Ed Sheeran has said his “view of the world” changed due to personal life events in the last few years, but feels he has “so much joy” in his life now and this will be reflected in his forthcoming fifth album.
The new album, = or Equals, is the latest instalment in his symbol series and due for release on October 29.
It is among the year’s most highly anticipated music releases and includes the UK number one singles Shivers and Bad Habits.
Sheeran joined Apple Music’s Zane Lowe live to discuss his new album, play new songs and take questions from fans, but had to conduct the interview from his home in the UK after he announced on October 24 that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
The 30-year-old singer-songwriter said: “There are so many things that have happened in my life and I feel, not in an evangelical way, but I feel very reborn in my 30s, my view of the world is different.
“I think having my mate die and realise that tomorrow isn’t promised and every day is actually a real joy to be around, because I spent a lot of time moping about things in my 20s and finding reasons to be upset.
“Now there’s just so much joy in my life and so this record sort of reflects that.”
Sheeran’s friend and mentor Michael Gudinski passed away earlier this year and the singer dedicated the new track on his album, titled Visiting Hours, in memory of him.
He added: “I’ve spent a lot of my 20s questioning – Who am I? Why am I here? Why do I do this? If I’m a singer what do I add to the world?
“So it’s so much questioning, and I’ve turned 30 and I feel like some of these questions have started to have answers.
“But they started to have answers through two very massive moments of my life, which is one, my daughter being born which is new life, and one my friend Michael (Gudinski) dying which is death.
“And both hit me in a way where you appreciate tomorrow more because of each one.
“An equals symbol is the end of a question and the start of an answer, it’s in the middle of the two of them, and I definitely feel like being 30 I’m on either side.”
The singer also received a message from his friend and mentor Sir Elton John congratulating him on the release of his new album and wishing him good luck for its release.
Sir Elton’s collaboration with Dua Lipa on Cold Heart and Sheeran’s track Shivers were recently in a battle for the top spot on the UK singles chart.
Sheeran later urged his fans to help Sir Elton knock him off the top spot so the Rocketman singer could secure his first single number one in 16 years.
He confirmed the pair have a very close relationship and revealed Sir Elton calls him every day to check in on him, adding: “There’s not many people in my life like that and I really appreciate him.”
The singer originally shot to fame in 2011 with the launch of his chart-topping single The A Team, the lead song on his first album, which was released in September that year.
Before the announcement of his album Equals, he had previously been taking a break from music after his wife, Cherry Seaborn, gave birth to their daughter, Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran, in August 2020.