CLASH – We’ve kept you waiting long enough, but it was worth it, right? The fourth and final cover star of Issue 103 is the record-smashing pop phenomenon that is Ed Sheeran.
Catching up with Clash just a week before his third release ‘÷’ became the fastest-selling album of all time by a male artist and nine of its tracks filled up the UK Top 10, we find the superstar in typically humble form, opening up on grime collabs, his passion for songwriting, the challenges he still faces from his label, and why his next album may not be quite as massive.
Ed Sheeran is interviewed by Clash Editor-In-Chief Simon Harper, with photography by Neil Bedford, fashion by Liberty Shaw, on-set artwork by Dora Miller, and Creative Direction by Rob Meyers.
Clash Issue 103 is available to buy online now ahead of its release next week – get the magazine here.
I have updated the gallery with digital scans of Ed featured in Rolling Stone.
ROLLING STONE = “Let’s go to my place for the finale!” Ed Sheeran shouts as he hops into an SUV. It’s just after midnight in London. Sheeran spent much of the evening in a bar, but even with his bright-red hair hidden under a ball cap, people started to recognize him. The DJ played one of his songs, and his friends had to create a wall around him so he could drink in peace. It all made him a little anxious, which is why we’re speeding to his West London home to keep the party going.
Sheeran is celebrating tonight because he knows he’s about to score his first Number One hit in America with “Shape of You,” a sleek, funky stomper from his new album, ÷ (pronounced Divide). We’re joined by his girlfriend, Cherry, and his old friends Zack, Nathan and Catherine, who have been watching him perform since he released his first album, The Spinning Man, when he was 13. “I went plywood,” Sheeran, now 25, jokes about that LP. “Not gold. I sold 100 copies.”
Sheeran has been going hard tonight: espresso martinis and rum-punch shots at dinner, gin and tonics at the bar. It’s my birthday, and at one point he grabs my phone, takes a selfie of us and posts to my Instagram, writing “It’s my birthday bitches #london #hashtag #believe #achieve #inspiration.” He encourages friends to knock back pints with a drinking song that ends “Na na na na/Hey hey hey/You’re a cunt!”
Soon, we arrive at his house, a five-floor, industrial-style space with brick walls, wood floors and several personal touches: a Charmander Pokémon stuffed animal in his bedroom and a bong shaped like Benny Blanco’s head in the living room. There’s also a recording studio, a gym and a full bar, where he recently entertained several young cast members of his favorite show, Game of Thrones. As we arrive, Sheeran offers bedrooms to anyone who wants to “get rowdy,” then goes to work mixing drinks.
Ed is featured in the September 4th issue of Entertainment Weekly. I have added one HQ digital scan from the issue to the gallery!