Ed Sheeran is the musical magician every man everyone can relate to.
His melodies are guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart and his lyrics speak to a generation of slightly anxious, mixed-up teens.
The one that means the most to me is this lion – and it’s the one I got the most stick for. The reason I got the lion was for Wembley.
It was the biggest achievement that I’d done. I get one every time there’s something that I’m proud of or I want to remember.
After a whirlwind couple of year though, Sheeran took a well-publicised year out, six months of which he spent writing Divide and six months of which he spent travelling.
Like most young people, he picked up a few more tattoos along the journey, one of which might make you cringe as you remember misspent summers in Magaluf. That’s right. Ed Sheeran got a ‘Ladz on tour’ tattoo. And no. The ‘z’ isn’t a typo.
The platinum-selling artist explained his ink simply, saying, ‘I got this one here which says ‘Ladz on tour’… because I got it with a bunch of lads on tour’… Fair enough.
While touring in Japan, Sheeran also got the obligatory kanji symbol.
The self-depreciating musician joked:
This was the first time I played in Japan so I got a Japanese symbol. I think I know what it means but it might mean Yo! Sushi or something.
He also got inked in Australia with a temple-like building that may be a reference to Gaudi architecture… Or maybe it’s the Castle in the Sky… But on his side.
The latest addition to his colourful almost-body suit of ink is this tiny broken heart.
Cue the swooning of women everywhere.
The hilarious interview proves 25-year-old Sheeran loves his ink and doesn’t give a fuck what you think.
He said of his haters, ‘They go; ‘Well, what about when you’re an old man?’ Well, I think I’ll look fucking cool when I’m old.’
To him, as with many of us obsessed with ink, they serve as markers of successes, sadness overcome and momentous moments in his life and career, which he can carry with him on the skin he walks in for the rest of his life.
But sadly, they’ve made him look a little like ‘a melted crayon’ – his words, not mine.
The colourful cartoon aesthetic Sheeran opted for – an homage to ‘his 8-year-old self’ – does look a little like Jeff Koons has vomited all over his body – but, you know what?
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.