British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran is nominated for Song of the Year for “The A Team” at this year’s Grammys, but he’s been a member of an “A Team” for quite some time. He is the writer behind the One Direction songs “Little Things” and “Moments,” and last year he performed at the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee.
This year, he’s shaping up to be a star player: He has a sold-out show at Radio City on Wednesday night, plays a duet with Elton John at the Grammys and joins Taylor Swift on her “Red” tour this summer.
METRO: Congratulations on your Grammy nomination! How did you hear about it?
SHEERAN: I didn’t expect to be nominated and I was quite drunk at the time as well, so all these “Congratulations!” texts were coming in and I kind of thought it was for something else.
Tell us about performing with Elton John.
Yeah, I mean, it doesn’t really get bigger than that. … He rung me up and was like, “So, how would you feel about playing the Grammys with me?” and I was like, “Um, yeah, I think that could probably work.” [Laughs]
Will you be nervous sharing the stage with him?
You know what, I’m not nervous about being on TV and I’m not nervous about it being a duet with Elton, but I am nervous having to play in front of — like, it’s one thing being from Britain going to a British awards show because when you go to that you kind of know 95 percent of the people there. But I’ve never been in front of pretty much the whole of the American industry — I don’t know any of them, apart from someone like Taylor [Swift] probably, so that’s gonna be quite nerve-wracking. I mean it’s good, it puts me on the map, but it’s also quite nerve-wracking.
Speaking of Taylor Swift, you’ll be joining her on tour this summer.
Yeah, it starts in March and finishes in September. It should be great.
You’re friendly with her already, and you’re touring together this summer. Will you hang out during your downtime?
In my time off I’m gonna be making an album. I’m moving to Nashville for a bit while I make a record and I think Taylor lives just around the corner, so we’ll be hanging and probably writing more music.
Since you’re on her album, “Red,” can we expect to hear her on your next CD?
Um, probably not, no. I’m gonna kinda steer away from doing collaborations, I think, on this record. … [But] if we end up writing a song that’s completely mind-blowing, then yeah.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t ask: Has she confided in you about what happened between her and Harry Styles?
I’d rather stay out of that.
Fair enough. What about you? Are you dating someone special?
Um, not really. There was an opportunity to and then when I got offered this tour, it kind of went out, just because I was coming through America from January through September so it wouldn’t be much fun starting up anything.
Makes sense. What do you look for in a girl?
Usually just a good sense of humor and nice eyes. I usually prefer girls that are shorter than me because I’m quite short myself.
You also write songs for other artists. Is that harder than writing for yourself?
I usually write for myself first and then give them to other people. I kind of just write songs for myself.
So One Direction could be singing a song about your ex and the girl might not even know it?
That is exactly what has happened. [Laughs]
Has that girl ever come around and been like, “Did you write this song about me?”
Um, well, I haven’t really written any other songs about anyone else, so she probably gets that it’s about her.