Ed Sheeran – No.5 Collaborations Project EP | Just Over A Year On!

I thought I hadn’t written a longer piece in a while, and I sort of wanted to, seeing as I’ve just passed the 5,000 views mark. And I was trying to think of something, thinking while I was listening to my music in that little world I head off to. And I was listening to, in my view; Ed Sheeran’s best ever work. The No.5 Collaborations Project. I didn’t just listen to it once through. Probably closer to 7/8 times through. Which may sound ridiculous – but I just love it that much.

And I thought, it’s just a bit over a year since its release, so I could do a piece on what’s happened to Ed since, but I’d already done that HERE, so I was stuck. But I thought why not just do a year on review of one of my favourite EP’s since I’ve been alive. So I did. Try and enjoy it!

When I bought this EP, in physical form, and off iTunes, I had known about Ed’s talents for a few good months, so I’d already bought and listened to everything of his so far. And at that point, I wasn’t a massive grime fan. (I wouldn’t say I am now, just I enjoy a bit of it) So I remember being unsure as to what to expect.

But by the first track, I was blown away. However, I can never decide which of the tracks is my personal highlight.

I mean, ‘Lately‘ has Ed and Devlin rapping supremely.

You‘ has Wiley flowing quite deeply, surrounded with Ed’s enticing chorus. Always had a connection with Wi’s, as usual, brilliant lyrics on this track!

Family‘ has P Money going deep on his car crash, and, I’d say, has the best production – as always, courtesy of Jake Gosling.

Radio‘ has the brilliant JME, and again, has Ed’s chorus’ at their best. And also, ironically, got a bit of radio play – which was right at the start of Ed’s radio playlist domination.

Little Lady‘. Well, does it need bigging up? Mikill Pane story-telling over the already beautiful ‘A Team‘ chords and chorus. Everyone’s supposed to remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. Well, I wasn’t alive then. So, my version of that is that everyone should remember where they were when the first fully listened to ‘Little Lady‘. I was ‘doing’ revision, and it came on, and I was just captivated in the heart-retching tale of the girl Mikill portrays.

Drown Me Out‘ features Ghetts, with, I’d say, some of the best lyrics on the EP.

Nightmares‘, with Random Impulse, Sway, and, at that point, a fairly unknown Wretch 32. All of the artists smashed their respective verses on this one! (Oh, and big up to Random Impulse, who today, singed to Universal!)

The lastly, Dot Rotten’sGoodbye To You‘ – another deep, personal, and great, track.

It’s just impossible to choose a favourite track from that list!

I think what makes the EP so special is that. practically all the artists, including Ed, were fairly unknown. It was a proper ‘Project’ as Ed called it. Grime mixing with Ed’s vocals just work absolutely perfectly!

And furthering that, Ed was either lucky, or the artists were saving something big for the next big thing, which happened to Ed. Because, Wiley, P Money, Mikill Pane, to an extent, Ghetts, and Dot Rotten – all went deep and/or personal. Which will always make for amazing listening – especially when protected by Ed’s superhuman vocals.

I very often get carried away with a release. And to an extent, it does die down after a while. So it really shows a release’s class when I still have that same connection to it, that I had when I first plugged myself into it. And the No. 5 Collaborations Project does just that!

It also got another slice of radio love recently. With BBC Radio 1xtra airing live performnces of a few of the tracks, including, ‘Family‘ ft. P Money and ‘Letely‘ ft. Devlin, plus a couple others. You can check these brilliant performences on YouTube, but I thought I’d include ‘Little Lady‘ in this post:

It obviously also represents Ed’s first real musical chart success, as the top image shows, it peaked at number 2 on the iTunes chart. Which would be amazing on its own. But this EP had no promotion, or record label backing – only the likes of Twitter etc. So, even in that sense, it’s a special EP!

I’m finishing writing this off, as Ed prepared for his newest slice of collaboration to be played on Zane Lowe’s show – ‘You Don’t Know (For Fuck Sake)’ ft. Yelawolf (listen to it, and read my review on that link – oh and download it for FREE!). I do love it. There’s no denying it. But I’ve always preferred the thought of Ed with UK artists. But I guess it shows how far Ed’s come. He’s always said how much he’d wanted to work with American artists in this style of format, and he’s finally done it, and done it well! But yeah, I don’t think I’ll ever not like an Ed Sheeran track.

I really want to say though, ‘You Don’t Know…‘ is a brilliant track, and I really cannot wait to the full release of ‘The Slumdon Bridge‘! – 4 tracks from scratch, in 10 hours… Incredible!

But I don’t think Ed can ever top it for me. Which could be seen as a saddening fact. But everyone has their favourites from him – and the Collaborations Project will, I think, always be mine.

Who Does 2011 Belong To?… Ed Sheeran.

