Ed Sheeran is gearing up to unleash his No. 6 Collaborations Project, 15 tracks where the Brit will team up with the artists he’s long been a fan of. Ahead of the effort’s July 12 release, Sheeran sat down for an interview with radio host Charlamagne Tha God at his house in Suffolk to discuss his love for collaborating, and what to expect from the project.
“With this record, I kind of want to put it out, and then run from it. I don’t see it as the next stage of my career, it’s just something I made and I want to put out,” the “Shape of You” singer explained of the project’s origin. “For me, this is a compilation album of artists that I’m a fan of.”
CTG then poked fun at Sheeran by saying that if a particular artist didn’t make the cut here, then he wasn’t really a fan of them. “It was all very, very natural,” Sheeran responded. “The last thing I wanted to do was kind of have the label be like, ‘You need to work with this person.’ My rule for it was if I have it and I play it in my car, I’m working with them. There’s lots of artists that are huge and I could’ve worked with, which would’ve made no sense to me.”
The 28-year-old drew on an unlikely source of inspiration in Christina Aguilera‘s girl power “Lady Marmalade” megacollab that led to him working with Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars. “This project actually started with one idea I had. You remember ‘Lady Marmalade?’ I had an idea of doing that,” he shared. “I was like, “Oh, you can get Bruno, Bieber, and me on a record. How fun would that be?’ The first person I rung was Bruno. He was just like, ‘Let’s just do a song. Just us.'”
Watch the entire interview below. No. 6 Collaborations Project releases July 12.