Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stranger No More: Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran Brings His A-Game

Every now and then The Inky Jukebox comes across an artist she’s never heard of before, rather like the Brazilian pilots spotting an uncontacted tribe. You think: wow, we’re exploring space to see if we can find anyone out there, yet there are still people to be discovered right here. OK, it’s nothing like that, but you get the point.

Very little music extends past its known world either. You have to be an awfully big act to have an international tour, and many smaller artists, if they do go overseas, can only play very small venues in large markets. Therefore, a lot of really great music is missed by most people. Sometimes this disconnect is mystifying —when a musician who has hit the superstar level in one part of the world but is still unheard of in another despite every effort to bring that person to the masses.

Robbie Williams, for example, is such a superstar in Europe but has never really broken the American market for reasons that remain truly incomprehensible. The Inky Jukebox had never heard music by Journey or Boston before coming to the US in the 1980s. It was simply not played on British radio.

This is what an audience of 100,000 people looks like. 
See how they echo every word; they even sing the chorus without waiting for him, and get this: 
they are so loud the stage mics pick it up clearly.

Facebook and YouTube has changed all of this, however, because one can share music easily with friends everywhere. One such gem appeared to The Inky Jukebox recently; a guy who is clearly developing a large following in the UK but is unknown here. We think it’s about time you did hear of him, so like a photographer snapping pics of those Brazilian tribespeople from thousands of feet in the air, we give you: Ed Sheeran.

“Wayfaring Stranger” has always been a gospel standard, and he does it beautifully. The Inky Jukebox loves videos that show the actual recording of a song, and this one is particularly interesting in that it reveals how he uses two mics to record at the same time.

His new single, “The A Team” and its accompanying video takes a rather harsh and honest look at a life lived on the streets but the sweetness of the vocal belies its edge and lends it an honor, of sorts.

If you like this, then you will certainly like that you can get his EP for FREE which includes “Wayfaring Stranger” and a track called “UNI” which features some wicked fast rap that is nothing like American style rap. Check it out and download your free EP at his website.

Here's some more. It is a distinctly British street sound. As opposed to a Detroit street sound. Stick with this one to hear how a white boy can turn into a genuine Jamaican imperceptibly. Go on: we dare you. 

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