British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has been having a busy year in the States supporting Taylor Swift on the North American leg of her Red tour. Before two recent sold-out shows at Gillette Stadium, Ed took the time to visit Connecticut to perform an exclusive Acoustic Café at Maneeley’s in South Windsor! In between his acoustic set –which included “Lego House”, “You Need Me”, “A-Team”, and a cover of Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time”– Ed answered some of his fans’ biggest (and most personal) questions!
How has the tour been going for you?
It’s been fun! It’s one of those tours where you do a few shows and then have some time off. Being in America going on eight months, I have lived most of my year here. Good experiences, bad experiences… It’s been an interesting time.
You actually had a tattoo done for the tour?
It just says ‘Red’. I have discovered that if we fall out, it can just say ‘ed’. You just take off the ‘R’!
You performed with Elton John at this year’s GRAMMYs. How amazing was that?
It was a surreal experience. I have had a few moments like that in my career so far. When you get asked to do it, you are like, “Ok, cool. Yeah.” But when it comes to actually doing it, it is a very surreal thing. There was a moment when I played with the members of Pink Floyd and Genesis at the  Olympics—we were playing the Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here” if font of all these people. It’s just moments like that, where you don’t know until you are up there, and then you are like, “Oh, this is alright.” It’s kinda cool.
Who was your biggest role model growing up?
It’s a bit cheesy–my role model has always been my dad. I didn’t really know until I started hanging around with my friends’ dads! [Laughs]
My dad comes from a very large Irish Catholic family, so he has a very close knit family. He always taught me that family is the most important thing in life, and he told me to choose one thing to work hard at, and make sure you work hard at it. That is why he never pressured me too much in school. I was never a very academic person, but I always showed that I wanted to play music.
When I have kids, eventually I will get to pass on the information he passed on to me. I think that’s why he is a good role model.
What is the craziest thing a fan has done so far?
I always find that the crazies are never the actual fans—it’s always the moms! I am just being honest. [Laughing]
What do you put in your hair?
It is a blue tin of wax in England called VO5 wax. They don’t make it over here, so sometimes if I lose a tin I will look fluffy for a few days! My hair is very thin and it doesn’t hold well in wind.
So, is it okay if someone runs their fingers through your hair?
It depends on how many people! I did an album signing in Italy, it was a very hot sweaty day, and a lot of fans were asking that. It was quite early on in my career, so I was like, “Yeah, go for it.” I got really ill because some people obviously didn’t wash their hands!
Boxers or briefs?
Boxers. I think men need their space. My guitar tech, Trevor, has to wear briefs because he needs the support! [Laughing]
What is the dating situation for you right now?
I think the beautiful thing about all the relationships I have ever been in is that no one has a clue about them. The way to keep it like that is to answer questions like this with, “Mhmm.” I was [dating] for awhile, but I am not currently– and that is the god’s honest truth.
Is there a type of girl you go for?
I was chatting with a radio DJ the other day and he asked, “What feature do you look for in a girl?” I explained what I looked for and he said, “Well, I usually look for a good bum.” My argument to that is this– That is good for now… but after twenty-five years what are you left with?
My grandmother has amazing eyes and a great sense of humor. That is why her and my grandfather get along so well! I’m sure back in her day she could throw down, but the only thing you are left with at the end of your life is conversation–so someone who has good conversation.
If you could transform into any animal what would it be?
Has anyone watched Finding Nemo? You know when they go down to the bottom of the sea and there is a blue fish and it has the light? That fish– because that fish sees stuff you would not see anywhere! Am I right? Or you could be a worm. Then you won’t see anything! [Laughs]
If you could relive one day of your life, what would it be?
My 22nd birthday was pretty awesome. I did a show at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. All of my friends flew over, I had some wicked people watch me, and then afterwards they bought me twenty-two shots of Jäger bombs! I think a managed about seven before it all started to go downhill… I got thrown in the swimming pool with my phone on me! [Laughs]
What is your favorite TV show?
My favorite TV show differs from day to day. At the moment, I restarted watching The O.C. I went to a bar for my friend’s birthday, and the person that owned the bar was married and was friends with this couple that went along— their housemate was the main character on The O.C.! So I was just there staring at him for awhile. I got really drunk and kind of poked him a couple of times and then left. That’s how I party!
What is your favorite song to perform?
Probably the opener of every set that I do– it’s a song called “Give Me Love.” It starts off very quiet, and then it gets very loud, and then it kind of works with the crowd. You split the crowd up and get them to sing different parts. It’s always quite anthemic, which is fun.
–Tyler Roman, 96.5 TIC/ Hartford