Ahead of his performance at Radio 1’s Big Weekend of Live Music 2021, Ed Sheeran joined Jordan North on Radio 1 to take part in Kids Ask Difficult Questions, a feature in which children are given the opportunity to grill their favourite celebrities.
Ed faced tricky questions including whether he dislikes any of his own songs, how much money he has and whether he practices singing in front of the mirror. He also spoke about being Richard Curtis’ third choice of artist for Yesterday, and about his daughter crying when he sings.
The full interview can be heard on BBC Radio 1, Saturday 29 May from 1.30pm. The full video of Ed Sheeran taking part in Kids Ask Difficult Questions will drop on Radio 1’s iPlayer and YouTube channels on Friday 4 June.
On his daughter’s opinion of his music:
“I definitely spent hour and hours in front of the mirror pretending to be essentially what I am now. Practice makes perfect innit. Now I’ll sing [my new songs] to my daughter who’s not my biggest fan. She just cries. No, I’ve got some she likes. She really likes Shape Of You, the marimba sound is good but she doesn’t like anything loud or anything belty.”
On being Richard Curtis’ third choice for Yesterday:
“Yesterday was funny though because Richard Curtis wrote it and he lives in Suffolk and he knows me and my wife very well. And If you look at that movie, the premise is a bloke who gets really, really, really famous round the world, and it’s a bit unbelievable that he got really, really famous round the world… comes from Suffolk… so there are all these factors in it where I was like, has he sort of written this about me? And I didn’t wanna ask, I didn’t wanna even think that. And then I got invited round Richard’s house with my wife. […] And so Richard’s talking to me about the film and he’s like, ‘We’re thinking of getting Chris Martin as the musical guy in the film,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay but… Suffolk, music…’ Anyway, they asked Chris Martin, he said no, they asked Harry Styles, he said no and I was third choice. That is 100% true.”
On always saying yes to films:
“I actually got asked to do a cameo in a film and it’s quite funny so I might do it. I’m very of the mindset that whenever I get asked to do something I usually do it. I’ve been a bit more selective since having time off, but especially with films like, I’m not an actor. So if someone goes, ‘hey do you wanna be in my movie?’ I will always say yes.”
“I’ve been very fortunate to be able to do what I love as a job for a long time. I’ve done alright and I would say I have more that I would ever need, I think. I like doing a lot of stuff for charities, keeping it local. I have a music foundation that pays for musical instruments and lessons for kids. Yeah, I feel like that’s where to put the energy and money and time and stuff if you’ve got it. […] If you compare now to ten years ago… I don’t know whether my ten-year-ago self would recognise the guy now. I mean I never ever thought I would play anything bigger than a theatre ten years ago. I was just like, I’ll play Shepherd’s Bush Empire and that will be my peak. So I feel like with the way my career has progressed my perception of what I should be doing has changed, if that makes sense.”
On performing songs he dislikes:
“Obviously I am a professional performer, obviously I enjoy my job but there are some songs that… well, I just think all of my songs are owned by the public aren’t they? Like Thinking Out Loud is someone’s first dance song, or The A Team is someone’s uni song. They’re kind of owned by people so I don’t feel like I have the right to charge people to come to a concert and then be like, ‘Well, I’m not gunna play this song that you like.’ They pay to come and see the songs, they should see the songs that they like. I quite liked Elton John’s thing where he’s doing his big Goodbye Yellow Brick Road tour and then he’s never playing Crocodile Rock again and if you wanna go and see him he’s gunna do like small theatres or whatever and just play the songs he likes.”