Ed Sheeran is thinking out loud and sharing how he really feels about award shows.
During a recent interview with Audacy's Julia, the 30-year-old singer was asked to share something people might not know about these star-studded events. "The room is filled with resentment and hatred towards everyone else," he replied, "and it's quite an uncomfortable atmosphere."
Sheeran seemed to suggest that award shows are different outside the U.K.
"In England, our award shows are just, like, everyone gets drunk and no one really cares who wins or loses," he explained. "It's just sort of, like, a good night out. The first time I went to the VMAs—and all the artists are sweet people, but they're, like, surrounded by entourages that want them to win, too. So, you have one artist surrounded by 10 people, another artist surrounded by 10 people, and everyone, kind of, like, is, you know, giving each other the side-eye going, 'Well, I want to win. I want to win.' It's a really horrible atmosphere to be in there. So, yeah, I always walk away feeling really sad, and I don't like it."
But what about the after-parties? Are those any better? "No, because the after-parties, again, are filled with, you know, it's not just musicians," he continued. "It's musicians, all their entourages, and then you've got influencers and blah, blah, blah."
The "Shape of You" star then recalled one particular soirée that took place after he hosted the 2015 MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs).
"There was a dance party that was happening, and I was like, 'I don't want to go. I don't want to have my entourage and then other people's entourages,'" he shared. "Because I was hosting, I met all the artists, and I said to all of them, 'Look, I've rented the top floor of this hotel. You can come with one mate but don't bring any entourage.' And it was like [Justin] Bieber came with one person, Duran Duran came just as the band Macklemore came with one person, and it was just a good atmosphere. It was really, really nice. Everyone had fun, everyone was drinking beers, playing pool, and it wasn't like who's bigger than who and who won the awards that night."
In fact, Sheeran had such a good time that he tried to recreate this vibe after last weekend's MTV Video Music Awards in Brooklyn, New York. "I just rented the dive bar in Brooklyn and Camila [Cabello] and Shawn [Mendes] came down, Jack Harlow came down," he said. "It was cool."
Make no mistake: Sheeran, who was up for three VMAs this year and has taken home two Moonperson trophies in the past, said "it's an honor to be nominated for those things." However, he's not a fan of the sense of competition.
"[There's] five nominations for, like, Video of the Year. So, that's someone being like, 'Your video was one of five amazing videos this year.' And do you know how many videos are made?" Sheeran, who was one of six artists nominated in this category this year, added. "So, I'm just kind of happy to be there, and I hate that people kind of walk away from there feeling sad. And people get the same feelings as me at those award shows. You know, I spoke to people and they're like, 'I just felt really depressed afterwards. Like, the atmosphere's just not nice.'"
To be clear, the four-time Grammy winner doesn't blame anyone in particular. "It's nothing to do with MTV or the award show. It's at every other award show: The Billboards, the Grammys…AMAs," he said. "It's just lots of people wanting other people to fail and I don't like that."