Having famous friends really does help. Just ask Ed Sheeran.
Ahead of his Asian tour, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter turned to some very special pals for travel tips.
"I got in touch with Taylor about Manila, because it was bonkers so I wanted to know whether it was the same (for her)," the Brit said in an interview with media hours before his sold-out show at The Star Theatre yesterday.
"Harry texted me about Singapore because I thought we were going to be here at the same time."
In case you are wondering, he is talking about Taylor Swift - who has had two concerts here - and Harry Styles, who was here on Wednesday with a little group called One Direction.
Besides being a solo star since his first big international hit, The A Team, four years ago, Sheeran has also become a hit-maker for others.
With Swift, he co-wrote the song Everything Has Changed and he has penned several tracks for One Direction, including the chart-topping Little Things.
He has picked up other famous friends and fans like singers Elton John, Demi Lovato, rapper The Game and music producer Pharrell, who made an appearance in Sheeran's video for Sing.
He is still something of a fanboy. One of the tattoos on his right arm is of a phrase ("kool guy") singer John Mayer wrote on him during a TV show.
"I drew a cat on him," said Sheeran.
Not bad for a musician who did not rely on reality TV show for fame.
Sheeran struck out on his own at the age of 14, releasing six independent EPs before hitting the big time.
Not an easy journey. Previously, he has talked about being "without a bed some nights" while he was gigging around the UK. He even slept outside Buckingham Palace.
The affable ginger-haired singer is down-to-earth when asked about presents, relationships and girls.
For his birthday in February, the gifts that stood out for him were the ones that were most personal.
"My parents made me a photo album, from the ages of zero to 10. That was nice," he said.
"I got a book with a message from all of my closest friends... That was legit."
Sheeran has reportedly been in a relationship with Greek beauty, Athina Andrelos, 24, for about a year so there were some questions over the possibility of wedding bells.
He presented a refreshingly sensible answer when asked how he would propose to a girl.
"I think if you have to spend money to make the proposal good, then you're marrying the wrong person," he said.
His pragmatism extends to what he looks for in a significant other.
"A sense of humour, and eyes," he offered, before adding an explanation.
"If you notice, old people, they have old skin but they don't have old eyes.
"If you've found someone with wicked eyes, they're going to have wicked eyes their whole life.
"If you've found someone with a wicked sense of humour, they're going to have that for the rest of their life."
Sheeran concluded his lesson on love and life with a somewhat cautionary note.
"If you go for big (boobs) and bum, then, fantastic, but they're not going to always have that.
"They're going to sag and go flat, and then you're stuck."
Wise words, Ed. Wise words.
This article was first published on March 15, 2015.
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