Neil Bedford for Clash MagazineEd Sheeran recently released his third album, but he says he already knows what he’ll be doing on his fourth album. He even knows that people won’t like it as much — and that’s all part of his master plan.
Speaking to Clash magazine, Ed says he’s got a five-album plan based on what Bruce Springsteen did in the early 1980s. Springsteen released the successful album The River in 1980, but then followed it up with the stripped-down, less successful Nebraska in 1982. He followed that up with the multi-platinum blockbuster Born in the U.S.A. in 1984.
So, just like Bruce, Ed says he’ll follow up his current smash third album ÷ (Divide) with his own version of Nebraska — a lo-fi, less commercial release. “I know people will like it, but I don’t think it will sell as much as the last three, and that’s the kind of intention,” he tells Clash.
According to Ed, the fourth album will slow down his career a bit, and then he’ll come roaring back with a super-successful fifth album.
But no matter what he releases, Ed says he’ll continue to relentlessly promote his music…unlike some artists who drop surprise albums with no promotion.
“All the biggest artists I know still do [promo],” he says, citing his pal Taylor Swift as an example. “Whenever she releases an album, all the…radio stations in America get a signed plaque dedicated to them…and she will meet and greet them and remember all their names.”
“…Some artists just don’t…do it at all…- and it still works for them,” he adds. “But eventually, when the day arrives that it doesn’t work, the radio will just stop playing them because there’s no loyalty or love there.”