Ed Sheeran didn’t deal with fame well during the early days of his career.
The British singer-songwriter started recording music in 2004, and rose to prominence with his 2010 single The A Team, before going on to release three hit albums including 2017’s ÷ (divide).
But during an interview with U.K. radio show BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs on Sunday (07May17), Sheeran admitted that he found his quick rise to celebrity status to be very difficult.
“I don’t think I did deal very well with it,” he told the programme’s presenter Kirsty Young. “It’s a weird thing, playing a venue like Wembley Stadium with 87,000 people and walking off to sit in a dressing room with nothing but an air conditioning sound, you don’t really know how to come down from there.
“At Wembley, I had my friends and family, but on tour, I will admit I did lose myself for a bit… You can’t really not go mental in that setting.”
The 26-year-old then went on to credit his family and friends for keeping him grounded in the face of his success.
“I have about 12 really close schoolmates that have been in the same group since we were about 11 and that has been a constant thread of sanity, so now I employ four of them to work on my tour,” said Sheeran, adding that he once received a harsh reality check from one of his cousins.
“It was my cousin, actually (who told me to stop partying). He worked on the tour, and basically said he was leaving if it didn’t calm down.”
The Shape of You hitmaker also revealed during the interview that he uses songwriting as a form of therapy.
“I think any time I’ve ever got down or ever felt low the one thing that picks me up from that is writing a song about it because at least you’ve got a positive experience out of a bad experience,” he shared.