With his heartfelt lyrics, soulful voice, and down-to-earth personality, Ed Sheeran has amassed legions of fans around the world. Yet, despite his success, Sheeran continues to face a level of hostility and skepticism that seems to undermine his accomplishments. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the singer-songwriter opened up about the challenges he faced early in his career and how he’s managed to turn these experiences into artistic motivation.
It’s hard to imagine that someone as successful as Sheeran would still encounter hostility in the music industry. However, he admits that while the negativity has shifted from face-to-face encounters to the online world, it still exists. When he first started performing in London as a teenager, he faced ridicule and skepticism for his dreams of making it big in the music world. He was perceived as a joke, and nobody believed in his potential.
Despite the doubts and mockery, Sheeran remained undeterred. He explained that he used all the contempt and disbelief as a driving force to prove himself. Surprisingly, he revealed that he’s still not taken seriously by some in the industry. According to the singer, for some music enthusiasts, he’s seen as the epitome of subpar pop music.
Yet, Sheeran has made peace with the fact that some people might label his music as cheesy or uncool. In fact, he embraces it, pointing out that his chart-topping ballads, ‘Perfect’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ were initially seen as cheesy by some. However, their immense popularity showed him that there’s a place for these types of songs in the world.
Sheeran’s statements on hostility against his music:
“I spent so long with people laughing about me making music. Everyone saw me as a joke, and no one thought I could do it. And I think that’s still the drive. There’s still this need to prove myself. And I’m still kind of not taken seriously. If you were to speak to any sort of muso, ‘Oh, I love my left-of-center music,’ I’m the punchline to what bad pop music is.
I mean, mate, when I wrote ‘Perfect’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ I remember being like, ‘Oh, these are a bit cheesy.’ But at the time, being like, ‘I don’t know if I care.’ And they became the biggest ballads in the world that year. And you’re like, ‘Well, people must connect with cheese, then!’”
So, Sheeran’s journey serves as an inspiring example of determination and resilience. By channeling the negativity and skepticism he encountered into his art, he has managed to create a lasting impact on the music industry. Though some may still view him as ‘the punchline to what bad pop music is,’ Sheeran’s success, both critically and commercially, speaks for itself. And in the end, his ability to connect with listeners through his music is what truly matters.