Ed Sheeran was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire before moving to Framlingham, Suffolk. In his time in Suffolk, he was known to have flourished as a hidden talent when it came to music. He learned guitar at a very young age, and began writing songs during his time at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham. By the time Sheeran had left school, he was already certain that music was going to play a major part in his life, and therefore studied at Access To Music in Norwich before moving to London which improved his chances of getting gigs.
Sheeran began recording in 2005, which lead to the release of his first EP, The Orange Room EP. Sheeran also released two albums, a self titled one in 2006 and Want Some? in 2007 gaining little attention. After Sheeran moved to London and had done extensive gigging, performing songs from his EP and albums, as well as ones which he had recently written, he decided to release another EP, You Need Me in late 2009.
However, it wasn't until February 2010 that Sheeran began to get noticed after he posted a video through SB.tv displaying his diverse style. This video led to mainstream rapper Example asking Sheeran to tour with him. Throughout 2010, Sheeran began to be seen by more and more people over the internet through Youtube and his fan-base grew incredibly, with him also getting credit from The Independent newspaper, England football captain Rio Ferdinand and even Elton John. Sheeran released three EP's in 2010, Loose Change, which features one of his most known songs, "The A Team", Songs I Wrote With Amy, and Ed Sheeran: Live at the Bedford, a live EP recorded in October. During the year, Sheeran also went to the US, where he was discovered by international superstar Jamie Foxx, who asked Sheeran to perform on his radio show, which gained him some fans in the US. By the end of the year, Sheeran was seen to be one of the best unsigned artists in the country.
On 9 January 2011, Sheeran released his final independent EP, No.5 Collaborations Project featuring appearances by grime artists including Wiley, Jme, Devlin and Ghetts. With this EP, Sheeran gained mainstream attention for reaching number 2 in the iTunes chart, without any promotion or label. He was listed as a 'special guest' on Devlin's 2011 'Bud, Sweat and Beers' mini tour alongside Griminal and Tinchy Stryder. Songfacts reports that after signing for Atlantic Records in January 2011 "The A Team" was released as the first single from his debut album on June 12, 2011.