Who Is He
Raised as a Roman Catholic, he began singing in a church choir at the age of four and continued singing, writing and playing guitar in High School and beyond. Sheeran began recording numerous independent projects and soon moved from London to Los Angeles, knowing almost no one. As he played writers’ rounds and open mic nights around town, Jamie Foxx saw him play one night and was so impressed, he offered Ed his personal recording studio to work in. He began recording there and also posting YouTube videos. As his popularity grew organically, he was offered a record deal and recorded his debut album, “+”, which featured the Grammy-nominated song, “The A Team”. Tours with Taylor Swift and songwriting credits for everyone from One Direction to “The Hobbit” movies followed. His sophomore album, “x”, made him the most-streamed artist of 2014 and was nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, including the prestigious “Album of the Year”.
What Are His Messages
One of Ed’s niftiest tricks is that he often cloaks heavy subject matter in upbeat rhythms and sweet melodies so that listeners don’t realize the subject matter until they really pay attention. Sure, “Thinking Out Loud” and “Tenerife Sea” are beautiful anthems that pledge unending love that will last for a lifetime but his debut single, “The A Team” is a touching, powerful story of a cocaine-addict that was inspired by stories he heard when he visited a local homeless shelter. “Don’t” cribs some sounds from the upbeat Hip-Hop/Soul of the 90s but actually details the unraveling of an unhealthy relationship, due to trust issues. “Afire Love” is a poignant, heart-wrenching glimpse of Sheeran’s grandfather suffering through Alzheimer’s. This is not lightweight stuff but the buoyant music and slick production often disguise the depth and darkness hidden inside.
What Does A Youthworker Need2Know
In the tradition of singer-songwriters before him, like John Mayer, Sheryl Crow or James Taylor, he infuses his songs with elements of the popular culture of which he is a part. For Sheeran, this means incorporating elements of hip-hop, blue-eyed soul and pop with a rapid, almost rap-like delivery. As such, he has become a go-to for artists and fans of virtually any genre, causing his popularity to surge. Your students are almost undoubtedly not only aware of him, but likely a fan of some or all of his work. He is a genuinely talented artist who subverts the image of a modern-day heartthrob, but he also casually alludes to sex and drugs in a couple of his edgier songs. When he is singing about love and dedication, his songs provide excellent opportunities for discussion of true, Biblical love. And his willingness to tackle more serious topics than many of his contemporaries also affords many opportunities for conversation with young fans.
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