James was in a bad mood today. The first responses to his new single ‘Love Me Better’ weren’t all that great and people were bashing him on social media. They had just finished shooting the video clip two days prior; James was curious to see what the end result would be. He hadn’t really been on board with the setting for the clip and the storyline wasn’t that great either. Then there were a couple of dark-skinned men (Yes, James stayed polite) that sang in the chorus, making the whole thing feel even more out of place.
He had a meeting with his manager in a moment, and James could already tell what some of the discussion points would be. Things were all centered around the release of his new album, which had gone a completely different direction than he’d thought at first. His manager, John, had been all about the numbers. Sales, marketing, you name it, and John was the one who took care of things.
James had gotten world famous overnight by the release of his single ‘You’re Beautiful’ in 2005. He was often shamed for the song; people trying to bring him down about it, saying it was obviously just meant for the ladies and that he couldn’t have possibly written another song with such hit potential.
A one hit wonder. He let people down again, when songs as ‘Goodbye My Lover’ and ‘Same Mistake’ were getting serious radio-play. Of course this was a good thing; but it also meant that the people that didn’t like him were growing in numbers too.
As James pondered over this fact, John stormed into the room, a Bluetooth headphone stuck to his left-ear and a tablet in his hands.
“Mornin’ James, how are you?” he asked, even though he didn’t look like he was particularly interested in the answer.
“Fine, thank you John. Fucked a goat this morning, jolly fun.”
John was looking at his tablet and then swiped the screen a few times. “That’s great, now, let me see here…”
James wasn’t in the least bit surprised that John didn’t even hear his reply. He sighed deeply and crossed his arms, waiting for whatever kind of speech John had stowed away for him.
“James.” John said, as he finally took his eyes off the tablet and put his earphone away.
“You know the first reviews to your new song have been… a bit… negative. So. I spoke to a friend who knows a friend who knows the manager of a very, and I mean very popular artist right now. We’d like for you two to write a song together, maybe you could go on tour with him. He’s got a tour coming up in the US and we thought you’d be perfect for that.”
James was speechless. His mouth had been going open and closed like a fish starving for water.
“But… I’m… I’m an A-list performer. I’ve had multiple hits. I’m not… I have my own tour coming up! I’m not some ‘extra’ you can just plop in with another performer! And who are we talking about anyway?” he asked, resentment already noticeable in his voice.
John sighed. “Ed Sheeran.”
“What, that ginger GIT?! No. No way. That’s a kid! I’m supposed to be the supporting act of a child?! Might as well just give him a nanny.”
“James, let’s be honest here. He’s huge. Like, filling-arena’s-worldwide huge. You’re not. You need this. The crowds that come to his shows are the same that you should be targeting. To be honest, I’m not really willing to take no for an answer, James.”
John put his earphone back in, grabbed his tablet and turned around once more before leaving the room.
“I’ve given Ed’s manager your number, so he can pass it on. He or Ed will contact you. Don’t be rude to that boy.”
James’ eyes narrowed and watched as John shut the door behind him.
‘Ed Sheeran… That boy is just a hype waiting to blow over…’ he thought to himself.
With a sigh he left the room, on his way back to his lonely penthouse in London.