British singer songwriter Ed Sheeran’s debut album, + (that’s pronounced PLUS), hit U.S. record stores today, with his single “The A Team” leading it off. He may not yet be a household name here but Sheeran has picked up breakthrough artist accolades in the form of BRIT Awards and Q Awards across the pond. He’s also got endorsements from fellow stars Taylor Swift and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction.
Recently, Sheeran talked to Alice@97.3/San Francisco about the real life story behind his track “The A-Team”.
Sheeran explained that his inspiration behind the song came from an experience volunteering at a homeless charity during the holidays. The temporary shelter was set up in East London to house the homeless and provide health and lifestyle services, like Ed playing tunes for the residents. While there he saw signs posted all over that said “Angel’s Rules.” The people explained that there was a woman, named Angel, who had been trouble until they made her the unofficial sheriff of the shelter. She could make the rules as long as she followed them.
Sheeran reminisced, “She was actually a big Guns N’ Roses fan and made me play ‘Sweet Child O Mine’ like six times. I had a chat with her and a sit down.”
After finishing the gig, one his friends and fellow volunteers explained that at the end of the holiday season the shelter would close and described to Sheeran what life was like for people of the shelter like Angel.
“I was 18 at the time. Lived away from home for about two years but I had never really seen the dark underbelly of London.” Ed continued, “It was a bit of a wake up call to me. I wrote this song for Angel.”
-Bradford Hornsby, Alice@97.3/San Francisco