Ed Sheeran has revealed how a Northern Irish band lived and played music with him while working on his highly anticipated third album.
Sheeran has taken the charts by storm after he returned with new music following his year's hiatus.
He became the first artist ever to score the top two spots in the chart simultaneously with his two new singles.
Co-hosting the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show last Friday he revealed to Scott Mills that a Northern Irish group feature on his new album.
Five-piece Beoga from Co Antrim were finalising the mix of their own 5th studio album while working with the singer.
He said: “They’re called Beoga.
“They’re from Northern Ireland; they are really, really talented. They came to my house to stay and we made some songs. Two of them have made the record. It’s jammy, it’s folky.”
He added: "I’ve always wanted to do this but I’ve never really known a really good folk band.
"They’re Foy Vance’s mates from Northern Ireland and they came and stayed at my house. It’s amazing having musicians of that calibre living in your house.
“They’re always playing music and they always want to have a jam and sit round and drink Bushmills whiskey, and fiddle, it’s really special, they’re really good."
Sheeran has described his new album as “schizophrenic” with “lots of different sounds” and confirmed to host Scott Mills that the Northern Irish group feature on the record.
In a recent interview he said, "I've actually got a song on the new album which I think is really gonna explode in Ireland. It would be something to do with county Galway. "
Fiddle player and vocalist Niamh Dunne from Limerick said they are sworn to secrecy over their work with Ed.
She said: "We jammed on one song and we co-wrote another which was amazing. The whole thing came together very naturally."
Bodhrán player Eamon Murray from Randalstown said the opportunity to record came about quite organically.
“Our pal and fellow Northerner, Foy Vance is on Ed Sheeran’s record label and they’d been listening to a couple of our tracks on tour. When it came to making a new album, Ed himself reached out and asked if we’d like to be involved, and we said aye."
Beoga joined Sheeran at his recording studios in Suffolk last June to record two tracks, one about Galway and one about Wexford, where Ed has strong family roots.
"We went over and the weather was gorgeous and we just had a great time," said Niamh.
"We had a few beers and just hung out and it was just very relaxed. When we first met Ed, it was `oh my god' because he’s so recognisable but after that, it was just like getting to know a fellow musician really. He was great craic.”
Eamonn added:"We just feel massively privileged to have a break like this. We’ve always made a living from music so who knows where this will take us."
Sheeran is well known for his love of all things Irish and recently promised he would be back in Belfast this year to play gigs.