Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Sheeran tells of early knock-backs

Ed Sheeran on stage

Chart-topping singer Ed Sheeran said he initially struggled to get a record deal because he was "ginger and chubby".

The flame-haired 22-year-old, whose hits include The A Team and Lego House, said self-belief and perseverance helped him make it in the record industry, despite knock-backs on his appearance.

Ed, previously romantically - but erroneously, he said - linked with fellow pop star Taylor Swift, revealed he once had to perform in an empty concert venue to just a sound engineer after nobody turned up, but he continued to have faith in his guitar-based sound.

Speaking to online youth television channel SB.TV in association with the National Citizen Service (NCS), Ed said: "I thought to myself this seriously isn't going to work.

"I felt every gig I played, fewer and fewer people would attend and this was going nowhere. Every single label I had gone to at the time had told me this song wasn't a hit, this song wouldn't work, and the fact that I was slightly chubby and ginger wasn't a good 'marketing tool' for them. So yeah it did definitely feel like it wasn't going to happen.

"The way I maintained self-belief is that I knew I wasn't good at anything else so what else was I going to do, and secondly with the whole look and songs that the labels rejected I knew it was really important you stay true to yourself. Being an individual makes you stand out from the crowd."

Ed has gone on to win Brit Awards off the strength of his debut long-player, the five-times platinum +. His video on SB.TV is one of a number from the likes of singer Rita Ora and rapper Wrench 32 to share how self-belief made a difference to their lives and encourage young people to believe in themselves and make the right decisions.

Ed added: "It's like if you want something so badly go out there and grab, just keep on doing it - because there are people out there who do want it just as much as you do and there are people out there if given the opportunity to take my place will, so it's just as important to keep pushing yourself and working at it."

The NCS is offering three-week residential courses to develop skills and confidence for 16 and 17-year-olds in England. For more information, visit NCSyes.co.uk or www.facebook.com/ncs.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Leo:

You could be given a work assignment that is radically different from anything you've tried before. Venturing into new territory will be refreshing. You may discover a hidden talent for writing or research. Are you looking for work? Apply for a steady position at a financial institution. Having regular pay will give you the funds for the luxuries you love. If you're not satisfied with the salary you are initially offered, negotiate for a better one. Your powers of persuasion are strong.More