Ed Sheeran looks to export his success to the U.S.
Resembling the love child of Prince Harry and Patrick Stump, disheveled ginger-haired singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran is the darling of the British music scene.
In addition to popular success, Sheeran and his album "+" have received extensive acclaim, including the prestigious Breakthrough Artist trophy at the Q Awards 2011. Even greater accolades came in early 2012 as Sheeran emerged victorious with a pair of top 2011 Brit Awards -- including Best Male Artist and Best Breakthrough Artist -- after having led the field with four total nominations.
"Awards just remind you that the wider media think you're good and deserve to be recognized," Sheeran told SoundSpike. "I get very mixed reviews in the press over in the U.K.; it's a very love/hate relationship, but winning the two Brits and selling 1 million records kind of speaks for itself. So I was very honored that the British industry chose to recognize me in that way. It was a really great night."
The whole "+" process has been a great experience for Sheeran, who will perform the album's single "The A Team" on TBS' "Conan" on May 8.
"To be honest, you never really know what to expect in this business," he said. "I wanted to be able to release it and tour and play these records from the album and have people become a fan of me and my music, but I really did not expect for it to take me this far. I'm enjoying every second of the ride."
His success overseas has been bolstered by one of the most telling stories on "+" -- the song "Lego House," a heartbreaking tale of a breakup.
"It's just the metaphor that Lego take a while to piece together, but in an instant they can break apart and be hard so put back together again," he said. "I really saw and felt a relationship being the same as that, so that was the main inspiration behind it."
Now, the 21-year-old native of Halifax, England is hoping to replicate that success on this side of the pond when "+" arrives on these shores June 12. "The A Team" has already made waves on radio, but overall the U.S. is a tough nut to crack.
"The U.S is a market that U.K. artists rarely break into because it's so massive, and to be honest, you've already got 15 artists like our big ones, apart from the obvious like Adele, etc.," he said.
"But it's such a major market to have, so I'm prepared to do everything I can to achieve long-lasting success here. And 'The A Team' was the first single just because it's quite a good song to introduce me with. As a songwriter, my main thing is to tell a story, and for me, 'The A Team' is the best story I could be introduced with."
Aiding in his mission is a stint opening on Snow Patrol's current tour in support of 2011's "Fallen Empires." Sheeran is playing a 35-minute set during which he tries to pack in the "best bits" of a regular performance.
"The tour has been great," he said. "I'm having the best time seeing America and playing in front of different crowds every night, and the Snow Patrol lads are so nice as well."
27 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium (with Snow Patrol)
28 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot (with Snow Patrol)
30 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Orpheum (with Snow Patrol)
1 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
2 - Portland, OR - McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
4 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater (with Snow Patrol)
8 - Hollywood, CA - Hollywood Palladium (with Snow Patrol)
10 - Pomona, CA - Fox Theater Pomona (with Snow Patrol)
11 - Temecula, CA - Pechanga Resort and Casino (with Snow Patrol)
12 - Las Vegas, NV - The Cosmopolitan (with Snow Patrol)
16 - Dallas, TX - South Side Music Hall
17 - Austin, TX - Stubb's Bar-B-Q/Waller Creek Amphitheatre
18 - Houston, TX - Bayou Music Center (with Snow Patrol)
4 - London, England - Buckingham Palace (The Queen's Diamond Jubilee)
8 - Loch Ness, England - Rockness Festival Grounds (Rockness Festival)
12 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
1 - Werchter, Belgium - Festival park (Rock Werchter Festival)
29 - Auckland, New Zealand - Aotea Centre - ASB Theatre
31 - Brisbane, Australia - QPAC Concert Hall
1 - Newtown, Australia - Enmore Theatre
3 - St. Kilda, Australia - Palais Theatre
4 - Adelaide, Australia - Thebarton Theatre
6 - Perth, Australia - Riverside Theatre
14, 15, 16, 17 - London, England - HMV Hammersmith Apollo
19 - Brighton, England - The Brighton Centre
20 - Newport, Wales - Newport Centre
21 - Bournemouth, England - Bournemouth International Centre
22 - Plymouth, England - Plymouth Pavilions
24 - Swindon, England - Swindon Arts Centre
26 - Reading, England - Rivermead Centre
31 - Nottingham, England - The Capital FM Arena Nottingham
1, 2 - Manchester, England - O2 Apollo Manchester
5, 6 - Doncaster, England - The Dome
7 - Hull, England - Hull Arena
8 - Blackpool, England - Empress Ballroom
10, 11 - Newcastle, England - Newcastle Civic Theatre
12 - Edinburgh, Scotland - Usher Hall
15 - Glasgow, Scotland - Barrowland