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Ed Sheeran was born February 17, 1991 in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Growing up in a creative household, Sheeran released his debut EP “The Orange Room” when he was just 14 years old, and in 2009 went on to attend the Academy of Contemporary Music. Just two years later, he signed with Asylum Records and released his debut album “+” (plus). The album included “The A Team,” a single that awarded Sheeran the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song. Furthering his career, Sheeran performed with Elton John at the Grammy’s in 2013, opened for a number of Taylor Swift’s Red concerts, and went on to earn two Grammy Awards in 2016.
Ed Sheeran is known for creating beautiful songs with intensely meaningful lyrics. “The A Team” speaks to drug addiction, poverty, and female prostitution. Its chilling music video is one that’s difficult to look away from, and the chords of the song provide a similar feeling as well. Ed Sheeran continued to write authentic lyrics in “Lego House,” “Photograph,” and others, establishing himself as a proclaimed artist.
But, on January 6th, Sheeran released two new singles that are not up to par with his previous music. “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” are both pop songs with somewhat superficial lyrics.
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“I really wanted to show two different sides to my music that I’m equally as passionate about” Sheeran tells Entertainment. But ditching his soft guitar and humming notes transformed to un-original pop sounds singing about sex and partying.
While trying new styles is an inherent part of a musician’s growth, the multi-million dollar industry has lead some astray from authentic music. Artists have a choice to create something that sells or to create something that speaks to themselves and to others, and these two songs were made to sell.
While “Shape of You” held top 4 on Billboard’s Trending 140 on the day of its release, it dropped off the charts within 24 hours. The new singles aren’t representative of Ed’s musical style, and may have been a disservice to his career.
Let’s hope the rest of Ed’s album turns out better.
Natalie Pulvino is a senior at the University of Colorado, Boulder, pursuing a BA in Economics and Spanish. She is also an intern at 7s Management in Denver, specializing in digital strategy and day-to-day artist management. Intrigued by the creative process of music, Natalie plans to advance her career in the music and entertainment industry post-graduation.