Ed Sheeran has just dropped his latest record, No 6 Collaborations Project, and it’s already looking to be the soundtrack to our summer.
Sheeran has already released two singles from his 15-track long album – ‘I Don’t Care’ with Justin Bieber and ‘Cross Me’ with Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock.
Now his fans are getting excited about other stand-out songs on the album, including ‘Remember the Name’ with legendary rappers Eminem and 50 Cent and a collaboration with Stormzy titled ‘Takes Me Back to London.’
To mark the release of the album - his latest musical offering since he released Divide in 2017 - the British singer-songwriter gave an exclusive interview with music radio presenter Charlamagne tha God.
Here, we round up what Ed had to say about each track on the album:
Blow with Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars
Collaborating with pop icon Bruno Mars and singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, Ed said the song Blow has a distinct classic rock vibe.
“People do not expect that,” he said.
“Any time I play [this track] to anyone, the first chord. Instantly, people go (pulls confused face) and I love that.”
He added: “We did loads of different songs and loads of different things, but we ended up on that purely by accident with having Chis Stapleton, and it just seemed the most interesting.”
South of the Border feat. Camila Cabello and Cardi B
For this track, Ed teamed up with singers Camila Cabello and Cardi B.
“It has a Latin flavour,” he said.
“She [Camila] is from Cuba, she speaks fluent Spanish and Cardi’s Dominican and I just felt like it was a good mix.”
Cross Me feat. Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock
Ed has been heavily influenced by hip-hop in some of his most recent music, and this still remains evident through his collaboration choices for his latest album.
Cross Me featuring American rappers Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock is about the importance of respect in a relationship.
He said of Chance the Rapper’s verse in the song: “You can’t teach that level of respect. He’s obviously brought up with a very, very strong, loving mother and probably with a lot of women around him and it’s good.”
Takes Me Back to London feat. Stormzy
Ed chose rapper Stormzy to feature on this track, which plays homage to the UK capital.
“We’ve been friends for a very, very long time but never really worked together,” Ed told Charlamagne.
“He remixed Shape of You for me but we’ve never really worked together on a song. Everything happens for a reason and I feel like this happened for a reason.”
Best Part of Me feat. Yebba
Rising star Yebba joins Ed on gentle ballad Best Part of Me, and also collaborated with him on the lyrics.
Ed said of the writing process: “I said it on the phone [to her], I said for me I was writing stuff that was embarrassing to me, you know, my deepest secrets and I said if you’re going to write a verse, just make sure that each line is uncomfortable for you to write.”
Remember the Name feat. Eminem and 50 Cent
Sheeran got to collaborate with rapper Eminem for a second time on the track Remember My Name, which also features 50 Cent.
In the song, Sheeran shouts out Ipswich, an English town he grew up a few miles away from.
“I think it’s funny I mention Ipswich in it, which is a town near here which Eminem would never ever know,” he laughed.
I Don’t Care feat. Justin Bieber
Bieber first collaborated with Ed on the 2015 track Love Yourself, and the pair – who have both since got married – are back with new track I Don’t Care.
“Bieber just got married, I’d just got married, that song is about being at an industry event with the woman you love or even the person you love and kind of being like ‘f*** this, let’s just have fun now ourselves,’” he commented.
Antisocial with Travis Scott
American rapper Travis Scott is currently wrapping up his UK tour, so it only makes sense that his and Sheeran’s paths would eventually cross.
Their track Antisocial is about wanting to maintain privacy in a relationship when you’re in the public eye.
Sheeran said of his collaborator: “He’s very lucky with the girl that he’s with, he says that they have a similar thing where they just have their little circle.
“He struck me as someone I had a lot in common with, he doesn’t seem like the type of person to be chasing fame, it’s all to better himself as an artist.”
Beautiful People feat. Khalid
For Sheeran, Khalid seemed like the perfect choice for soulful track Beautiful People.
“His voice is so crisp and warm and soulful, but in a very weird way, he’s got runs that aren’t soul runs, he’s got runs that are more folk music,” he said.
“He’s a soul singer that sings like a folk artist, he’s got a very unique way. But that song for me is just warmth, it feels cosy.”
I Don’t Want Your Money with H.E.R
American R&B singer H.E.R features on track I Don’t Want Your Money.
Sheeran explained the meaning of the track to Charlamagne: “When you discover something like a private jet and you’re like I can buy another day with Cherry, I can wait until tomorrow and fly home at 5pm or I can book jet now and fly home today.”
He added: “money isn’t the object but time is, I’m saying I’d rather spend time with you than save money, basically.”
1000 Nights feat. Meek Mill and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
Sheeran brings American rappers Meek Mill and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie onto the track 1000 Nights, which is all about spending a long time away from home whilst touring.
He said of his own experience touring: “I don’t really remember 2014 or 2015, it does all become a blur but I now bring my best friends on tour and we enjoy it all together now.
“So it’s not really a blur because we remember going to nice dinners and nice things and then go back to my hotel room and have a bottle of wine.”
Put It all on Me feat Ella Mai
Sheeran was all praise for British R&B superstar Ella Mai, who duets with him on the track Put It All on Me.
“The way that she sings and the riffs that she does, she’ll go hard then soft, then hard then soft in her vocal tones,” he said of her singing voice.
“It’s kind of operatic, I don’t know if she’s classically trained or not but it’s a very different way of singing.”
Feels feat. Young Thug and J Hus
Infusing UK and American rap, both Young Thug and J Hus appear on track Feels.
“Hus is someone I’ve always wanted to work with,” said Sheeran.
“There’s not really anyone like him in the UK industry, he’s so in his own lane.”
Way to Break My Heart feat. Skrillex
Despite being happily married, Sheeran coins heartbreak song Way to Break My Heart with American record producer Skrillex.
“There’s so many people that make songs that aren’t necessarily reflecting the situation they’re in at that time,” he said.
“But we’ve all felt that.”
Nothing on You feat. Paulo Londra & Dave
For Nothing on You, Sheeran brings forth Paulo Londra and one of the hottest UK artists out there at the moment, South London rapper Dave.
“It’s good to have [Dave] on to something a little bit different, because he does a lot of deep stuff,” Ed told Charlamagne.
You can watch the full interview with Charlamagne tha God here.