The "Shape of You" singer also touched on the death of his best friend and his copyright infringement case while announcing his fifth album.
Ed Sheeran is opening up about an unfortunate series of events that inspired his new album.
In a statement shared to Instagram, the 32-year-old "Perfect" singer announced that his fifth studio album, "-" (Subtract) will be his most personal project to date as it was written during some of the most difficult times in his life.
"I had been working on Subtract for a decade, trying to sculpt the perfect acoustic album, writing and recording hundreds of songs with a clear vision of what I thought it should be," Sheeran began. "Then at the start of 2022, a series of events changed my life, my mental health, and ultimately the way I viewed music and art."
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Though the four-time Grammy winner has previously shared these struggles on Instagram, he hasn't opened up about the details behind the events until now. Some of them include his copyright infringement case for his song "Shape of You," the death of his best friend Jamal Edwards and his wife's health scare during her second pregnancy.
"Within the space of a month, my pregnant wife got told she had a tumour, with no route to treatment until after the birth," Sheeran divulged. His wife Cherry Seaborn gave birth to Jupiter Seaborn Sheeran in July, the couple also share their 2-year-old daughter Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran.
"My best friend Jamal, a brother to me, died suddenly, and I found myself standing in court defending my integrity and career as a songwriter," he continued. "I was spiralling through fear, depression and anxiety. I felt like I was drowning, head below the surface, looking up but not being able to break through for air."
Ed explained that songwriting has become his "therapy" and helps him "make sense of my feelings," and the recent events inspired him to rewrite his new album to reflect his experiences.
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"I wrote without thought of what the songs would be, I just wrote whatever tumbled out, and in just over a week, I replaced a decade's worth of work with my deepest darkest thoughts," he said.
"As an artist I didn't feel like I could credibly put a body of work into the world that didn't accurately represent where I am and how I need to express myself at this point in my life," Sheeran further elaborated. "This album is purely that. It's opening the trapdoor into my soul. For the first time I'm not trying to craft an album people will like. I'm merely putting something out that's honest and true to where I am in my adult life."
"This is last February's diary entry and my way of making sense of it. This is Subtract," he concluded.
"-" (Subtract) will be the last album in his mathematical era. It first began in 2011 with his debut album "+" (Plus) and has grown to include "x" (Multiply), "÷" (Divide) and "=" (Equals).
"-" (Subtract) will be released on May 5.