Ed Sheeran has said he learnt how to be a mentor to other artists from the founder of his former label, Sir Elton John.
The singer-songwriter was signed to Sir Elton’s management company Rocket Music in 2011 and left amicably in 2018 when Sheeran’s manager, Stuart Camp, went independent.
Sheeran and Sir Elton have performed together on multiple occasions, including the Grammy Awards and recently they covered his classic Tiny Dancer on Instagram with singer Brandi Carlile and Friends actress Courteney Cox in a serenade to fellow cast member Lisa Kudrow.
Sheeran told ITV’s Lorraine about his difficulties trying to navigate the music industry in his first couple of years, and said he now enjoys being able to help support and give advice to new artists.
Sheeran said: “I sort of learnt it from the guy I was signed to for my management, Elton John.
“Sometimes older artists can get a bit jaded when new artists come through, and they go, ‘Oh my God, there’s this new artist and they’re doing better than me!’”
“You can let yourself get jaded or you can actually just put your arm around the person and be like, ‘Hey, anything you need, any advice, I’m here to call. Not even just on a business sense, just on a personal sense.”
Sheeran released his first solo single in four years, Bad Habits, on June 25, and his fifth studio album is expected later this year.
He described the album as “coming of age” with a very different sound, a reflection of his changing circumstances in the last year.
He added: “I had a really close friend pass away last year and I went through grief for the first time properly and I became a dad and turned 30 all in the same period of time, and the album is a sort of reflection of coming to terms with all of that.”
Sheeran also revealed how long it took him to rehearse the famous Friends dance routine that he and Cox performed on Instagram, explaining that he often stays with her in Los Angeles as he is a close friend of Cox and her partner, Snow Patrol member Johnny McDaid, and set the couple up nine years ago.
Sheeran said: “I arrived at her house the night the reunion was being shown and it finished and she said, ‘Do you know what? People really want the routine, we should really do the routine!’ And I was like, ‘What, me?’ I felt honoured that she wanted to do such a big moment from the show.
“She put it on her TV and we learnt it over the course of about an hour, drinking wine. And the next evening we did it.”
Sheeran and wife Cherry Seaborn, a long-term friend from his hometown of Suffolk, welcomed their daughter Lyra Antarctica in September 2020.
He explained the inspiration for his daughter’s name came from wanting to make it unique, and Antarctica was influenced by a trip the couple took to the continent in 2019, saying they thought it was the “most amazing place on Earth”.
ITV’s Lorraine is on weekdays at 9am on ITV and ITV Hub.