Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Lisa McLoughlin

Cian DuCrot on the heartfelt advice Ed Sheeran gave him and his special pact with Joe Jonas

Cian Ducrot has had an unforgettable year.

After securing his first UK number one album, Victory, he has also embarked on a solo tour across North America and Europe.

It would be wrong to think that the singer-songwriter is simply an overnight success. A classically-trained flautist, Ducrot started honing his craft busking around the streets of his native Cork where, by his own admission, would spend his weekends singing Ed Sheeran’s entire catalogue.

In fact, Sheeran has been a significant influence on the Irish artist, inspiring him to pick up his first acoustic guitar aged 13 and begin songwriting in the hope of penning a song “as good as Gimme Love”.

Having supported Sheeran on tour this Spring, did Ducrot get a chance to tell his musical idol how influential he has been on him? “I think he knows,” he laughed. “I told him, but I also didn't want to harass him with it and like, freak him out, y’know?”

“I think Ed [Sheeran] probably is at the point of his career where he knows he was influential to basically everybody that came after him - and if anyone says he wasn't, they’re just lying.”

Ducrot said that he learned a lot from the multi-Grammy winner, who he describes as a “great guy”, especially in terms of the trials and tribulations newfound fame brings.

Ducrot has had a whirlwind year (Getty Images)

Speaking to The Standard, via Zoom, he recalled: “I remember asking him about the people who come out of the woodwork.  

“You have all those people who maybe when you're younger, especially for myself, and Ed was similar, we got bullied as kids and those people who bully you and were not friendly to you or would never had a minute for you, suddenly, they all want to be your best friend.

“Just because you're Ed Sheeran, it doesn't mean that that doesn't happen to you, that you don't remember that, that you don't deal with that every day. He gave me a lot of advice about that."

Adding: “It’s really interesting to get it from someone who's experienced that 10 or 15 years ago, and then is still experiencing, and obviously experiencing it, to the highest level as well.”

In 2019, Ducrot cut his classical training at London’s Royal Academy of Music short to focus on exploring a pop career. He went on to self-release his first mixtape in 2020 before signing with Interscope and sharing his debut EP, Make Believe, a year later.

Although his EP failed to generate the attention he’d hoped for, the trajectory of Ducrot’s career changed when his song, All For You, a tender piano ballad, appeared on Love Island and became a UK top 20 hit.

It was however his follow up, I'll Be Waiting, that made him a TikTok sensation after his videos, which saw him singing in various public spaces in London, joined by a hidden choir as the chorus comes in, that struck a chord with users.

The singer-songwriter’s rise to stardom has been a very modern one, with his videos racking up hundreds of millions of views online. It was this social media activity that caught the eye of the Jonas Brothers, Kevin Jonas in particular, who reached out on Instagram and invited him to perform with the group at the Royal Albert Hall in April.

Branding the band “iconic”, Ducrot recalled how Jonas “out of the blue” asked for his number after a bit of back and forth in the DMs and propositioned him about joining them on-stage to play his song, I’ll Be Waiting.

While the JoBros are busy on the American leg of their tour, the Heaven singer said he hopes to see them soon – especially since Joe Jonas has promised to teach him how to DJ.

“I'm still holding Joe [Jonas] to his word as he told me he would teach me how to DJ,” he insisted. “The other day I saw he had a skateboard, so I was asking him if he skateboards. And he said, ‘like, a little bit, not very well’.

“So, I said, ‘I'll teach him to skate if he teaches me the DJ’, which I think is a fair trade.”

While his social media activity has caught his peers attention, it's Ducrot's big piano melodies and anthemic choruses comparable to that of Sheeran or Lewis Capaldi, that has struck a chord with music lovers.

The Irish artist in London this week launching Redbreast Irish Whiskey's Robin Redbreast Day (Michael Knief/AP Images for Redbreast Irish Whiskey)

Yet, the material behind those memorable sweeping choruses is raw and vulnerable. His track Heaven confronts the domestic violence he and his brother suffered as children, while Part of Me, is dedicated to a friend gone too soon.

Exploring difficult topics for his art isn’t something the 26-year-old ever felt apprehensive about, explaining: “Before songwriting I was always pretty open with my story and things I've gone through, and I was just a very emotionally aware and open person.

“I would talk a lot about my feelings and things I'm going through and I kind of realised that I always got on better in life when I was like that. I had more friends, I had a happier life, I had better relationships and friendships and I had better mental health.

“So, when it came to writing music, I think I spent a lot of time trying to write good songs then when I got to a certain level where I was like, ‘Okay, I'm happy with the level of the songs that I write and that they come out in a way that I like’, then I think that was the point where I began to get more vulnerable and open with my story.”

Recently, Ducrot teamed up with Redbreast Irish Whiskey for Robin Redbreast Day, an initiative dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the bird conservation charity, BirdLife International, and shine a spotlight on the alarming decline in morning birdsong.

Discussing his involvement in the campaign, he shared: "It’s more than just raising awareness for the loss of bird song but highlighting the much broader issue of the decline of many bird populations, which is an alarm bell for the health of our environment and planet.

“Our actions are impacting the world around us, which is leading to more polluted, less green, and very unwelcoming urban areas for nature and birds to thrive. The loss of bird song isn’t something we want to witness and it is so crucial that we all work together to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.