Ed Sheeran’s new collaborations album began with the idea of creating his own Lady Marmalade-style track with Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber.
The British singer’s next release will be the No.6 Collaborations Project, which features new songs with a variety of different artists, but it all began with Sheeran wanting to emulate the star power of the hit 2008 cover from the movie musical Moulin Rouge!, which featured Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil’ Kim, and Mya on vocals.
“This project actually started with one idea I had, which was, you remember Lady Marmalade, right?” he asked U.S. media personality Charlamagne Tha God in an interview for Sheeran’s YouTube channel.
“This is such a silly idea, but I had an idea of doing that, and I was like, ‘Ah, you could get Bruno, Bieber, and me on a record. How fun would that be?'”
However, it was Mars who convinced Sheeran to start with one collaboration at a time.
“The first person I rung (sic) was Bruno and he was just like, ‘I mean, let’s just do a song together, just us,’ and that’s how it happened,” Sheeran shared. “So then I did a song with Bruno, I did a song with Bieber. These individual songs started happening and then it just turned into a project. It was a really great experience putting the record together.”
The Shape of You hitmaker admits he had really missed hitting the studio with other artists just for fun, like he had done for his No.5 Collaborations Project EP back in 2011, before he landed a record deal, as he has been so focused on his solo work in recent years.
The musician said, “I’ve kinda gone through life being like, ‘I wish I could work with them, I wish I could work with them,’ and it was when I did the Beyonce/Andrea Bocelli (2017 duets) and I had both of them on the Perfect single, I kinda started a thing on my laptop, just saying, ‘No.6 Collaborations,’ and (when) I was on tour all of last year, anytime I met anyone that I’d been a fan of…, it was the first time I’d been able to be like, ‘Let’s get in the studio,’ but not so much just to make a song, but more for me.”
Sheeran has yet to reveal the full list of featured artists on the No.6 Collaborations Project, which is set for release on July 12, 2019, but he has dropped two singles from the album to date – I Don’t Care with Justin Bieber, and Cross Me with hip-hop stars Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock.