A new New York Times article and accompanying video details the story of the making of Ed Sheeran’s “The Shape of You,” which was a #1 hit for 12 weeks running in the United States and currently stands as the most streamed song on Spotify ever.
In the video, the singer and his collaborators — McDaid and new-to-Sheeran producer Steve Mac — recently opened up about the quick, relaxed process that built the biggest hit of the year, “Shape of You.”
After years of working together, McDaid knows how to keep Sheeran focused. “His attention span can be fairly low,” shared Sheeran’s writing partner. “One of the things I did to try and keep him in the room when I would be working on a track, I’d have like a suitcase full of legos I’d pull into the hotel room and say, ‘There you go. You build that.’”
The “moment,” it turns out, was the chorus of “Shape of You.” The idea of this emergency “suitcase of Lego” is quite an image; it may trigger memories of chaotic playdates in grade school. It is also, apparently, central to how the biggest song of this year was written.
And altogether, the cut was penned and produced in 90 minutes flat. As Mac says: “It was the best hour-and-a-half of my life.”
“To follow a trend is a common thing in pop and it’s something I’ve always tried to not do,” Sheeran said, after explaining he was hoping to give the loosely Caribbean-styled song to Rihanna for a duet. “But I was wrong this time, man–it’s one of the biggest songs of my career.” And to think: it was all thanks to some guitar-slapping and a portable coffer full of Legos.
For the full story, and to watch the video, head to NYT.