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Ed Sheeran's 'childhood hero' says his own Irish heritage influenced his songwriting

Ed says he owes his career to Luke.

FROM ERIC CLAPTON to Damien Rice, Ed Sheeran has always been vocal about the greatest inspirations in his life.

Indeed, he once called Nizlopi frontman, Luke Concannon, his ‘childhood hero’, saying he owed much of his career to the JCB singer.

Source: trampolineman124/YouTube

And with Ed having often spoken of the impact his Irish roots have had on his career, it’s perhaps no surprise that Luke can attest the same of himself.

Speaking on the Love and Courage podcast, Luke elaborated on the effect his Irish heritage has had on his outlook on life.

Both my grandparents lived a hard, working-class life, and I remember that soaking into me. Why is it hard? Why do people have to work this hard, and be so stressed?”
I think having a foot in both worlds – in England and in Irish culture, in a working-class world and a middle-class world – created some tension that had to be resolved.

Trips to Ireland helped to frame Luke’s position as a songwriter, with the singer saying: “People talk about the Irish being mad. But nature is wild, and does do unpredictable things – and I think that’s where a lot of the possibilities in art come from.”

There’s something about taking those wild risks that I think is there in Irish culture. It gave me a sense of belonging that was so refreshing whilst growing up in the middle of England, where the land is very tamed, and it’s literally TV nation.
In contrast, he saw Ireland as untamed in many ways.
There was this sense of from-the-heart-ness and gentleness, and wildness – and craic. There was fun, and music.

While cognisant of the impact Nizlopi had on both industry insiders and music fans alike, Luke acknowledges that the demise of the band in 2010 came in much the same way it does for other folk acts.

We inspired the young Ed Sheeran, Daniel Day Lewis was a fan, Tony Benn wrote me a letter wishing me luck with the politics of the songwriting.

“We did amazing things from this little independent community. But then we burnt out, as happens with a lot of folk who go out on a limb that,” he added.

Take a look at what Ed had to say about Luke…

Source: One25TV/YouTube

About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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