British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran struggled to find a permanent residence while trying to make it in the business as a teenager, which led to him couch-surfing or sleeping on the streets for two years. The 23-year-old detailed his residency troubles in his new book, entitled A Visual Journey.
The book, which is a detailed account of Sheeran’s climb to fame in the music industry, tells the story of how he was forced to rough it for quite a while after moving to London in search of musical recognition. He says that his issues finding a permanent home began in 2008, and carried their way through all of 2009 and 2010, but says he managed to find a way to make it work in order to keep on searching for his big break. He writes that the reason for being able to always find a place to sleep was mostly based on timing, in that he knew where he could find a bed at some point in the night, even at least a floor to spend the evening on. He attributes this ability to having been social, in that he always tried to make friends that may be able to help him out down the road. The England native also adds that consuming alcohol helped him get through the times when things were rough, as well as aided in making alliances along the way.
The book describes one occasion in which Sheeran was forced to sleep outside after not being able to find a bed anywhere, resulting in a few nights being spent outside the world-famous Buckingham Palace, to which he returned in 2012 in order to perform a show at the celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. He describes the section of the Palace in which he found slumber, which was reportedly an arch containing a heating duct that he found at least a minimal amount of comfort at, at least enough to get through the aforementioned few nights. The experience reportedly sparked the inspiration for his track Homeless, which Sheeran says he penned while residing under said archway.
He also recalls sleeping on trains in London’s Underground tube, giving the reason that doing so resulted in significantly more warmth than the city’s streets, which have a reputation for becoming exceedingly cold throughout most of the year. Although doing such a thing is technically illegal, the Hebden Bridge born singer says he pulled it off by killing time after a gig until the Underground opened for the day at five in the morning, and sleep through the city’s Circle line until noon, upon which time he would re-enter the city in order to attend a music session or the like. Sheeran is in no way bitter about having to go through this experience, although he does express some regret at the state his personal hygiene was reportedly in from not having regular access to washing facilities. He recalls being constantly covered with sweat after a gig and describes his hair as having grown dreadlocks on one side from lack of cleansing.
Further details surrounding Ed Sheeran’s brief period of homelessness and multiple year struggle to make it in the music industry have yet to be revealed. The singer is encouraging fans to purchase his book in order to divulge deeper into the journey he took to get where he is today.
By Rebecca Grace