By: I. Fischer
First off, “Beautiful people” (the first song on Ed Sheeran’s album, N.6 Collaborations Project) proves that, once again, Ed Sheeran can be considered one of the best songwriters nowadays. The album features several collaborations (hence the name of the album) with various artists such as Justin Bieber, Cardi B, Camila Cabello, Travis Scott and Eminem (with whom he’s already collaborated with, and in this album joins him in a track called “Remember the name”). Moreover, he collaborated with Skrillex (another artist that has also worked with him before, and in this album joins him on the track “Way To Break My Heart”), H.E.R, Bruno Mars, Meek Mill, Chance the Rapper, Dave, Paulo Londra, Yeeba, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Ella Mai, Chris Stapleton, J Hus, Young Thug, Stormzy and PnB Rock.
Ed Sheeran is known for his soulful lyrics and playing the guitar in his Pop track, however, in this album it’s clear that Sheeran was out of his element as he featured many artists that have many different styles. Nevertheless, this doesn't limit Sheeran as he proves he can adapt to any style, such as in the tracks “Antisocial” (ft. Travis Scott) and “Cross me” (ft. Chance the Rapper & PnB Rock), while still preserving the most prominent elements of his musical style.
The first track on the album,“I Don’t Care” - which is currently Ed’s most popular song - is a collaboration with Justin Bieber. Sheeran reveals the song is about his social anxiety, which triggers in crowded places - such as his shows. He states: “I hate large groups of people, which is ironic, because I play shows for a living.”
He continues on saying: “I’ve done ‘Thinking Out Loud’, I’ve done ‘Perfect’, I’ve done the love songs. It’s about finding different angles now to do that.” While pulling off different approaches to his music, Ed shows his potential and range. "The fact is, I've already achieved more than I thought I could, so now I'm at a point where I'm just having fun.” Indeed, Ed Sheeran has conquered a lot since his last album (Divide) and his N.5 Collaborations Project. His top hit “Shape of You” was remixed by Stormzy, who also collaborated with him on the song “Take Me Back to London”.
Surprisingly, the musician features a rock record called “Blow”, which further emphasizes the amplitude of his skills. When asked why he has made the choice to feature this genre he simply said “I think people do not expect that any time I play to anyone. The first chord instantly [surprises] people, and I love that.”
Sheeran quickly became H.E.R’s fan - much like the rest of the world - and decided to ask her to join him in this project. Of course she agreed, leading them to compose the track “I Don’t Want Your Money”. The song talks about not prioritizing money over other more important things - such as your loved ones. Another person he admires is Ella Mai. The UK based artist caught Ed Sheeran’s attention due to also being a successful UK singer in the US. Sheeran contacted her almost immediately, once the tune for “Put It All On Me” was ready.
When talking about the track “Best Part of Me” (that resembles songs from his last albums, such as the tracks “Perfect” and “Tenerife Sea”) Ed gets up close and personal while sharing the reason for writing this song. "I constantly wake up everyday, with Cherry, and I'm just like, 'Why the f*** are you with me? You could literally be with whoever you want, and you chose me. I'm saying all of the things that I think are wrong with me, and you still wanna be with me.' and I just find that amazing.”
Furthermore, he says “I've always wanted to make a song with Cardi B.” Ed reveals that he’s always dreamed of collaborating with her, when talking about his Latin prompted track “South of the Border”. He shares that Camila Cabello (also featured in this track) and him are close friends and that he felt that due to Camila’s Cuban influences she would be a perfect fit for the track. “[Camila] is from Cuba, she speaks fluent Spanish, and Cardi's Dominican, and I just felt like it was a good mix. Another Latin artist which whom Ed collaborated with is Paulo Londra; Paulo Londra sings with Ed Sheeran on “Nothing On You”, where the artist Dave is also featured.
Finally, Ed shares another dream collaboration of his, which includes J Hus and Young Thug. Gladly, his dream came true with the track “Feels”. He reflects that “You should only be working with people who you think are better than you, so it helps you grow as a person.”