Jake gosling and ed sheer 007

Behind the music: How Ed Sheeran prospered by doing things his way.

Eight months ago, the songwriter and record producer Jake Gosling emailed all his friends begging us to buy a copy of The A Team, the first single by an artist he'd been working with for a while, in the hope it would go to No 1. It didn't and, at the time, little did he expect the album it was taken from, +, would end up in the top 10 albums of 2011.

Gosling first came across Ed Sheeran on MySpace four years ago, which is a lifetime in social network years. The then 16-year-old had just moved to London from Suffolk and was living above a pub, where he played in the evenings, while making his own CDs that he sold at gigs.

The clip of Sheeran playing You Need Me won Gosling over. A few days later, the teenager arrived at Gosling's Sticky Studio in Surrey. That day the pair wrote and recorded The City, which ended up on +....

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