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Ed Sheeran attacks Conservative government over support for bankers over bands

Ed Sheeran attacks Conservative government over support for bankers over bands

Ed Sheeran has criticised the government for supporting bankers instead of bands.

The singer-songwriter, who grew up in Suffolk and attended public school in his hometown, opened up about his feelings about government cuts to the arts on Theo Von’s podcast.

He said: “I have been involved in music in secondary schools for seven years because in my area, in 2017/2018, my old music teacher came to me and said: ‘Look, the government that is in charge now does not value art at all… art, drama, music.’ And they have stopped all funding for general secondary schools.

“So my music teacher came to me and said, I think they should share between art, music and drama, about £700 a year for all three subjects. So I started funding that at my local grammar school. And then you saw a huge increase in kids doing production, kids doing songwriting, kids doing this.”

Sheeran added: “I built a recording studio there. There’s a lot of good instruments that aren’t broken and you can just see the school getting better at music. So then I started doing that in the area where I’m from. And we’ve now changed it to do it nationally. And I’m now visiting more high schools and places that really need music funding.

“And you also see what a difference it makes. Because I’m not an academic and in the real world I would be seen as stupid, but I excelled in music and therefore people think I’m good at something.”

He then criticized the government for focusing more on mathematics and banking than on the arts.

Sheeran continued: “We’re famous for our music with The Beatles. We’re famous for our painting. Damien Hurst. We’re famous for our films. You’ve got Danny Boyle who’s from here, Christopher Nolan.

“And the government just puts emphasis on maths and banking and we make guns but nobody is proud that we make guns and nobody is proud that our banking is really good but they are proud of our art. And so it doesn’t matter that a government is like the art, where do you think the art is going to come from? So the next part of my career is to get the right, proper funding and art, music, drama back into schools and actually Ireland is doing very well.”

He also said that if Labour wins the general election on Thursday (4 July) he expects support for state schools to increase.

Sheeran added: “I’m doing what I can to get funding for it. But I think the new government will be better at it. But what I really want to move on to is music education. It’s worked so well for me and I know it can work so well for other kids. I’m kind of proof that normal kids can just pick up a guitar, work hard and do it.”

The singer-songwriter was recently confirmed as the most played artist of 2023, leaving behind his main competitor Taylor Swift.

Last week he performed ‘Work Song’ at Pinkpop together with Hozier.