The ‘Bad Habits’ hitmaker admitted he’s changed a lot since the early days of his career, when he only owned two pairs of socks that he never washed.
Speaking to Nova 96.9’s Smallzy’s Surgery’, he said: “Looking back at when I wrote [debut single ‘The A Team’] versus where I am now – I had two pairs of socks I literally never washed my socks and just changed socks.
“I mean, if you’ve met anyone that knew me back then the one thing that everyone could agree on is my feet stank.”
Despite his global success, the 30-year-old singer insisted he never expected to do so well as he was such an unappealing prospect for record labels.
He said: “Everyone was just like, if you put on paper, there’s a fat ginger boy that raps with a small guitar, do you want to sign him? F** no.’
“I feel like it’s a big… Now people I have people say to me, ‘But you must have always known’, and I don’t think I knew.”
Instead, the ‘Lego House’ singer believes his success happened “by accident” and he’s never had a deliberate career plan in mind.
He said: “‘Thinking Out Loud’ is one of the biggest songs that I’ve put out and that was meant to be a bonus track on the album.
“There’s so many things that have happened by accident or by chance…it’s been a mad journey like nothing feels planned or meant to be…it’s just kind of happened and now I’m here.”
Meanwhile, Ed recently revealed that he is learning Italian because after years of touring the globe, he felt “embarrassed” not being able to speak anything other than English, particularly after locals near his holiday home in Umbria kept asking if he’d mastered the language yet.
He said: “I have a house in Italy and every time I’d gone to Italy the locals were like, ‘You haven’t learnt yet have you?’ And I’d say, ‘I will, I will.’
“I just decided I was going to do it, so I do an hour a day and I’ve done that for about 10 months.”
The star – who has baby daughter, Lyra, 10 months, with wife Cherry Seaborn – added: “I’m in that at the moment and it’s like a completely new language. I failed German at school, I failed French at school, I’ve never really learnt languages.
“I’ve spent the last ten years travelling the world speaking English and feeling quite embarrassed about being in all these wonderful countries and not being able to communicate, so it’s really cool.
“It feels like a key, you unlock the door and suddenly this whole world opens up to you.”