No. 5 Collaborations Project

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No. 5 Collaborations Project
Ed Sheeran - No. 5 Collaborations Project.png
EP by
Released9 January 2011
Ed Sheeran chronology
Spotify Session
No. 5 Collaborations Project
One Take

No. 5 Collaborations Project is an extended play by British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. It was the fifth out of five EPs he recorded with the hope of being signed by a record label. Sheeran wanted each song to act as a musical and tried to avoid lyrics about women.

Musically the album combined sensitive production, with serious subject matters and "haunting" themes. The EP features a collection of grime artists such as Devlin, Wiley, P Money, Ghetts and JME. Henry Yanney of Soul Culture gave the album a positive review and the album peaked at number 46 on the UK Albums Chart.


"I’m always being introduced to new people that are really good. Being a songwriter myself, I love the way they put lyrics together. If you listen to Ghetts’ flow, it’s not necessarily like four-bar, four-bar, four-bar. He’ll do a two and a half bar rhyme and then stop, and go into something else. And me as a songwriter, that sort of fascinated me, like how can you get away with that? That really interested me. I’ve started writing songs a bit more like that, lyrically."

Sheeran discussing the "Grime" genre as an influence on his artistry.[1]

The No. 5 Collaborations Project was conceived to be a record with every song acting as a musical without "songs about girls".[1] One track speaks of being in a car crash. This was a track which he wanted to be "a spiritual thing about being taken home" Another track lyrically tells the story of saying goodbye to someone.[1] When he collaborated with artist and rapper Ghetts he wanted to bring-out "the old Ghetts" with a "grimy-beat" and with rapper JME he wanted to bring "humour to the project".[1] The title derived from a time when there was no "hype" surrounding Sheeran and he decided to create a buzz by producing five EPs: an indie-style EP, a singer-songwriter EP, a folk-style EP, a live EP and a collaborations EP, the latter fifth EP leading to the title No. 5 Collaborations Project.[1]

Music and reception[edit]

Sheeran performing at Academy 1 in Manchester.

The EP is composed of "haunting" and "sensitive production" which "meshes the protagonist’s acoustic compositions with sombre, intense beats".[2] The first track, "Lately," features rapper Devlin and, lyrically, discusses insomnia and stress deriving from their work as musicians. The next track, "You," features rapper Wiley and speaks lyrically of family. The next track, actually titled "Family" and featuring P Money, creates a "tense atmosphere" and recalls a near fatal car crash which P Money was involved in.[2] The dark mood is furthered with track "Little Lady", a re-recording of Sheeran's single "The A Team", which features three rap verses from Mikill Pane.[2]

Henry Yanney of Soul Culture gave the EP four out of five marks, calling Sheeran an "excellent storyteller" and finding "The folk-meets-indie-meets-poetry format seemingly encourages/forces the guests on board to produce more reflective, thoughtful lyricism than per usual".[2] Yanney discussed Sheeran's mainstream success with the EP noting, "For an artist on the precipice of mainstream recognition, No. 5 Collaborations Project is arguably the most anti-commercial project to emerge from someone at that level", concluding his review by stating "The EP which solidifies his 'One To Watch' tag, Ed Sheeran, on pure talent alone, remains one of this year's most promising talents".[2] In the United Kingdom the album spent one week on the UK Albums Chart placing at number 46.[3]

Track listing[edit]

1."Lately" (featuring Devlin)4:32
2."You" (featuring Wiley)3:26
3."Family" (featuring P Money)4:15
4."Radio" (featuring JME)3:41
5."Little Lady" (featuring Mikill Pane)5:31
6."Drown Me Out" (featuring Ghetts)4:24
7."Nightmares" (featuring Random Impulse, Sway and Wretch 32)4:05
8."Goodbye to You" (featuring Dot Rotten)5:27


Chart (2011) Peak
UK Albums Chart[3] 46


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[4] Silver 60,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United Kingdom 7 January 2011 Self-released


  1. ^ a b c d e Patterson, Joseph (2011-01-13). "Ed Sheeran: The Interview!". MTV. Viacom. Archived from the original on 2018-07-17. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  2. ^ a b c d e Yanney, Henry (2011-01-15). "Ed Sheeran – No. 5 Collaborations Project EP Review". Soul Culture. Archived from the original on 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  3. ^ a b "The Official Charts Company - Ed Sheeran – No. 5 Collaborations Project". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2015-04-03. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  4. ^ "British album certifications – Ed Sheeran – No 5 Collaborations Project". British Phonographic Industry.
  5. ^ "No.5 Collaborations Project by Ed Sheeran iTunes". iTunes Store (Apple Inc.). Archived from the original on 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  6. ^ "No.5 Collaborations Project - 12" White Vinyl". Archived from the original on 2018-04-06. Retrieved 2018-04-06.