Ed Sheeran gave a taste of his The Late Late Show residency last week when he showed up a bit early, but last night, his week-long stay officially kicked off. Aside from interviews and comedy bits, he’s set to perform some songs during his visit, and he got things started last night by giving his new single “Bad Habits” its television debut. Sheeran doesn’t typically perform with a backing band, but he did this time, enlisting some other musicians to help bring his dance-pop single to life.
Chatting with James Corden ahead of the performance, Sheeran spoke about the song, explaining how it’s similar to his previous lead singles:
“I think for me, on Multiply and Divide, both of the lead singles — it was ‘Sing’ and then ‘Shape Of You’ — and both the lead singles were sonically completely different to anything I’d done. And I felt nervous about putting them out, being like, ‘What are my fans going to think?’ Both times, it worked by doing something different. I’m an acoustic singer/songwriter and I feel like I could just stand on stage and sing acoustic love songs for the rest of my life, but it’s not really going to keep people interested, and I’m always trying to find the new angle. I’ve never done a dance tune and I’ve always been quite hesitant to make dance music because it can just be — we were talking earlier in your office — it can just be [imitates thumping electronic music]. Doesn’t really fit with my thing.”
He went on to say that this song was a late arrival for his upcoming album and that he made it because it seemed like a better post-pandemic choice for a lead single than the one he originally had planned:
“I had a first single chosen and we were going to shoot the video, the album was mixed, and then in January or February, England announced that in June, the country was going to be opening up, and my single was scheduled to come out in June. And I was like, ‘I don’t know if the world needs a depressing, sad, slow, acoustic song when it’s all opening up.’ So I was in the studio and we created this song and it’s just fun, I think.”
Watch clips of Sheeran’s Late Late Show appearance above and below.
Ed Sheeran is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.