May 30, 2015

artist profile: ed sheeran

Have you ever listened to Ed Sheeran? Like, really taken a moment to hear what his lyrics say and feel the message he conveys through what boils down to simple notes? If you haven't, you should. It is your duty as an artist or fosterer of artists in the twenty-first century to listen to this man's music for a minute.

If you aren't already impressed, take a peek at his story:

Ed Sheeran was born on February 17, 1991, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. When he was young, he began playing guitar, showing early promise as a musical talent. When he was 11, Sheeran met singer-songwriter Damien Rice backstage at one of Rice’s shows, and the young musician found added inspiration. As the story goes, Rice told Sheeran to write his own music, and Sheeran set out the next day to do just that.


It wasn’t long before Sheeran was recording CDs and selling them, and he soon put together his first official EP, The Orange Room. With that accomplishment and his abiding ambition driving him, at only 14 years of age, Sheeran headed to London for the summer. Thinking he could find gigs on the big city, Sheeran left home with his guitar and a backpack full of clothes, and his musical career took flight.


Once in London, Sheeran got busy recording and playing the local singer-songwriter circuit and quickly released two albums: a self-titled record in 2006 and Want Some? in 2007. He also began opening for more established acts, such as Nizlopi, the Noisettes and Jay Sean, and released another EP, You Need Me, in 2009, a year that found Sheeran playing more than 300 live shows.
It wasn’t until 2010 that Sheeran made the leap to the next level in his career, and it came via online media, a route Sheeran had learned to use with great effectiveness. When a video he posted online got the attention of Example, a rapper, Sheeran was asked to go on the road with him as his opening act. This led to an even larger online fan base and inspiration for many more songs, which ended up filling three new EPs, all in 2010.
When Sheeran headed to the U.S. that year, he found a new fan in Jamie Foxx, who asked Sheeran to appear on his Sirius radio show. Soon after, in January 2011, Sheeran released yet another EP, his last as an independent artist. Without any promotion, the record reached No. 2 on the iTunes chart, and he signed on with Atlantic Records that same month.
With Atlantic, Sheeran released his major debut studio album, +. An instant hit, the album sold more than a million copies in the U.K. in the first six months alone. Sheeran began co-writing songs with bigger artists, such as One Direction and Taylor Swift, and supported Swift on her 2013 arena tour.
On a roll, Sheeran’s next success would come when his song "I See Fire" was featured in movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and in June 2014, his next album, x, appeared, debuting at No. 1 in the U.S. and U.K.
 As for the concert experience, he is undoubtedly one of the most talented musicians of our time. We are surrounded today by the musical styling not of singers and rappers, but of "auto tune." It's rare to find an artists that doesn't rely heavily on technology to shape their talent. He stood on stage in the rain with a guitar, a microphone, and a looper (a device that records a sound you make and will play it back). It sounded like a full band played with the man. I swore there must have been recorded sounds added to his playing and then between songs he addressed the issue, explaining what the looper was and that every part of the songs were created live in front of us.



Right about when the rain rolled through

"It's too cold outside for angels to fly." A beautiful moment during "A Team."
Most of his songs on his recent album "X" have an almost mellow tone. In the concert, everything was cranked up to ten both in terms of volume and energy.

(Personal videos, apologies for the poor quality. Please don't hate me.)


"Kiss Me"

 I remember seeing an interview online with Ed (which unfortunately I cannot find again) where he talked about his song "Don't," admitting that he can be too honest in his songs. "But what's the point?" he asked. He went on to explain that if you're going to write a song about something, the issue doesn't necessarily need to be addressed, but it needs to be written.

I find that to be relevant amongst any artist, even dancers. I'll use Balanchine's Serenade as an example. No story, no explanation, but there were emotions in the choreographer that needed to be materialized. We just use people and motion set to music to express rather than lyrics or the music itself.

All in all, an incredible experience and I would highly recommend seeing his show to anyone that can admire artistry in one of its finest forms.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to leave a comment below to tell me what you though (it makes my day!) or you can contact me and don't forget to 'like' A Dancer's Days on Facebook and follow the Pinterest Board!

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