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By Richard Haugh
With two recorded albums and an established relationship with chart toppers Nizlopi to his name, teenager Ed Sheeran is more experienced than his age would suggest.
It was in the early noughties that Ed's uncle gave him a guitar as a present. Ed had already shown an interest in music, having been a member of a church choir since moving from Halifax to Framlingham, and his new six string gave him a chance to evolve his musical output.
"I was self taught for the first couple of years and then had lessons for about three years," Ed says. "I'm now back to being self taught.
"I'm recording a third album at the moment but am also busy playing about two gigs a week in London."
Ed's hectic workload is being overseen by a management company in London which also looks after Sugababes and Brendan Benson.
"I did a gig at the Norwich Arts Centre about a year ago and someone at Access For Music put me in contact with Jono at Crown Music Management.
"They'll organise a week of recording and when I'm in London they'll organise gigs there as well.
"The gigs have been fantastic - I love performing and the atmosphere that comes with it. My live set up is me, my guitar and a Boss loop station so I loop and sample beats and stuff."
Damien Rice (who Ed is influenced by) and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly (who is name checked in I Never Fell) prove there's a strong demand for singer/songwriters at the moment.
But what will make Ed stand out from the crowd?
"The blend of acoustic music, folk and hip hop beats? Maybe the age? I've got ginger hair which may set me apart - I don't know!"
Ed performing live
But regardless of knowing what sets him apart, Ed is already impressing the right people. In April 2008 he was asked to play a gig with Nizopli, who shot to fame in 2005 with their number one hit The JCB Song.
"Nizlopi are my main influence. I started off being their guitar tech last summer and did two tours with them, setting up their equipment and stuff. They were on tour again and asked me to open up for them in Norwich, which was brilliant.
"I went down really well and sold 20 CDs at the gig - which was very, very good. The crowd seemed to like it."
Fine juggling act
Ed balances his budding music career with studying for A Levels at Thomas Mills High School.
"The education is good but it often clashes with the music. Sometimes I have to take two or three weeks off for recording or for gigs, and often get back really late and go to school the next morning."
And if this wasn't enough, he's also got an eye on a future career in acting.
"I auditioned for the National Youth Music Theatre and National Youth Theatre last year (2007) and ended up getting in, and through that got really passionate for acting and have been auditioning for stuff lately.
"I'm very busy with the music thing at the moment but would like to get into that world eventually."
last updated: 22/04/2008 at 17:30
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