In 2019 Ed Sheeran suggested he might be at the end of his long live relationship with looper pedals, but there's now talk his 18-year love affair with looping might be hitting an unexpected new chapter with his own signature pedals.
The news, reported by the showbiz pages of The Sun newspaper of all places, suggests a 'source' informed them that "Ed is always looking at ways to give back and inspire other musicians. Bringing out his own range of loop pedals, which is a niche of his, is a clever idea and they’d sell like hot cakes."
So it could be groundless talk, but it's certainly a strange thing for a national newspaper to pluck from the sky. Sheeran does use a custom looper after all; perhaps he wants to deliver some of its usability to other musicians. We also note onstage unit is now emblazoned with a Sheean Looper logo - as you can see in the picture above taken at a New Orleans show in April.
The musician already has form for signature gear – as his Sheeran By Lowden brand of acoustic guitars proves.
His Chewie Monsta Looper was developed with his guitar tech Trevor Dawkins to integrate the Mobius loop plugin using MIDI. This was then replaced by Chewie II, with a keyboard input and smart LED system.
The songwriter was originally inspired to use a looper after seeing musician Gary Dunne when he was 14. He started out using the Boss RC-30 Loop Station before his needs necessitated a custom, computer-integrated unit from Dawkins.
This allows Sheeran to play without any programmed backing tracks and rely on loops he creates during shows. As demonstrated in the clip above with Chewie II for the song Shivers in a stadium. It puts a lot of pressure on him to be exact with timings and juggling the various layers during solo performances, but Sheeran doesn't worry the risk of things going wrong onstage.
"So I'm not nervous when I go on stage with the loop pedal," Sheeran told Apple Music earlier this year. Because I know that if it does mess up, that's part of the show. And people would be like, "Oh, that was different to the last show. And he did this and he changed that.”
"I've played with a loop pedal for 18 years now, I got one when I was 14. So I just know that when I mess up I can bring it back round."