Ed Sheeran experienced a major mindset shift around the birth of his first child, revealing in a new interview that he nearly considered giving up music altogether.
He welcomed daughter Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran with his wife, Cherry Seaborn, in August 2020. The baby was born just after the “Bad Habits” singer finished one of his biggest albums and tours, and he was unsure of what to do next.
“I remember standing on the Ipswich stage finishing and then getting off stage and just being like, I’m 28,” he told SiriusXM’s Mikey Piff this month. “And like, I don’t know what to do now — I’ve chased and chased and chased and chased and got to this thing. And then in my year off, I was kind of searching for who I was because I stopped playing music for a bit.”
“Music is entirely me as a person,” Sheeran added. “And then I had my daughter — well, my wife had our daughter, but I’m a parent. And then I was like, ‘That’s it, this is me, I’m just going to be a dad. I’m not going to play music anymore.’”
Sheeran said he found himself “getting really sad” and feeling like his life had “zero purpose.”
After recalibrating, the entertainer said he began thinking about setting an example for his daughter. He eventually began creating again, after a long period of feeling “directionless.”
“I think it’s more important for my daughter to grow up knowing that her parents have the work ethic and her parents love working hard and love creating and enjoy their jobs,” he said. “And seeing that rather than, like, looking at your dad as technically unemployed, if that makes sense.”
Still, Sheeran said he is mindful about how he defines success.
“Not that success should be measured in album sales or ticket sales, because I do feel like most of my success in my mind has been measured by songs being good, in my eyes, that I’ve written, but just there’s an expectation from everyone around you,” he said. “I have people in my family that are like, ‘The next album has to be even bigger.’ I know they’re saying it to be supportive, but maybe it shouldn’t be.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.