Stepping into Ed Sheeran's No.6 Collaborations Project pop-up shop in Los Angeles offers a glimpse into the creative vision of not only Sheeran, but that of the 22 other artists featured on the ambitious album.
The sheer amount of star power behind the project is impossible to ignore — partly because cardboard cutouts of every single collaborator decorate the space at 5416 Wilshire Blvd., in LA's Miracle Mile neighborhood, but also due to Sheeran's concerted effort to highlight their contributions to the album as much as his own.
This is evident in the exclusive merch on display, with nearly every song represented in a T-shirt. Partnerships with brands such as Rhude, Chinatown Market and KidSuper range from designs featuring simple song titles to streetwear-inspired patterns.
At the press preview event for LA's pop-up on Thursday night, Glenn Fukushima, vice president of publicity at Atlantic Records, reminded attendees of Sheeran's 2011 album No.5 Collaborations Project, which came out before he was even signed. Consisting of eight tracks with rappers from the vibrant U.K. grime scene, No.6 was a way for Sheeran to return to that feeling by "gathering artists he is a fan of himself," according to Fukushima.
Though those featured on the new album are among some of the biggest names in the world — Justin Bieber, Cardi B, Bruno Mars — one look at the track list written on the wall shows that Sheeran still has the same spirit from No.5. British rappers Stormzy, J Hus and Dave all help Sheeran pay homage to his roots, most notably in "Take Me Back to London" with Stormzy.
The pop-up is open to the public from 3:06 p.m. to 9:06 p.m. local time on Friday (July 12) only. U.S. sites include New York, Boston, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago and more.