After becoming Spotify's number one artist, and with "Shape Of You" securing the spot as most-streamed song ever on the platform, I think it's safe to say all of us want to know how Ed Sheeran makes the magic happen. In a video with the New York Times also featuring producer Steve Mac and longtime friend Johnny McDaid, the trio that brought this hit to life detail of serendipitous circumstances of how it came to be. It was nothing more than luck, they say, but we're sure the heaps of talent in the room didn't hurt either.
The song went through many iterations before it landed on Spotify — Sheeran wasn't even originally going to sing it — but there's one change that was absolutely crucial, and that without, would have made the song a little bit problematic.
"On the original version it doesn't actually say 'I'm in love with the shape of you,'" Sheeran revealed in the video. It was, in fact, McDaid who wanted to bring it in, mostly because the original lyric on its own, "I'm in love with your body," felt objectifying to the writer.
The phrase "shape of you" came from something people used to say in his hometown, but they tried a few things to make the 2017 hit a little more woke. "It is more than your body"? No. "You are more than your body"? True, but not quite catchy enough. Instead, they decided to balance out the line about a woman's body with the "shape of you" imagery, and it ended up not just fixing an important problem, but being the line nobody can get out of their heads whether they've been listening to the song or not — oh, right, apologies in advance that I just got it stuck in yours.