Words by Gianna Sibal
Photos courtesy of Warner Music Philippines Official Facebook
A follow up to the No. 5 Collaborations Project released eight years ago, Ed Sheeran dropped new music, star-studded with different artists, with No. 6 Collaborations Project last July 12.
The singer-songwriter’s album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and is on its second week topping the charts. After two years since Divide, fans have been eagerly anticipating his latest work—and it seems that he did not disappoint.
Each song in the tracklist pushes the boundary of Sheeran’s style with his singing and rapping and choice for musical collaboration.
“I made this album because it was so fun to make,” Sheeran said in an interview. He also added that he worked with so many artists on this project that he’s always wanted to work with. “Work with people better than you so you can grow,” the singer also said.
Beautiful People, the first track in the album, delves into Sheeran’s life in Los Angeles. He said that Khalid was a perfect match to this “chill and cozy song” because of his warm and full voice. As for South of the Border, with Camila Cabello and Cardi B, Ed Sheeran mixes Latin flavor with folk-pop style. With the former from Cuba and the latter a Dominican, Sheeran said that he felt like it was a good mix. Cross Me with Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock, on the other hand, has a dance-to-this beat that makes women feel a little badass. Sheeran mentioned that it was hard to write a love song that wasn’t just about, “You make me feel this way”, and that his wife loved it.
(ALSO READ: Ed Sheeran Just Confirmed His Marriage To Childhood Friend, Cherry Seaborn)
Ed Sheeran, on his other tracks with artists such as Yebba, Stormzy, H.E.R, Justin Bieber, Ella Mai, Eminem, and 50 Cent among others, shared that with writing songs, he feels as if he’s improving day by day by going into the studio with these talented people. “If I just stayed in the studio [by myself], things would start sounding stale,” Sheeran said. He added that Chance the Rapper’s process was different with Bruno Mars’s process, and Meek Mill’s process was different with Travis Scotts’, and that, in itself, was what was so great about the album.
this needs a special mention; everyone, including me, was so shocked with this track, featuring R&B pop star Bruno Mars and country singer Chris Stapleton teamed up with Sheeran in a rock song. When asked why rock, Sheeran answered, “Exactly that. No one expects me to do a rock song with Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars.”
No one did. Each reaction I see on the internet has got them with their jaws slack in surprise. The unlikely trio produced a headbanger, whipping out a perfect and fresh finish to the album. In my opinion, this rock anthem was so unexpected from Ed Sheeran, but I’m not complaining. It’s on repeat in my playlist. Check out the music video here and other MVs and lyric videos on Sheeran’s YouTube channel:
Fans have been granted access to exclusive No. 6 merchandise such as official t-shirts, tote bags, caps, sticker packs, and so much more in one-day pop-up stores worldwide. Warner Music Philippines headed the organization of Sheeran’s pop-up store in Manila last July 13 at the Amphitheater, U.P. Town Center. As a bonus, Filipino fans also enjoyed special performances by Inigo Pascual, Leanne and Narra, and Banna Harbera.
In No. 6 Collaborations Project, each collab had something new going on, and I love that. In Bruno Mars’s words, “The reason we’re working together is because we’re trying to get something from each other. If you just play your usual chords, then you might as well be working on your own.” All of the artists had brought something to each track, and as a fan, this album was versatile and unique—a style of their own.
Maybe many would disagree, and say that some songs don’t stand out—but maybe it’s just because I’m biased.
What do you think of the album? Share your thoughts with us!