This young and aspiring Filipino musician shares his brief encounter with Ed Sheeran!

The weekend was nothing short of perfect for this guy!

When Ed Sheeran performed in Manila for the second time around (the first being in March 2015) for his Divide tour, many fans (popularly known as “sheerios”) flocked to the MOA Concert grounds last Sunday to listen to the 27-year-old British artist live.

This ‘sheerio’ was lucky enough to not just watch him live but also meet him!

Joaqui Madamba, a 20-year-old student musician and performer from Quezon City took it to his Twitter account his brief encounter but memorable encounter with Ed Sheeran.

It was deemed “quite a journey” for him – he promised himself that he would watch him someday since he was not able to go during Sheeran’s Multiply tour. A series of events, a contest and a few people helped him meet one of the biggest influencers of his music career.

Madamba shared that he wanted to perform badly because he was a Sheeran fan and a loop-artist just like him.

“A day before the concert during a gig, Lesha Litonjua, a friend who I played session guitars for, told me that she won Warner’s Meet and Greet with Ed Sheeran contest. She was the friend who pushed me to ask Warner if they had an extra Meet and Greet pass for me. On the day of the concert, I went in the Patron A area of the concert grounds when I was told by the good people of Warner, Ms. Camille and Ms. Nicole Lantin, that they had an extra pass ready for me. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication between me and my contact making me think that I had to meet up inside Patron A in order to get ready for the meet and greet. Apparently, it was supposed to be a meetup in front of the Patron A area while the meet and greet would happen backstage. This was crucial because once you get on the concert grounds, you are not allowed to come back inside the venue. Warner had no control of the security and logistics of the concert event so I was left with only two choices: it was either meet Ed only or watch the concert only. I was waiting for a miracle to happen.”

And indeed, fate worked its ways.

“Ms. Cel De Guia was such an angel for helping me get across the guards and letting me line up last minute. It was only until the day after the event that I found out about my Tita Denise Seva telling Ms. Cel about my dilemma. I was literally the last person Ed had for his meet and greet promo before he got ready for the show.” 

Madamba describes Sheeran as a “pretty casual guy”.

“He’s just like you and me… only with very tight security. I would hear him talk to the meet and greet winners who were ahead of me. The security would always tell him that he had just a few more minutes left with the winners but he would always ask his security to let him extend. A guy in front of me brought his guitar for him to sign (which I was very envious of because I would’ve done the same but I was told beforehand it wasn’t allowed) and Ed was kind enough to even play with it and sing him a song. I can tell that Ed’s kindness is very genuine. He’s such a nice guy that when I asked if we could take a selfie, he even took my phone and offered to take the photo for us.

When I saw him for the first time, I said “holy hell it’s Ed Sheeran!” and naturally, he was just there laughing. After he took our selfie, Ed and I talked for a good six minutes. It sounds short but we were able to talk about a lot of things. I mentioned my friend Lesha who was excited to meet him as well but was unfortunately busy for a gig of her own. I also mentioned the names of some of my friends who wanted Ed to know that they exist. As what my girlfriend Alison (who was just as huge a fan as I was) would’ve wanted, I made sure he knew that we became best friends because of his songs and that she has promised herself that she’d watch Ed with the person she loved.”

Madamba shared how he told Sheeran that he, too, was a musician who also did loops with his voice and guitar like him. He also shared how he hosted and performed for his fan day in the Philippines.

“I let him watch my looping cover of “Tenerife Sea” and listen to me sing during the Divide fan party by Warner. He then asked me if it was Tenerife Sea that I was performing and then told me about how I added a nice melodic riff to my version and how he hasn’t played the song in a while. He even mumbled to himself “I wonder if I should sing this tonight.” To my surprise, he actually sang the song hours later. I found out after the show that according to a website, he’s only sung Tenerife Sea around 27 times out of the almost 136 Divide shows he’s had on this tour. Our talk ended with me asking him to do a gangster pose, a handshake, and me giving him a USB copy of a song I wrote that was inspired by him.

The concert itself was the most memorable part for me because he played ALL my favorite songs and when I didn’t expect him to. It was definitely a dream come true for me.”

What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: does not own any of the photos below. Credits go to Joaqui Madamba. WheninManila also wishes to acknowledge Niña Guno of Inquirer.