After a hiatus that has felt like an eternity, bringing his first child into the world, and then getting spotted on a rooftop dressed like a vampire, it is official that Ed Sheeran is back and finally bestowing new music upon us.
Recently becoming a father, Sheeran tells us that his whole lifestyle has shifted for the better. Entering a new era, the singer says there are two reasons why he takes time away from music before starting a new project.
Today, as Sheeran’s first new solo single in four years debuts, the artist caught up with Audacy’s Julia, and filled us in on all the details surrounding “Bad Habits.”
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“When I’m touring my life goes on pause,” says Sheeran. “But everyone else that I know is still on play, and I come home and I’ve missed out on three years of living. So I take the time off to play catch up a little bit.”
Ed says that the last thing he released, his collaborations record, is all about partying and about tour life. He explains, “my solo records, they’re so reflective of things that happen in my life, I actually need things to happen in my life to write about that… to actually write stuff from the heart, I think you actually need to live.”
Essentially, Sheeran takes these long hiatuses away from music as a way to gather up new material to reflect on when he’s ready to spin up a new collection of songs.
The artist tells us within the last year he had a close friend pass away, and he also brought his first child into the world with his wife, Cherry Seaborn. After these two landmark events, Ed shares that new “songs poured out.”
For the “Perfect” singer, the first two singles off x and divide, “Sing” and “Shape Of You,” did not fit Ed “sonically.” He shares that he “sort of just wrote the songs to write them, but then everyone else was like ‘this has to be your first single!’”
He continues, “And both times that worked, and both times I felt uncomfortable about it, and have been proved wrong since.”
However, this time, his brand new lead single, “Bad Habits,” truly feels like Sheeran had more of a purpose behind choosing it as his lead track.
He explains that the song was inspired by the idea of the world opening up again. After finding out that the U.K. was set to reopen clubs and bring back nightlife in June, Ed and his collaborators, Johnny McDaid and FRED, focused on what people would want to hear knowing that they could party again.
Prior to writing “Bad Habits,” Ed tells us, “my first single at that point was this sort of lo-fi, quite sad tune. I was like ‘I think we just make an upbeat dance tune.’”
Ed mischievously smiles when he notes that the track is “dark,” but adds, “I really connect with it.” He has played it for friends here and there, which has left Sheeran feeling confident after getting positive responses.
The artist also tells us that before putting out every single record, he goes to Elton John for feedback
Plus, Sheeran and Elton just recently wrote a song together. The two artists are in constant communication, and since Ed became a new father, Elton has been calling him and checking in on him every couple of days.
On a visit to Windsor, to say with Elton and his husband, David Furnish, Ed was able to play him the whole upcoming record and score some constructive criticism from the Pop legend. “He’s always spot on,” says Sheeran.
In admiration for the “Rocket Man” singer, Sheeran shares, “Elton has always embraced new music… I was 19 when he first rung me up. You know, your 19-years-old and Elton John rings you up to be like, ‘I like your record,’ and you feel amazing!”
Taking a cue from Elton, now Ed tries to “pay it forward” and reach out to up-and-comers when he discovers new music he enjoys.
However, Sheeran has been going through his own “life change” after the birth of his first child, Lyra Seaborn Sheeran.
Ed jokes that for the first three months he was “in the trenches” trying to figure out what to do as a father to a newborn baby. “But then you kind of realize… no parent really knows what they’re doing.”
“I talk to my dad a lot and he’s like, ‘yeah we didn’t know either.’ You just kind of learn as you go along, but she’s just fantastic. Life has changed for the better.”
Sheeran could not agree more when saying that having a daughter has and will completely change his music. “Dads and daughters are just a whole different box,” the singer contently shares.
Watch Ed Sheeran’s full interview above. "Bad Habits" is now available everywhere.