British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran recently spoke to the media about his latest album, "Subtract," which is set to be released on May 5th. The album marks a significant departure from Sheeran's previous work, as he reflects on a tumultuous year that saw the singer grappling with personal struggles, mental health issues, and the loss of his brother.
In this exclusive interview, Sheeran candidly shares his journey with the world.
A Series of Tragedies
"Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumour, with no route for treatment until after the birth.
My best friend Jamal, a brother to me, died suddenly, and I found myself in court defending my integrity and career as a songwriter," Sheeran wrote. His brother, music producer Jamal Edwards, passed away in February 2022 at the age of 31, while Sheeran was facing a plagiarism lawsuit for his hit song "Shape of You." The musician eventually won the case in April 2022, but the events took a toll on his mental health.
"I was spiralling through fear, depression, and anxiety. I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking but not being able to break through for air," Sheeran reflects.
The artist had spent a decade working on what he envisioned as the "perfect acoustic album," but the events of the past year prompted him to pivot and instead delve into his "deepest, darkest thoughts."
Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone
"For the first time, I'm not trying to craft an album people will like.
I'm merely putting something out that's honest and true to where I am in my adult life," Sheeran said. "Subtract" represents a departure from Sheeran's previous work, as he exposes a more personal and vulnerable side of himself.
The album serves as a "trapdoor into my soul," according to the artist, as he invites listeners on a journey through his struggles and triumphs. Sheeran announced the birth of his second daughter in May 2022 on Instagram, writing that he and his wife, Cherry Seaborn, were "so in love with her, and over the moon to be a family of 4." He has not commented further on his wife's condition.