Framlingham: Singer to make a big noise in 2011

FAST-rising singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is set to make a big noise in 2011, as he draws up a 10-year plan to take on the music business.

The 19-year-old star is preparing to release the fifth and final installment of his self-funded EP series next week – when he will also sign an album deal with a major record label.

Ed will sign the deal in front of record company executives at his parents’ home in Framlingham, by which time he will already have gone into the studio to start work on his debut album as a signed artist.

He is keeping tight-lipped on the record company until signing day but is happy to talk about his latest EP – out on January 9, featuring eight collaborations with hip-hop artists – and his 10-year career plan.

“The collaborations EP is something I’ve wanted to do for years, but I didn’t have the contacts or the musical knowledge back then,” said the former Thomas Mills High School pupil.

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The turning point came when Ed performed his cult song You Need Me, I Don’t Need You for the online broadcaster – a clip which has had more than 500,000 views.

“Suddenly rappers started coming to me to ask to work with them. I’d say ‘yes’ and I got all their numbers and asked them to work on my project too.”

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Ed, whose music fuses folk and hip-hop and who performs solo on stage with his guitar and loop pedals, has paid for the five EPs out of his own pocket.

“I did the first one while I was on tour with Just Jack, so I sold a few out of that and made enough money to make the second, the Loose Change EP.

“I did a music video for that one and it sold the best of all of them – 3,000 physical copies and 8,000 on iTunes – so that paid for the next one.”

The red-haired singer performed about 200 gigs last year. He said he had decided to cut down from 2009, when he set his personal best of 312.

“I haven’t gone without playing a gig for two days for about three years. But the trouble with constant gigging is you don’t get the chance to sit down and write new songs. I’m going to take a bit of a break from it now while I go into the studio.”

He added he was making a long-term plan for his career.

“Last year was all about getting known; this year is doing the groundwork; 2012 could be a big year and I’ll be looking at doing a second album in 2013,” he said.

“I’m looking ahead to the next 10 years; after that I’ll chill out a bit.”

ED Sheeran first started playing guitar and writing songs aged 11 and played his first gig in 2005.

His musical heroes are Damien Rice, Nizlopi and current favourite Foy Vance.

He won The Next Big Thing competition run by Archant, publisher of the EADT, in 2008.

He is signed to Elton John’s management company and earlier this year flew to Los Angeles to appear on Hollywood star Jamie Foxx’s radio show after a US record company employee heard his music.

This year he has gigged with hip-hop stars Example, Devlin and Wiley.

Some of those appearing on his latest EP, No 5 Collaborations Project, include rap stars Wiley, Sway, Dot Rotton, JME and P-Money.

To download Ed’s new EP or for more information about releases and shows, go to

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