By Rebecca Black, PA
Ed Sheeran has launched a new guitar collaboration to mark his “coming of age” album.
The chart topper described Equals as a “really personal record” which comes after he married, became a father and experienced loss.
The Suffolk-raised star has continued his relationship with Northern Ireland-based guitar maker George Lowden to create a new signature guitar worthy of music royalty.
It features symbolism from the album, including a custom maple inlay at the seventh fret, a butterfly inlay motif – a recurring theme within the album – at the truss rod cover and neck heel cap, and a custom-designed edition internal label.
The guitar also boasts a figured walnut back and sides, paired with a sitka spruce top.
Only 3,000 of the Equals Edition guitar will be available to buy through Lowden’s global dealer network.
Sheeran said he hopes to encourage more young people to take up the guitar.
“There are fewer guitar bands and fewer artists using guitars now, and not as many kids picking up guitars,” he said.
“That is something I would like to change by getting these great quality guitars, made in Ireland, into kids’ hands and encouraging them to learn and progress.
“To be able to work in tandem with a guitar company like Lowden to create a whole different concept has been a really cool experience.”
Lowden said his firm has been honoured in recent years that Sheeran chose to use their guitars on stage and in the studio.
The collaboration started after Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody commissioned a Lowden guitar for Sheeran from the Co Down firm.
Since his first “wee Lowden”, Sheeran has since amassed a personal collection of Lowden guitars, and even revealed he has one in every room in his house.
In January 2019, the pair teamed up to announce a new range of guitars, Sheeran by Lowden.
“We have been honoured over the past years that Ed has chosen to play Lowden guitars both on-stage and in studio.
“We are delighted to have established a close ongoing relationship and are proud that Ed entrusted us to create the Sheeran by Lowden range of guitars which will be played by him and enjoyed by a number of his fans around the world.”
Lowden built his first guitar in 1974 and has since built up an international reputation, and recently opened a new bespoke production facility in Co Down.
Interest in buying one of the Edition guitars can be registered online at sheeranguitars.com.