‘X’ (pronounced ‘Multiply’) is singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s second studio album. The lead single ‘Sing’ – released as a digital download in April 2014 – became the Englishman’s first UK number one single.
He worked with a handful of hit-making producers such as Pharrell, Benny Blanco, Jeff Bhasker and Rick Rubin to craft a broader, more radio-friendly sound.
As a result, ‘X’ is funkier than his folksy debut album, which sold more than 800,000 units and earned him a couple of Grammy nominations.
“Yeah, I think I was stretching out on this album more than before, just because I had the opportunity to,” said Sheeran. “Like before I made it pretty much in a shed in the middle of a field with the same dudes. And this one I made all over the world with different people. It’s weird, because they’re more polished producers, but it’s a more raw sound. So I think it’s brought an element of rawness to it.”
Though Sheeran presents a sweet – almost innocent – image, the 23-year-old has been voted one of the ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ by People magazine.
Modest Sheeran admits he is simply confused by the honour.
“It doesn’t do anything for my confidence,” he said. “It doesn’t really make sense to me and it doesn’t make sense to a lot of other people. But, you know, people voted and I’m in there and the voters are there and I guess there’s no going back.”
‘X’ is out worldwide now. Ed Sheeran will be on tour this summer to promote his new album.