2011 feels like centuries ago when you’re talking about the music industry. Then, Ed Sheeran released his No. 5 Collaborations Project independently, featuring him collaborating with English grime artists, and hit No. 2 on the iTunes albums chart without any promotion. Since then, he’s gone on to become a pop star of epic proportions. In a surprise move today, Sheeran announced a new album that’s a fitting spiritual successor to his pre-label chapter: No. 6 Collaborations. It’s poetic, and it’ll be out on July 12.
Collabs are the name of the game with Sheeran’s forthcoming body of work. First and foremost, “I Don’t Care,” his zany link-up with Justin Bieber, will appear on the album. Another track, “Cross Me,” with Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock, will also appear, and should be released tonight (May 23). He released a heavily redacted playlist that shows that the list of features will be lengthy. But that’s the point: We’ll have to wait to see who else will join the singer on the album.
Sheeran’s last studio album was 2017’s ÷ (Divide). There’s no word if Drake will be involved, but in an interview with Entertainment Weekly last year, Sheeran did, however, say that he wanted to collaborate with him. “I feel like, at some point, me and Drake need to do something,” Sheeran said. “I feel like it’s inevitable… I’ve only met him a couple of times. I don’t even know if it’s in the cards. I’d like to think he has the same mindset as me.”