the insider: ed sheeran

“i mean, i beat out a cross-dressing cagefighter…”

by liza darwin

When we met up with him last Friday morning, Ed Sheeran had been awake since 4 am—however, judging from his wide grin and boundless energy, you'd never know he'd watched the sun rise. Chalk it up to coffee or just an impressive adrenaline rush, but the English musician had already rocked out in front of thousands of fans, debuted his new C.F.Martin & Co. guitar collaboration, and managed to charm the entirety of Rockefeller Center...all before we finished breakfast. Now that's productivity.

Considering he's currently several months deep into his American tour with Taylor Swift (not to mention the fact that he can't go anywhere without girls yelling his name), it's safe to say that the 22-year-old has seen his fair share of stateside success. So in true good guy fashion, now he's giving back. Sheeran has teamed up with legendary guitar company C.F. Martin & Co. on a customized guitar and and will donate a portion of proceeds to East Anglia's Children's Hospital. The new LX1E Ed Sheeran Signature Edition comes etched with personal details, and if you're lucky enough to catch him live, you can even see him rocking out with it for the rest of tour.

But turns out, that's not the only thing the singer has up his sleeve these days. He's an OC fanatic, a Gameboy addict, and a self-described "total '90s kid" whose dream is to bring back paprika-flavored 3-D chips. Doritos, are you listening?

You performed on The Today Show this morning in front of about 10,000 screaming girls but managed to keep it cool. What's your secret?

Lots of practice! [laughing] My fans are intense, I love it. In the beginning the American fans were more crazy because I wasn't over here that much. Now that I'm in America all the time, whenever I go back to England they go a little wild.

What's the one thing you miss from home when you're performing in America?

Nandos! Well, actually, you do have it in Washington D.C., so we get to have it there. It's a Portuguese chicken restaurant. Sort of like a Chipotle, but with grilled, spicy chicken, fries, coleslaw...

Sounds amazing. What else do you have to have with you on the road?

In terms of guilty pleasures on tour, I'm watching The OCat the moment. It's not my first time watching it, either--shows how much of a teenage girl I am, I guess! It's just decent television to watch, because there are just so many rich girl problems in it [laughing]. I watched it when I was like, 14, 15, so it's reminiscent. I also have an old school Gameboy that I take with me on the road. I've gotten really good at Pokemon.

What was your very first CD growing up?

My first CD would be The Offspring's Conspiracy Of One, and my first poster was Green Day. Green Day was actually my first concert when I was about 10. I had pretty dark music taste growing up. When I was younger I used to listen to Soil, Korn, Slipknot, Puddle of Mud, so my tastes have definitely changed over the years.

What was one thing from the '90s you wish you could bring back?

I'm a total '90s kid, so it's hard to choose. If I had to, though, I wish I could bring back 3-D Doritos! Paprika flavor, obviously. They were the best invention ever, and I don't know why they ever took them off the market. Doritos, if you're reading this, bring them back!

Is this C.F. Martin project the first of many brand collaborations for you?

Well, I don't think clothing brands want anything to do with me at the moment! I normally stick with basic stuff, clothing-wise, anyway. And I was voted Worst Dressed in a magazine recently, actually.

I feel like in many ways, though, being Worst Dressed can be a badge of honor.

I think so, too! I mean, I beat out a cross-dressing cagefighter—he was number two. So yeah, I'm killing it in the game.