues and these venues saying, 'You've been the only person to do it completely solo.' I quite like being that guy."
Ed Sheeran plays at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre on February 28, Sydney Entertainment Centre on March 1, Brisbane's Riverstage on March 2 and Melbourne's Festival Hall on March 4-6.