Ed Sheeran – Poet, Rapper, Angel, Protest Singer By Journalist Alison Jane Reid
Ed Sheeran is an ambassdor for Crisis, the charity that campaigns to end homelessness in Britain.
Join Ed and get involved. You can donate to help another human being stay safe and warm and cherished this Christmas.
Crisis needs Night Shift volunteers at its Crisis at Christmas centres in London, helping overnight in our residential centres. Sign-up and more info here, where you can also find out about year-round volunteering opportunities:
To find out how click here – www.crisis.org.uk
How marvellous, how extraordinary, that when the world has never appeared more unequal, more unstable, more unjust in some many ways, that along comes the new Bob Dylan; a protest singer who is so adorable, smart and so wise, that you will want to carry him around in your pocket, like a lucky talisman.
In a world that can seem so fake and utterly materialistic, along comes – Ed Sheeran with a dash of Adrian Mole and Harry Potter meets Eminem. A mop-haired wonder who conjures musical anthems liker raindrops and talks about homelessness and drug addiction and works as an ambassador for the charity Crisis. His music, his words, his truth will invade your brain, make you dance, make you cry, make you fall in love. If you heart hasn’t already been hijacked by the miracle of Ed and his pure poetry, what are you doing? Are you sleeping?
A 21st Century Dylan, with Boris Johnson’s Hair!
Yes, I am talking about the sweetest prince of protest – Ed Sheeran – possibly the coolest singer-songwriter and social commentator on the planet right now. A natural goofball who nails the human condition so well, that we love the fact that he wears lumberjack shirts, looks like a choir boy, (oh and really was one) has Boris Johnson hair and that he is the coolest ginger nut since Elizabeth the first.
Though, I think it is fair to say that he looks leading man handsome in monochrome for the video Thinking Out Loud and what about those lifts and crazy ballroom dance moves? Strictly, eat your heart out.
As 2014 draws to a close, Ed is the man – a shooting, shining star. Truth, experience, heartbreak, compassion, longing, playfulness, wicked irony and good dose of self deprecation just pours out of his soul, and justly brings him all the accolades, all the glittering prizes. Let’s me honest here. Sheeran is no manufactured music star. This modern troubadour has worked his socks off to ‘ live a life of stadiums and two planes a day’. Three years ago, he was playing impromtu gigs for fans outside the Barfly in Camden. Who has a better insight into the human condition right now? Who can write and sing about the tragedy of heroin addiction in the A Team one moment and turn like a chameleon and perform a song that is all about living in the moment, the perfect, joyful anthem of youth – Sing.
Let me say this. If Ed Sheeran hadn’t been crowned best artist at the BBC Music Awards there would have been a riot.
A Supercool Role Model for a Generation
This is excellent news, because Ed can use his star power, charisma and talent to do good, and well just be Ed – a sort of cross between the boy next door, a saint and the boy every mother in the land will want their daughter to marry. Here is some excellent news. Ed has bought a farm near where he grew up in Suffolk,which is currently being renovated, and he wants to settle down! Form a queue. At last we have a male role model who is innately knows how to act like one and to influence a generation.
Ed is an Ambassador for Crisis and the No One Turned Away Petition
Ed is so humble, and it comes as no surprise to see him turning up at a Crisis shelter in Newcastle to play for the residents and to speak out for the charity on the urgent and present need to end the current horror and indignity and modern tragedy of homelessness in a first world country. As councils up and down the country fail people who become homeless through divorce, job loss and mental health problems Ed says – “ When I volunteered at Crisis I met people who’d been forced to sleep on the streets. Homelessness is a horrifying experience and no one should have to go through it. That’s why I’ve signed the Crisis No One Turned Away petition. Right now the system is failing homeless people. We need to demand change so that every homeless person can get the help they need.”
How extraordinary too that he choose to tread the same hard path to stadiums and international as his singing heroes of the sixties.
The Times They are a Changing
Ed’s own route to fame and glory is fascinating, inspiring and authentic. Ed was born in Hebden Bridge and moved to Framlingham in Suffolk as a child. While he came from a secure, talented, and artistic family background, he shunned the modern route to instant fame, avoiding talent shows, and choosing the hard, uncertain path of his musical heroes, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and the Beatles. By 2005 he was writing music and going on the road, just like a wandering minstrel. In 2009 he played more than 300 shows, declaring he wanted to outdo James Morrison’s record of 200 gigs! That is determination. Then some magic happened along the way. He took himself off to LA, with just one poetry gig lined up and bravely performed at open mike gigs all over town. This is how great artists are made. Sheeran has taken time to learn the craft of songwriting and performing and he shows remarkable maturity, both on stage and as philanthropist at the age of twenty-three.
Championed by Elton John and Jamie Foxx
Along the way, Sheeran has been championed and helped by Elton John and the actor Jamie Foxx, who so impressed with Ed that he invited him to stay at his house and use his recording studio. Then came the breakthrough, when he was signed to Atlantic Asylum records in 2011. As I write this, Ed Sheeran will play his biggest, sellout concerts yet at the spiritual home of popular music – Wembley – in 2015.
While Ed sings about the fickleness of fame and fortune, I can’t imagine the talent or the fire of this extraordinary artist will quickly be extinguished. He is destined for greatness, both as a singer and as a human being and philanthropist. Let’s enjoy the ‘Arabian Nights’ magic carpet ride….
To visit Ed Sheeran’s website go to www.edsheeran.com