One night Ed played a tiny bar in North London whose website listed every young promoter in town. That night Ed Myspaced them all and a few days later he had nearly a hundred new gigs lined up. A pattern began to emerge – all day in the studio, all night playing gigs. From the early days Ed would sell CDs of his songs out of his backpack, putting cash in his pocket to get to the next gig, but also planting a flag in people’s minds that here was music that was worth paying for. Not satisfied by CDs alone, fans have flocked to his website to pick up everything from hoodies to jewellery.
When Ed was told by his then management that he would need to conform to succeed – including dying his hair, and giving up his unique delivery – Ed responded by writing the cult song, ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’. Over the next year he released five EPs, each one totally different, each one totally him. There was a singer-songwriter one, a live from The Bedford one, one written with singer Amy Wadge. Each sold better than the last.
In February last year, after two years of constant gigging and sofa surfing, Ed recorded a live version of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’ for leading urban YouTube channel, SBTV. The clip got 100K hits in two days and is now approaching 1.5M views. A few days later, he wrote what would become his first major label release, ‘The A Team’: a story about a girl he met whilst working at a homeless shelter. The video for that has just surpassed 1M views.
So now there is the album, entitled ‘+’. “I’d like to say it’s all about positivity,” Ed laughs, “but really it’s just a cool sign that I love. It is also one step on from all the independent releases I have done.”
Ed’s album is out now and features a host of very special songs. Small Bump is a true story, with the most heart-wrenching twist, about a friend and her baby. Lego House is a love song that imagines a world where you can, (“pick up the pieces and build a lego house, and if things go wrong we can knock it down!”). Wake Me Up was written while sat, really drunk, under a tree by Jamie Foxx’s pool (that’s another story). Grade 8 (“your body is my ball-point pen/ and your mind is my new best friend…”) sees Ed as a worrier/warrior with bloodshot eyes, his heartstrings being twanged by a virtuoso guitarist. The truth is, there’s not a bad song on it, precisely because Ed wouldn’t dream of allowing there to be a bad song on it, he’s that type of guy. As you will soon see.
“I have slept on a different sofa every night for two and a half years so I can do this,” Ed says. “But the sofa thing can get lonely. I’m ready for my own place now; I’m ready for the next level.”
I don’t doubt it – or Ed – for a minute.