Atlanta - Up Close & Personal with Ed Sheeran

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Atlanta Chapter

  • Photo courtesy of Recording Academy®/Wireimage.com/Photographed by Marcus Ingram
    GRAMMY Award winner Ed Sheeran shares his story with Ed Roland and the attendees.
  • Photo courtesy of Recording Academy®/Wireimage.com/Photographed by Marcus Ingram
    BMI's David Claasen and Ed Sheeran
  • Photo courtesy of Recording Academy®/Wireimage.com/Photographed by Marcus Ingram
    Ed Sheeran and Ed Roland.
  • Photo courtesy of Recording Academy®/Wireimage.com/Photographed by Marcus Ingram
    GRAMMY U members, Courtney Miller, Rachel Baldwin(Six Step Records) and Rebekah Baldwin(Kobalt Music Publishing)
  • Photo courtesy of Recording Academy®/Wireimage.com/Photographed by Marcus Ingram
    GRAMMY Award winners Lecrae Moore and Ed Sheeran.
  • Photo courtesy of Recording Academy®/Wireimage.com/Photographed by Marcus Ingram
    The member attendees listen as Ed Sheeran speaks about what inspires him in his songwriting process.
  • Photo courtesy of Recording Academy®/Wireimage.com/Photographed by Marcus Ingram
    Sheeran performs from his current album.

On Wednesday night, August 23, 2017, The Vista Room in Decatur was buzzing with energy. Recording Academy Atlanta members were treated to an Up Close and Personal event with one of the biggest names in music today….GRAMMY Award winner, Ed Sheeran. Michele Caplinger, Senior Executive Director Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter, kicked off the evening with a heartfelt thank you to the event’s sponsors: City National Bank, Sean O’Keefe Events, SESAC, and The Vista Room. Ed Roland, lead singer of Collective Soul and The Sweet Tea Project, led the discussion with Sheeran, and quickly opened the floor up to questions from the audience. Sheeran discussed his approach to songwriting at length, divulging that he often writes 4-5 songs per day. He said that he always finishes a song, even when he doesn’t think it’s good, because it “clears the pipes.” Sheeran wrote his first song at age 11, called “Typical, Average Teen,” but it wasn’t until “Perfect,” off his latest album, Divide, that he finally felt like he got it right. He 100% wrote and produced the record and said that of all his work it feels like the best representation of who he is. Sheeran may be a pop superstar, but he very much has his roots in the singer-songwriter genre. He cited The Beatles, Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell as influences, and said discovering Damien Rice at age 12 was what set him on his course. The singer has had the opportunity to work with many of his idols, including James Blunt who is supporting Sheeran on his current tour. Sheeran said that it’s always surreal to work with other musicians whom you admire, but the artist he was most in awe of- both on and off stage- was Beyonce, who he’s performed with twice. Sheeran was eager to keep taking questions from the audience, offering to stay as long as people were enjoying themselves. Guests were eager to get advice from the superstar singer. Sheeran stressed how important it is to have faith in yourself, explaining that no one else will until you start seeing success. He also stated that success comes more from hard work than it does talent. He claims he didn’t have a good voice when he started out, but after playing up to 3 open mics a night, and practicing for hours he developed the skill. Sheeran also recommended that those on the business side of the industry find something they’re passionate about and then take a chance. Sheeran ended the night by delighting guests with a surprise performance of 4 songs off his latest album- “Shape Of You,” “Castle On The Hill,” “Super Market Flowers,” and the aforementioned “Perfect.”

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The Recording Academy is the preeminent organization for musicians, producers, engineers and other music professionals. Our mission is to advance artistic and technical excellence, work to ensure a vital and free creative environment, and act as an advocate on behalf of music and its makers.

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Chapter Information


Senior Executive Director
Michele Rhea Caplinger


President - Tai Anderson

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