Who Sounds like Ed Sheeran?
Born in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, Ed Sheeran achieved fame in the United Kingdom before traveling to the United States and making a splash on the pop scene. Industry leaders Elton John and Jamie Foxx helped him transition to mainstream success by praising his unique sound, which features an upbeat mix of several genres.
Sheeran delivers smart lyrics that are often performed with a speed and diction reminiscent of hip hop over poppy beats perfect for dancing. In addition to his musical talents, he also writes songs for other popular artists.
If You Like Ed Sheeran, You May Like…
Given his tendency to experiment with the conventions of various genres, Ed Sheeran draws influence from a diverse range of artists. His sound is similar to and modeled after seminal hip hop acts like Eminem and Nizlopi, legendary pop bands like The Beatles, renowned R&B acts like Van Morrison, and prominent folk artists like Bob Dylan and Damien Rice.
While there are no performers exactly like Sheeran in the industry, fans of his music find enjoyable elements in pop, R&B, folk, hip hop, and acoustic musical acts. Artists like Ed Sheeran tend to prominently feature expressive and personal lyrics as well as catchy beats and fun, easily remembered refrains. Some such acts include:
- One Direction
- Taylor Swift
- Maroon 5
- Bruno Mars
- Demi Lovato
Additionally, pop and hip hop artists such as Meghan Trainor, Hozier, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Sia, and Rihanna all sound like Ed Sheeran to varying degrees, thanks to similar musical and lyrical elements.
Edward Christopher Sheeran, popularly known as Ed, grew up in Suffolk with an older brother, Matthew, and his parents. Raised as a Roman Catholic, Sheeran got his start in a local church choir when he was just four years old. He learned guitar and started writing songs at an early age, as well.
In 2008, when Sheeran was 17, he moved to London to pursue music more tenaciously. Since then, he’s been nominated for over 100 awards in the United Kingdom and the United States and has won over 40, including 2011 Breakthrough Artist of the Year, 2014 Best Male Solo Artist, and 2015 Album of the Year.
Between his move to London in 2008 and his breakthrough to mainstream recognition in 2011, Ed Sheeran played many low-key gigs and toured or collaborated with several other artists like Nizlopi, Just Jack, Leddra Chapman, and Amy Wadge.
In 2010, he was playing several open mic nights around Los Angeles when Jamie Foxx sat in on his performance at The Foxxhole. Sheeran made such a good impression that Foxx offered the use of his recording studio.
In early 2011, Sheeran released the independent EP No. 5 Collaborations Project, which featured appearances by many other artists and soared to the second spot on the iTunes chart despite a lack of promotional efforts or a formal record deal. Approximately three months after the release, Sheeran was picked up by Asylum/Atlantic Records.
Five months before the release of his debut album + (read “plus”), Sheeran released the single “The A Team.” One of his most successful singles to date, “The A Team” entered the UK singles chart at number three and sold 801,000 copies in 2011. Once the studio album dropped, it rocketed to the top of the UK Albums Chart and went on to be certified platinum six times over.
In the time between the release of his first and second albums, Ed Sheeran helped write songs for One Direction and for pop superstar and personal friend Taylor Swift. He also headlined a U.S. tour, won several awards as an artist and songwriter, and performed at the 2013 Grammy Awards with Elton John. He recorded and released the song “I See Fire,” which was used in the ending credits of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
In mid-2014, Sheeran released his sophomore effort, x (read “multiply”). The album topped the charts in the U.K. and U.S. That same year Ed Sheeran was named the most-streamed artist by popular music sharing site Spotify. Spanning from 2014 through 2015, Sheeran played a headline tour for his second album.
Ed Sheeran’s music and songs take elements of several musical genres and fuse them together for a unique sound. The dance-oriented beats and rhythms of pop music, the smooth and lush vocal arrangements of R&B, the storytelling aspects of folk music, and the driving beat and rhythmic, rhyming lyrics of hip hop all feature throughout the discography of Sheeran.
Whether a ballad or an upbeat dance song, Sheeran “cloak[s] harrowing subject matter in a sensual melody.” Furthermore, his generous use of acoustic guitar under the speedy, crisply delivered lyrics adds a distinctive edge to Sheeran’s music.
- No. 5 Collaborations Project (2011) – Independently released EP. Jumped to the number 2 spot on iTunes despite lack of promotion or label, and sold over 7,000 copies in its first week.
- + (2011) – Certified platinum six times in the U.K. and contains the well-loved singles “The A Team” and “Lego House.”
- x (2014) – Topped both the U.K. Albums Chart and the U.S. Billboard 200. Known for producing the popular singles “Sing” and “Thinking Out Loud.”