British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran recently visited The Recording Academy's New York Chapter office to participate in an exclusive GRAMMY.com interview and perform a brief acoustic concert. Sheeran discussed his major label debut album, +, future projects, his musical influences and performing at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London, among other topics. Sheeran also performed songs from +, including "Lego House," "The A Team" and "You Need Me, I Don't Need You."
"It was a complete honor to perform at the closing ceremony at the Olympics and to represent my country in that way," said Sheeran, who was joined onstage by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and Genesis guitarist Mick Rutherford. "[It was also an honor] to be amongst such great musicians and be playing in front of 3.8 billion people. I'm never going to be able to do that again, let alone play with a member of Pink Floyd and Genesis again. "
Hailing from Halifax, England, Sheeran cites artists such as Eminem, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, and Damien Rice as influences. In 2005 Sheeran released an EP, The Orange Room, and subsequently moved to London. After inking a deal with Elton John's management company, Rocket Music, he toured with UK rapper Example. Sheeran signed with Atlantic Records, releasing + in 2011. The album peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and features 12 songs written or co-written by Sheeran, including "Lego House," "You Need Me, I Don't Need You," "Drunk," and "Small Bump." The video for "Lego House" has surpassed 37 million views on YouTube. "The A Team" is currently at No. 43 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Earlier this year, Sheeran picked up honors for British Breakthrough Act and British Male Solo Artist at the 2012 Brit Awards. In April he released a four-song EP, The Slumdon Bridge, with rapper Yelawolf. Most recently, Sheeran co-wrote "Everything Has Changed," a duet with GRAMMY winner Taylor Swift that is featured on her latest album, Red. Sheeran has concert dates scheduled in the UK, Australia and the United States through March 2013.