Ed Sheeran is a world-renowned British singer who took the music industry by storm, especially after the release of “Shape of You.”
This song managed to sell more than 1.5 billion albums while creating a strong fanbase all around the world.
His fame skyrocketed following the launch of his debut album, “Plus.”
According to Nielsen Music data, Ed Sheeran was the musician that almost everyone enjoyed listening to. This was further backed by the fact that his next album, “Divide” was a huge success.
Keep reading the blog below to find out the answer to the burning question: What genre of music is Ed Sheeran?
How Did Ed Sheeran’s Music Journey Began?
Before we uncover what genre of music Ed Sheeran is in, let’s dive a little into how his music journey began.
Getting to know how an artist ventures into his music career can tell a lot about the kind of music they will make. It can also be very interesting to know the starting arch of an artist.
Not many people know this, but Ed Sheeran started his music journey as an indie artist back in 2005.
Indie music is typically described as a music category where music artists release their own songs as opposed to partnering with mainstream major record labels. Most indie music comprises indie rock or indie pop, and Ed Sheeran falls somewhere between the two.
That is before he released his claim to fame, ‘A-team,’ and became immensely popular.
From starting off as a small indie musician in 2005 to bagging his first deal with the critically acclaimed Atlantic Records in 2011, Sheeran has come a long way.
Read this blog, ‘What is Indie Music?‘ to find out more about Indie Music.
Decoding Ed Sheeran’s Music Genre
Ed Sheeran does not limit his music to pop but experiments with hip-hop, rap, etc, as his recent most famous power-ballad “Perfect” suggests.
Perfect was the song that earned him a Grammy Award nomination as well as the honor of being the Best Pop Solo Artist for the year 2016.
Perfect is a song that makes us wonder who this absolutely innocent love song could be played for? It turns out that this is a song that he has dedicated to his childhood friend, long-term lover, current partner and has, in fact, been played in various shows and movies.
Ed Sheeran music stands out for being an interesting blend of genres. He is known to make songs that do not strictly belong to one particular genre.
However, we have picked out the most dominant genres reflected in his music. Here it goes:
People often confuse pop music with the contemporary genres that have been circulating around.
It is important to note that pop music compliments Trance, EDM house, and electronic music quite a lot since it encompasses a diverse range of genres and styles.
It is common for pop music to usually repeat a particular chorus or lyric as well as a particular tune to represent the genre’s core trait. Along with this specific trait, pop music also contains a variety of rhythms that one would mostly find in other forms of music.
Although not every song by Ed Sheeran has a pop touch to it, he is undoubtedly known for being a pop artist. “Castle on the Hill” from his album “Thinking Out Loud” is another single known for being one of his top pop songs besides “Shape Of You”.
Folk-pop is a subgenre of contemporary folk music that blurs the line between folk and pop. It is typically classified as a mixture of pop and country music which is largely based on acoustic sounds.
One of the most common observations that have been picked into Ed Sheeran’s music is that he mixes and matches the sound of folk music into his typical pop music.
“Galway Girl,” a song released in his third album, incorporates a touch of folk music into his typical pop song. Moreover, “Nancy Mulligan” and “Dive” also represent a touch of folk music.
Sheeran is a prolific songwriter who has written all of his own songs (with the exception of covers). Besides writing his own songs, Ed Sheeran has also written songs for other artists.
Sheeran’s music can be classified as pop, folk-pop, or singer-songwriter. Moreover, Sheeran is also well-known for his numerous partnerships with musicians from various genres. This is particularly the reason why he has managed to create music from multiple genres.
Grime is a type of music genre that has an electronic touch to it. It originated in London in the early 2000s. This type is not just limited to techno and electronic but also covers a touch of rap and hip-hop.
This particular music genre emerged when the trend of underground events and music started bringing all hippies together within a single place.
Sheeran launched his fourth EP, No. 5 Collaborations Project, in 2011. Each track featured a different grime artist, such as Wiley, Devlin, and P Money. The album splits the thin line between Sheeran’s signature pop and grime.
Hip-hop, which originated in the Bronx in the 1970s, is defined by the use of beat that is frequently accompanied by rapping. Rap is frequently used synonymously with hip-hop. Rap, however, is not a prerequisite for hip-hop.
Other aspects of hip-hop culture, such as DJs, turntables, beatboxing, and the use of soundboard recordings, are frequently incorporated into hip-hop music.
Sheeran collaborated with a variety of artists on his fourth studio album, No. 6 Collaborations Project. He collaborated with a different musician from a variety of genres on each track of the album, particularly hip-hop. These collaborations include Eminem, Stormzy, Chance the Rapper, and 50 Cent.
If you wish to find out more about different music genres, check out this blog on the Top 10 Most Popular Music Genres.
How Ed Sheeran Became an Icon of Genre-Blending!
Sheeran’s music is ultra-modern, exemplifying the way genre boundaries continue to dissolve, particularly in the pop domain.
Sheeran’s writing and singing styles are infused with a hip-hop sensibility, but he also adopts other genres, such as R&B or melodic electric rock, when the song calls for it.
Additionally, his informal lame puns (For example, watching Shrek 12 times in “Wake Me Up”) are quite ingenious and gel with recent references.
Ever since Sheeran moved to London towards the end of his teenage years, he started following this genre and, in fact, became a part of multiple gigs any chance he got.
However, it was his ability as a rapper that enabled him to connect with like-minded individuals in the UK’s hip-hop and grime scenes.
Final Thoughts on Ed Sheeran’s Music Genre
Sheeran’s music is classified as pop, folk-pop, and singer-songwriter. He incorporates elements of hip hop, folk, as well as other genres within his songs, but his overall pop persona remains intact.
However, as a result of his repeated partnership with other artists, he also has a substantial body of work in other genres such as hip-hop and grime.
The most interesting thing about today’s music is that it does not fall within any particular genre. One can add any rhythm to any music, and the world would end up enjoying that blend.
This is what Ed Sheeran manages to do. He has his hands all over every type of genre, but despite doing a great job at blending with different music and artists, he is still characterized as a pop singer.
What do you think of Ed Sheeran’s music genre? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.