Interview with Ed Sheeran

SoulSide Funk

ed sheeranWith his thick crop of ginger hair Ed Sheeran looks more like he’s stepped straight out of early 90s Grange Hill, than the super-talented singer he is; only the guitar strapped to his back gives the secret away.

Truth is, Ed has been writing music since he was fourteen years old.  He moved to London two years ago and in that time he has done a couple of gigs (312 in 2009 alone), met a few people and won the East Anglia Next Big Thing competition.  After recently releasing his 5th solo project, the Loose Change EP (an eclectic fusion of R&B and Folk), I caught up with him to talk about song-writing, moving to The City and being a bit of a musical misfit…

Soulside Funk: The Loose Change EP was recently released, what were you trying to go for or say with it?

Ed Sheeran: Song-writing wise…

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Paul McCartney confirmed as mystery headliner of Firefly Music Festival 2015

Consequence of Sound

Firefly Music Festival has revealed the third and final headliner of its 2015 lineup, and it’s none other than Sir Paul McCartney. Macca joins The Killers and Kings of Leon at the Dover, Delaware music festival, which takes place June 18th – 21st at the Woodlands.

Other notable acts playing the festival include Morrissey, Modest Mouse, Spoon, Cage the Elephant, Run the Jewels, Gary Clark Jr., Charli XCX, Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg, Foster the People, Empire of the Sun, Hozier, Bastille, Zedd, Sublim with Rome, Cold War Kids, Matt & Kim, Tove Lo, The Kooks, Jungle, Benjamin Booker, Zola Jesus, How to Dress Well, Sylvan Esso, RJD2, Tycho, Rustie, Raury, Twin Peaks, Betty Who, Manchester Orchestra, Clean Bandit, and Citizen Cope.

(Read: Top 10 Music Festivals in North America: Winter 2015 Power Rankings)

See the fully announced lineup at Festival Outlook and the poster below. General Admission passes will go…

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Robin Williams’ Family in Dispute Over His Estate

TIME

The family of Robin Williams is locked in a disagreement over his estate almost six months after the Oscar-winning actor committed suicide at the age of 63.

Court documents from December and January reveal disputes over money, property and personal belongings between Williams’ widow and third wife, Susan Schneider Williams, and his three children from two previous marriages, the New York Times reports.

Documents from Zak (31), Zelda (25) and Cody (23) say they are “heartbroken” that Susan Schneider Williams, who married Robin Williams in 2011, has “acted against his wishes by challenging the plans he so carefully made for his estate.” Their claims are in response to papers Williams’ lawyers filed in December outlining the parts of the estate she claims she is entitled to.

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While the actor’s estate set up a separate trust for Susan Schneider Williams that includes among other things their Tiburon, Calif., home…

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The 35 Best Times Someone On Facebook Thought ‘The Onion’ Was Real

Thought Catalog

1. “I give up”

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2. “YOUR AN IDIOT”

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3. “It is disgraceful”

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4. “How sad”

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5. “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS”

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6. “The Onion who often plays games”

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7. “My heart and soul weeps for these deceived people”

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8. “Poor people don’t have what it takes”

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9. “Okay well that is your opinion”

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10. “Really a free parrot really”

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11. “Actually, more evidence is coming out”

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12. “He’s a communist”

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13. “Really, wow I had no idea”

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14. “STOP”

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15. “This is what we pay these people to do”

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16. “How exactly did you get elected”

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17. “I am trolling”

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18. “This is true

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19. “I don’t know what to think”

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20. “This is no joke”

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21. “What makes it fake”

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22. “I can’t even read this”

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Brains Behaving Badly: Why So Many Comedians End Up Self-Destructing

TIME

This article originally appeared on Rolling Stone.

Being a professional comedian brings with it a set of unintended consequences. For one thing, you develop an uncanny familiarity with the nation’s airports. “Where are you, St. Louis International? They’ve got a pretty ripping Oki-Dog in terminal four.”

Additionally, stand-up comedians have to ask for their paychecks. Did you know that? At the end of the week, when performing in a club, we actually have to track down the club owner and ask to get paid. In all fairness, most of them are cool about it. But as I’ve said before, when it comes to club owners, it’s hard to believe the occupation that gave the world Jack Ruby could produce some unsavory characters.

Lastly, being a comedian means knowing a lot of people who’ve committed suicide.

MORE: Ben Stiller Remembers Robin Williams: ‘He Represented What it Meant to Be Funny’

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If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers

Reposted from CalNewport.com.

The Berlin Study

In the early 1990s, a trio of psychologists descended on the Universität der Künste, a historic arts academy in the heart of West Berlin. They came to study the violinists.

As described in their subsequent publication in Psychological Review, the researchers asked the academy’s music professors to help them identify a set of stand out violin players — the students who the professors believed would go onto careers as professional performers.

We’ll call this group the elite players.

For a point of comparison, they also selected a group of students from the school’s education department. These were students who were on track to become music teachers. They were serious about violin, but as their professors explained, their ability was not in the same league as the first group.

We’ll call this group the average players.

The three researchers subjected their subjects to a series of in-depth interviews. They then gave them diaries which divided each 24-hour period into 50 minute chunks, and sent them home to keep a careful log of how they spent their time.

