The singer also addressed his copyright lawsuit.
Ed Sheeran is thankful for his friendship with Taylor Swift. In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, the 32-year-old singer opened up about how his friendship with the pop star is like "therapy."
"I have long, long, long conversations with Taylor about stuff just because I feel like she's one of the only people that actually truly understands where I'm at," Sheeran said, adding that he recently spoke to Swift for more than an hour on the phone.
"Everything that was on our minds we talked about. I mean that in itself is kind of therapy as well, because you're actually talking to someone that genuinely gets it," he said. "That has all the things that you feel and have insecurities about and how other people treat you or how your family treat you, how your friends treat you, she's just basically in the same sphere."
Sheeran has been leaning on his supporters as of late, amid his copyright trial in New York. The singer won the case on Thursday, with a jury ruling that he did not copy Marvin Gaye's 1973 hit, "Let's Get It On," on his 2014 song, "Thinking Out Loud." Sheeran's chat with Lowe came ahead of the verdict, but the singer reflected on the case all the same.
"There's something very freeing about just being honest. What's the worst thing that can happen? This is the thing, even with the lawsuit stuff. When people are like, 'Don't talk about it, don't talk about it,' I'm like, 'Why? What do you think my opinion is? This is my opinion,'" he said. "Obviously, I'm f**king fighting it."
"I think artists, we're expected to [have] this sheen and this perfect thing and never have struggle," Sheeran added. "'Why would you ever have struggles? You are not a human being.' It's a thing that's expected, and it's a thing that I've played into over the last 13 years of my career, of just being like, keep calm and shut up, and just get on stage, sing the songs."
During the interview, Sheeran also said that he would "never" pursue litigation if he was on the other side of a case.
"I would just never do it. I'd just never do it. I feel like if people felt that they had would come to me... and I've cleared songs for people that have come," he said. "... The thing with these cases, it's not usually songwriters that are suing songwriters... I feel like in the songwriting community, everyone sort of knows that there's four chords primarily that are used and there's eight notes. We work with what we've got, with doing that."
"I've even gone to artists to clear songs," Sheeran noted. "I had a song that I wrote for Keith Urban and it sort of sounded like a Coldplay song. So I emailed Chris Martin and I said, 'This sounds like your tune. Can we clear it?'... He was just like, 'Nah, I know how songs are written. And I know you didn't go into the studio and go, "I want to write this."'
As for his upcoming album, - (Subtract), Sheeran told Lowe that it's his "most uncomfortable" record to date, largely because it deals with grief.
"Your life can fit around grief," said Sheeran, whose best friend, Jamal Edwards, died in 2022. "You don't have to get over anything. I will never, ever, ever get over Jamal dying at 31. I don't want to. I don't feel like I have to. I feel like, if I want to cry, I can cry."
While Sheeran said he's "always had ups and downs and struggles," his latest album is the first time he's publicly sharing as much.
"I've never spoken about it…. You can listen across my albums, it's there. But I hate the idea of it being sad pop star because no one wants to hear that," he said. "No one wants to hear someone that has had success in their field who, from the outside looking in, everything's great. No one wants to hear someone go, 'Well, actually, it's not.'"
"This is why I started therapy, because I live a very, very privileged life. I've made money over the years, and I have all these things. Whenever I would say to my friends, last year, this was happening, they would always point out all the good things in my life. And that's great. But money doesn't buy back your friend who's died. It just doesn't, and it doesn't make it better," Sheeran added. "Steve Jobs was the richest guy on earth, and he died from cancer. It doesn't just fix things. I hate talking about it because everyone goes, 'Well, it does, actually. It does this, this, and this.' But there's just certain things it doesn't."
- is due out Friday, May 5.