(continued from the post below, I know it may not be continued, as this will appear before the first post, but yeah, read the one below first please…)


I remember thinking after the BBC released their Sound Of 2011 longlist, ‘Oh, yeah, you’ve really missed someone out from that!’. They really did, didn’t they. Ed Sheeran. What a year he’s had! He stated his musical intentions, maybe indirectly in the charts too – with the release of his No. 5 Collaborations EP in January – featuring the likes of Sway, Random Impulse and Wiley. It shocked everyone, seeing it climb peak at number 2 in the iTunes charts – especially considering he was still an independent artist! Well, he was, but not for much longer, as on January 12th, Ed signed with Atlantic Records and it went from strength to strength from there on in.


His first move after the record signing, was a good-willed one, as always. The ‘One Take’ EP was released for free, featuring a version of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, a Jamie Woon cover of ‘Wayfaring Stranger’, and a version of ‘UNI’. And like anything he’s released, it went down a storm with his ever growing fan base – with over 10,000 downloads in the first 12 hours.


These were just a few highlights of the year for Ed. There’s so many I could write about. The free Camden Barfly gig being one. It attracted over 1,000 people, and if you’ve never been to the Barfly, you’ll know that, as great a venue as it is, it couldn’t hold 1,000 people. Not letting that stop him, Ed played 3 times inside the venue – until it shut. Then once more outside in the nearby car park for anyone that still hadn’t seen him.


Also, Sheeran performed ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ and debut single, ‘The A Team’ on ‘Later … With Jools Holland’ in April. With nothing but his vocals, acoustic guitar, and a loop pedal. The performance was stunning, proper goose-bump stuff!

Then the release of ‘The A Team’ just 6 weeks later. Things were moving quick, as his debut single charted at number 3 in the UK – selling 58,000 copies in the first week! It was the lead single from his debut album, ‘+’, released in early September. It showed, not just the progression throughout 2011, but the progressions since Ed started performing, writing, singing, and being around music. ‘+’ went straight in at number 1, the week after Example’s album had done just the same – and both were full of joy for the other one!


From that last bit, it seems like Ed did nothing between April and September? Very wrong. Notably, he performed a headline set at Glastonbury on the BBC Introducing stage. This was one of many summer festival performances, Bestival and Reading Festival to name a couple others.

He also released his second single in the run up to the album release. ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, and although it charted lower than ‘The A Team’ (number 4), it still sold more first week copies. But to be frank, this release wasn’t really about chart position. Obviously it was intended to promote the album. But it had much more meaning than that. ‘You Need Me…’ was the first introduction many people had to Ed – due to Jamal Edwards and SBTV. The song has changed through the years, with many new and retracted verses. So to see a final single was brilliant for Ed fans, even if they didn’t like the new beat put in, they understood it had to be done.


‘Lego House’ was the next single, and the first off the back of ‘+’. I’m proud to say that I was there on Ed’s sell-out Autum Tour, when they filmed the iconic video – at Herts University Forum, with Rupert Grint. It was also my 17th birthday that day. So, yeah, it was a pretty good day really. Anyway, ‘Lego House’ peaked at number 5. Why it didn’t chart higher was because it was available from the album, so people just couldn’t wait to buy the single version. So to peak at number 5 is absolutely massive!


There’s so much I could write about Ed Sheeran. I am one of the people that knew of him before ‘The A Team’ release, and I’ve actually met him a couple of times. Not that he’d, one; read this, or two; remember me, but even so. However, I don’t think when you discovered his music matters. As long as you support him, go to gigs, buy the singles, watch the videos, then why should it matter who saw him first?

It’s also strange to see an artist break through, and still manage to maintain their backgrounds. He’s kept the same support artists through the year close to him. Ryan Keen, Lester Clayton to name a couple.

It’s also shown by the No. 5 Collaborations EP (talked about earlier) – which came out in January 2011. Many artists would have left it behind. But not Ed. Because, as I’m writing this, I’m preparing to hear the specially recorded Live Lounge for the No. 5 Collaborations, featuring Wretch 32, P Money, Devlin and Mikill Pane for Trevor Nelson’s show on BBC Radio 1xtra. This is around 11/12 months after the release. What more could Ed do to show how committed to his music than this. (Listen and watch the whole sessions here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/sessions/2011-12-21_edsheeran)


I think Ed is the perfect middle ground I mentioned earlier. He’s actually broken through – without having a big backing of influential music people at the start, like Jessie J. He was an independent artist at the start of 2011. He ends 2011, with a number 1 album – which sold over 102,000 copies in it’s first week, and was the most downloaded debut album in history, singles charting 3, 4 and 5, with live festival and TV performances as well. But most importantly, with a religiously following fan base, stronger than anything that could have been imagined. The future looks pretty good for him really.