Before Ed Sheeran’s newest album, “÷ (Divide),” soared to new records; he was actually so terrified of success that he locked himself at home for four months.
Ed Sheeran is one quirky and talented individual. We all read about his literal Lego (and teddy bear) house, we learned about his stuttering. But in fact, there are no limits to how complex but insanely talented Ed Sheeran could be.
Ed Sheeran’s newest album, “Divide,” went on sale this week and the public’s response is incredible. Forbes reports that “Shape Of You” topped the charts in more than 40 countries during its release, with “Castle on the Hill” taking second, while the album has reached record sales numbers in its first day of release.
A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on
But despite the success that Ed Sheeran’s songs and albums enjoyed, Ed Sheeran reveals how terrified he is, actually, of fame.
Ed Sheeran opens “Divide” with a rap that says the following.
“Fame is hell.”
And this single line, actually, has deep roots into Ed Sheeran’s disposition when it comes to success and fame. In an interview with the Sun, as reported by the Telegraph, Ed Sheeran shares that moving to a new house to get a bit of peace was a big (and mostly unwelcome) step for him.
“I had to move from where I was in London to somewhere else. I never really wanted to live in the fancy part of town. I never really want to be that guy. Then I quickly realised that why everyone lives there is because it’s a sheltered community where you don’t really get bothered.”
Ed Sheeran explains as follows.
“I think there is a difference between fame and success. Success is playing Wembley Stadium and fame is not being able to go outside. I think they are two very different things.”
And when Ed first got his taste of this so-called fame, he got so anxious about the selfies and the screaming fans that he had to lock himself inside his house, for 120 days just to get away from it all.
“I stayed inside for four months. I just ordered food in and watched movies. I couldn’t go out and get a pint of milk. I always wanted to maintain normality – being able to go to the pub or go do a gig.
“I just stopped going out – instead I was ordering takeaways and putting on a lot of weight. I hadn’t got any balance so I just stayed inside.”
In fact, things got so bad that he even suffered from panic attacks, like this one time he was on an easyJet flight from Benidorm to London.
“[It was] horrendous. The worst experience of my life. Like so bad, that I started getting panic attacks… I get really claustrophobic. I just don’t like groups of people that I don’t know any more, I can’t do crowds any more.”
Although Ed Sheeran slowly adjusted to his new fame status, his fear of fame usually came back in bouts. In 2015, we saw him take a break, literally, from the fame, and Ed just spent a whole year on a self-imposed exile, traveling the world with his girlfriend.
And at times, Ed Sheeran reveals to the Guardian that there are still moments when he wakes up and just thinks the following.
“I had so much more fun when I was broke, sofa-surfing. I felt like more of an artist.”
He also shares a story about how his friends charged a 600-quid bill to him without even letting him know first. Moments like these, he shares, make him miss how being broke feels like.
“Money’s such a weird thing. The way it changes certain people around you, the attitude they have towards you, and it changes the people you think it wouldn’t change. Just small things. I remember being in a club with a couple of friends that I was close to, we ran up this hefty bar bill – it was 700 quid or something – and I sorted it at the end of the night, then left. I got a call the next morning from the bar: ‘Oh, your mates came back later and they ran up another 600-quid bill and they just said to charge it to you.’
“I know that’s a proper first-world problem, but … you just see people you’re close to seeing you as a cash machine rather than a mate, like if they hang around you they’ll get stuff from you. Whereas my mates back in Suffolk, as soon as we get to the pub they’ll buy me a drink. Small things like that, rather than going out at the end of the night and kind of sneaking off.”
But at this point in Ed Sheeran’s career, there is still much he can achieve. He is young, and he’s got tons of fans waiting for him. There may be short bouts of anxiety, of nostalgia, of disappointment, but at the end of the day, Ed Sheeran is thankful that he is past the days when it’s 11 o’clock and he’s got no money for food, no money for a train, no place to stay.
It looks like Ed Sheeran is slowly getting adjust to his new life—well, adjusted enough not to lock himself up in his home for months. Instead, he takes it out on other activities like quitting being a musician for a day to go behind a counter to sell CDs.
— Ed Sheeran (@edsheeran) March 3, 2017
[Featured Image by Getty Images]