Flush with data, the researchers went to work trying to answer a fundamental question: Why are the elite players better than the average players?

The obvious guess is that the elite players are more dedicated to their craft. That is, they’re willing to put in the long,Tiger Mom-style hours required to get good, while the average players are off goofing around and enjoying life.

The data, as it turns out, had a different story to tell…

 

Decoding the Patterns of the Elite

We can start by disproving the assumption that the elite players dedicate more hours to music. The time diaries revealed that both groups spent, on average, the same number of hours on music per week (around 50).

The difference was in how they spent this time. The elite players were spending almost three times more hours than the average players on deliberate practicethe uncomfortable, methodical work of stretching your ability.

This might not be surprising, as the importance of deliberate practice had been replicated and reported many times (c.f.,Gladwell).

But the researchers weren’t done.

They also studied how the students scheduled their work. The average players, they discovered, spread their work throughout the day. A graph included in the paper, which shows the average time spent working versus the waking hours of the day, is essentially flat.

The elite players, by contrast, consolidated their work into two well-defined periods. When you plot the average time spent working versus the hours of the day for these players, there are two prominent peaks: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

In fact, the more elite the player, the more pronounced the peaks. For the best of the best — the subset of the elites who the professors thought would go on to play in one of Germany’s two best professional orchestras — there was essentially no deviation from a rigid two-sessions a day schedule.

This isolation of work from leisure had pronounced effects in other areas of the players’ lives.

Consider, for example, sleep: the elite players slept an hour more per night than the average players.

Also consider relaxation. The researchers asked the players to estimate how much time they dedicated each week to leisure activities — an important indicator of their subjective feeling of relaxation. By this metric, the elite players were significantly more relaxed than the average players, and the best of the best were the most relaxed of all.

Hard Work is Different than Hard to Do Work

To summarize these results:

  • The average players are working just as many hours as the elite players (around 50 hours a week spent on music),
  • but they’re not dedicating these hours to the right type of work (spending almost 3 times less hours than the elites on crucial deliberate practice),
  • and furthermore, they spread this work haphazardly throughout the day. So even though they’re not doing morework than the elite players, they end up sleeping less and feeling more stressed. Not to mention that they remain worse at the violin.

I’ve seen this same phenomenon time and again in my study of high achievers. It came up so often in my study of top students, for example, that I even coined a name for it: the paradox of the relaxed Rhodes Scholar.

This study sheds some light on this paradox. It provides empirical evidence that there’s a difference between hard work andhard to do work:

  • Hard work is deliberate practice. It’s not fun while you’re doing it, but you don’t have to do too much of it in any one day (the elite players spent, on average, 3.5 hours per day engaged in deliberate practice, broken into two sessions). It also provides you measurable progress in a skill, which generates a strong sense of contentment and motivation. Therefore, although hard work is hard, it’s not draining and it can fit nicely into a relaxed and enjoyable day.
  • Hard to do work, by contrast, is draining. It has you running around all day in a state of false busyness that leaves you, like the average players from the Berlin study, feeling tired and stressed. It also, as we just learned, has very little to do with real accomplishment.

This analysis leads to an important conclusion. Whether you’re a student or well along in your career, if your goal is to build a remarkable life, then busyness and exhaustion should be your enemy. If you’re chronically stressed and up late working, you’re doing something wrong. You’re the average players from the Universität der Künste — not the elite. You’ve built a life around hard to do work, not hard work.

The solution suggested by this research, as well as my own, is as simple as it is startling: Do less. But do what you do with complete and hard focus. Then when you’re done be done, and go enjoy the rest of the day.

(Photo by RKHawaii)

1 in 5 U.S. Women Are Raped at Some Point, Report Says

TIME

About one in five women in the United States are raped during their life, according to data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control. And another 40% experience another form of sexual violence.

“Although progress has been made in efforts to prevent sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence, these forms of violence continue to exact a substantial toll upon U.S. adults,” the CDC study said.

The problem of sexual violence is particularly acute at younger ages. More than half of female victims said they were violated before they reached age 25. This finding is consistent with a UNICEF report released Thursday that suggests that one in 10 girls worldwide is raped before age 20.

The CDC recommended a number of steps to combat sexual violence, including trying to change societal expectations and promoting safe relationships.

“The early promotion of healthy relationships while behaviors are still relatively modifiable makes…

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There’s Something Rotten In The State Of Social Media

TechCrunch

1397903264_90cb9bcfdf_oWe need no ghost to tell us something smells increasingly rotten in the state of social media.

Facebook forcing users to download a separate messaging app if they want to carry on IMing their friends.

Twitter polluting its users’ carefully curated timelines with content they did not choose to read.

Facebook manipulating the emotional cadence of content to figure out whether it can actively impact users’ emotions.

Twitter flirting with the idea of adding even more algorithmically selected content into the timeline — content that prioritizes what’s already popular, and thus mainstream, at the expense of non-mainstream interests, nuance and minority views.

Meanwhile, studies suggest the majority of Facebook users are unaware that what they see in their newsfeed is not actually the sum total of their friends’ news, but rather an algorithmic skim — biased for clickbait, stickiness and, of course, advertising.

There are a few clear themes to point to here that can illuminate exactly where the rot stems from. The overarching theme being monetization — or, more specifically, increasing external pressure…

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