Genre purity is seemingly nonexistent in a certain ginger-haired crooner’s new album, X. From classic folk ballads to declarations of not being a rapper but instead “a singer with a flow,” UK singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran pushes the envelope of every label ever asserted to his music.
A far cry from it’s emo predecessor, + (pronounced “plus”), X (pronounced “multiply”) shows Sheeran’s impressive range of emotions and sounds. The Pharrell-produced lead single, “Sing,” gives a JT pop sound while “I’m a Mess” keeps it folk with the hard strumming of his acoustic guitar. His delivery seamlessly switches from quick and conversational to smooth and soulful—even venturing into that “singer with a flow” alter ego on a couple tracks.
Recently named one of R&B’s most wanted on the summer cover of VIBE magazine, the tattooed troubadour says he wants to do more than just love songs. “I want to straddle all worlds at once. I want to do my acoustic stuff, write for the biggest pop acts in the world, and also work with all the rappers I like, underground or not.”
For the full Ed Sheeran cover story, head over to VIBE.
Photo Credit: Rap Genius