Ed Sheeran began his tattoo sleeve at the age of 18 with a paw print on his forearm. Since the launch of his career, he has been marking his touring achievements by getting new tattoos in the cities he visits.

Sheeran recently sat down with 92.3 NOW/New York to tell the story behind some of his tattoos, touring, and writing for One Direction.

“It’s all memories of what’s happened in my career so far. It might look like gibberish to you,” Sheeran said.

With a total of 27 tattoos, Sheeran shared the rundown of some of his most prominent tats. His tattoo of Puss In Boots is from a Shrek reference in his song “Wake Me Up,” a maple leaf is from his first trip to Canada. He also has a drawing by his idol Damien Rice and the word RED for Taylor Swift ‘s RED tour. The most recent addition to his sleeve is a kiwi bird he got in New Zealand.

Before Sheeran shared the stage and collaborated with Swift, he hung out with boy band One Direction. He explained how their friendship developed.

“I’ve been hanging out with them probably about six months before everything went nuts with them in England,” he said. “That was probably a year before everything went nuts for them in America and they were just looking for songs. I had a demo tape of lots of songs I was shipping around to publishers to get them on other people’s records.”

Sheeran recently moved to a city full of demo tapes and talented musicians: Nashville, Tennessee. It’s also where tourmate Swift calls home.

“Her dad was actually one of the main people that hooked up the house for us, which is cool,” Sheeran said.

Once the RED tour comes to a close in September, Sheeran will head back to the studio to record new music.

“I’ve just come off my own tour. I had a two year tour of mine. I think it’s going to be healthy to step back and make another album after the RED tour,” he said.

-Maria Bonello, 92.3 NOW/NYC


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