“Ed is super-intelligent and he’s savvier than just about anyone I’ve ever met,” says OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, whose hits include Beyonce’s Halo and Adele’s Rumour Has It.
“He’s just laser-focused.”
Together, Tedder and Sheeran wrote more than two dozen songs during the ÷ (Divide) sessions.
“We’ll do, like, 15 or 16 in a day,” says Sheeran. “We might do one finished song, and then we’ll put loads of ideas down – because we’ve got so many ideas, it doesn’t make sense to spend five hours working on just one.”
While the album contains only one of those songs, a ballad called Happier, Tedder isn’t worried.
“I have all these voice notes of different songs with him that, if I was smart, I would be pitching to Justin Bieber,” he laughs.
The singer frames Sheeran’s success in the context of Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that genius takes at least 10,000 hours of hard work.
He says: “Ed said to me, ‘Look, all things considered, you and I both know people that are more talented than us, but you know what they say about 10,000 hours? How many guys do you know that have put in 30,000?’
“There aren’t a lot of us. We both are obsessed.”